Bryan Acheampong must stay away from acquiring state properties – Prof. Agyeman-Duah

Bryan Acheampong, Minister of Agriculture Bryan Acheampong, Minister of Agriculture

Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah, former United Nations Chief Governance Adviser, has advised Agriculture Minister Bryan Acheampong to stay away from the sale of assets of the Social Security and National Insurance Fund (SSNIT).

According to the renowned academic, the sale of a 60% stake in SSNIT’s hotel assets to Rock City Hotel Limited, a company owned by the minister, seemed dubious at first glance and it would be better for the government official to stay away altogether.

“I think the minister should distance himself from this. If they are delaying it, I guess he should also call off the whole process and find another way,” he said.

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

“Due to its position in the public space, from a governance point of view it will never be acceptable for it to turn around and acquire state property,” the professor observed.

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

The purpose of the agreement, pension plan management said, was to improve profitability, increase shareholder value and ensure the long-term viability of the Trust.

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 shortlisted companies, Rock City Hotel Limited submitted the best bid, following established procurement processes.

In his presentation, Professor Agyeman-Duah stated that such financial arrangements created the impression that people go into politics to get rich.

“It reinforces the idea that public servants or senior public officials enter politics to acquire wealth,” he lamented. “That’s not the reputation our politicians should be developing.”

Meanwhile, the Organized Union has expressed concern over the sale, citing irregularities in the process. They ask the government to rescind the agreement.