A former United Nations Senior Governance Advisor, Professor Baffour Agyeman Duah has advised the Minister of Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong to stay away from the sale involving Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) assets.

According to the renowned academic, the sale of a 60% stake in SSNIT hotel assets to Rock City Hotel Limited, a business owned by the minister appeared dubious on the face it and it was best if the government official steered clear of it entirely.

“I think the minister should just distance himself from this. If they are putting a hold on it, I suppose he should also put a hold on the whole process and find another way,” he said.

Speaking on GHOne TV’s ‘State of Affairs’ Professor Agyeman Duah noted that the deal was not going to be justifiable given Bryan Acheampong’s status as a minister of state.

“As far as he is in the public space it will never be acceptable in terms of governance for him to turn around and acquire state properties,” the professor observed.

This comes after SSNIT issued a release on Sunday 19th May 2024, explaining that the partnership had been in the pipeline since 2018.

The purpose of the deal, the management of the pension scheme said was to improve profitability, boost shareholder value, and ensure viability of the trust in the long term.

The four hotels involved in the sale include La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Labadi Beach Hotel, Ridge Royal Hotel, and Elmina Beach Resort.

The Trust further insisted that of the six companies that were shortlisted, Rock City Hotel Limited presented the best deal, following the laid down procurement processes.   

In his submission, Professor Agyeman Duah stated that such financial agreements this created the impression that people go into politics to enrich themselves.

“It reinforces this notion that public servants or top public officials get into politics to acquire wealth,” he bemoaned. “That is not the reputation that our politicians should develop for themselves.

Meanwhile, Organized Labour has raised concerns about the sale, citing irregularities in the process. They are calling on the government to terminate the agreement.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Emmanuel Mensah