And calls him a lair

By Cecil Mensah

The immediate past President John Agyekum Kufuor has denounced the claims by the founder and bankroller of the provisionally certified Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Paa Kwesi Ndoum, that the N1 George Walker Bush Highway should be named after him for the pivotal role he (Ndoum) played in sourcing the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) funds from the United States Government in 2007, when he served as the Minister for Public Sector Reforms.

Former President Kufour, who joined the sitting President, Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills to commission the beautiful 14.1 kilometre road from the Mallam Junction to the Tetteh-Quarshie roundabout last Wednesday,did not take likely to the claims by Dr. Nduom and the subsequent picketing by goons he had sent to disrupt the beautifully planned event..

The unscrupulous supporters who picketed the area were later arrested and had since been granted bail to be of good bahaviour.

Ex-President Kufuor made this pronouncement in an interview with Citi Fm, an Accra- based radio station to share his thoughts on the commissioning of the project and the fact that he was invited to be part of the commissioning.

He said it would be insincere on the part of Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom to claim that the project should be named after him for the roles he (Nduom) played in securing the funds for the country.

He explained that when Nduom was made the Spokesperson for the creation of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), the local managers of the Millennium Challenge Account under the Millennium Challenge Corporation, there was an existing team that was working to ensure that Ghana secures the funds from the US government.

He explained that the Five hundred and fifty, one million Dollars was given to Ghana on some key principles namely: good governance, free and fair judiciary as well as the massive eradication of poverty priorities that then ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) had embarked upon.

He posited that negotiations for the funds, started with Mr. Armah, who is the current Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO0 to Mr. Martin Esson-Benjamin.

The ex-President said NPP government started working the compact with one Mr. Ansah, a consultant who lives in the United Kingdom and he led the team originally, but added that the said Mr. Ansah was not fully committed because he did the work on part-time and so the leadership was not as focused as the government wanted it, so the government changed him for another person whilst the main body of the team continued to work the details of the compact.

He noted that it was at the final stage of the negotiations with the Americans that he (Kufuor) called Dr. Nduom to join the team.

“I remember calling Paa Kwesi Nduom who was then a Minister in the NPP administration to the Castle, when the team had already assembled and I (kufuor) told them that he (Nduom) is their new leader so they should be prepared to work with him and they worked for the final agreement to be realized with the Americans’, said ex-President Kufuor.

He said Nduom cannot come around to claim personal ownership to the compact, because he (Nduom) was not the reason for America to list Ghana as a recipient of the funds.

He stressed that Paa Kwesi cannot claim he is the originator of the fund; America listed Ghana as a recipient because of good governance, investing in people and the development of the private sector.

He said Nduom may not be telling the story truthfully if he claims it was through his efforts the fund was granted to Ghana.

‘Ndoum cannot claim to have conceived the idea for the funds, because when he signed the agreement for the commencement of the fund to Ghana, he signed on behalf of the President and not for himself’, said Mr. Kufuor.

Source: The Herald

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