PAC grills Exim Bank over GHC 2 million payment to Shatta Wale
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has raised red flags over claims that the Ghana Export-Import Bank (GEXIM) paid GH₵2 million to dancehall musician Shatta Wale, known in private life as Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jnr, for a brand ambassador role.
Shatta Wale and others in the entertainment industry are reported to have been contracted to promote made in Ghana products.
Kumawood actor. Kofi Adu, known in showbiz as Agya Koo, is also alleged to have received GHC 250, 000.
Exim Bank is a state entity established by an Act of Parliament to support the development of Ghana’s export trade, facilitate cross border trade and make Ghana a pillar in regional and continental trade.
At a PAC hearing on Wednesday, September 9, members of the committee sought answers over the payments.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Kumbugu, Ras Mubarak, could not understand the economic benefit of the move as he suggested that the monies could have been invested in other productive sectors.
“I mentioned ¢2 million that went to Shatta Wale but the Deputy CEO says they wouldn’t know who the vendor selected and this is not to say that we have a problem with Shatta Wale getting some amount of money to do whatever work but the Ghanaian public deserves to know how much went out and who got it,” he insisted.
He questioned why such payments would be made in 2020 in the wake of financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept across the world.
In his response, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Exim Bank with oversight of the Finance and Administration Division, Kwame Adu-Darkwa, said it was a “media campaign we are running with a consultant”.
He added: “As deputy CEO of Exim Bank I have not signed or seen a cheque signed to any artiste that you have mentioned for that amount”.
But he defended the decision. “You will be surprised how brand ambassadors can be good at promoting a particular sector. Sometimes what needs to be done is that if you have done incredible work. It will be good for people to know what is being done and what their options are and having a good brand ambassador to do that makes sense.”
The committee is currently examining the Auditor-General’s report for 2017.
Even though the alleged payments were not captured in the reports, members of the committee have the liberty to ask public interest questions after matters on the report are concluded.
After long discussions on the matter, the Chairman for the committee, James Klutse -Avedzi indicated that the bank’s officials would be invited later after evidence of the payments has been examined.