Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, a former minister for the environment, science, technology, and innovation, has described an incident in 2020 in which the president ignored him, which led to his dismissal as the chairman of the interministerial committee on illegal mining (IMCIM) and minister for the environment, science, technology, and innovation ministry.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, who is also a heart surgeon, spoke in-depth with the pan-African journal AFRICAWATCH about a particular judgment debt involving the Ministry he oversaw, the Ministry of Finance, and one Apex Pollution Control Company.
Explaining the incident, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng explained that, “The Ministry of Environment had signed an agreement with the company in 2014 to carry out monitoring of vehicle emissions, but the project was not implemented at all. The company claimed it invested $6,613,520.63 in the project and sought a judgment debt. Somebody somewhere decided to engage the company in arbitration for the government, and in addition to its alleged initial investment of $6,613,520.63, offered the company $20,006,226 for a return on investment and $61,627,500 for the loss of income for 13 years. And this came up to a whopping $88,247,246.63. The Apex Pollution Control Company was going to get about $82 million for doing no work. So shocking! To me, there were several irregularities about it. I could see that a huge scandal was staring us right in the face. And I didn’t want to be part of it.”
However seeing “the whole thing” as “too shady”, Prof Frimpong-Boateng said he decided to confront Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta about it. He submitted that Ken Ofori-Atta told him that the then deputy minister for finance, Charles Adu Boahen, was probably behind the whole deal.
“Soon after some people from the Apex Pollution Control Company came to see me in my office and offered me a US$5 million bribe to approve the judgment debt for them. I rejected it and told them to disappear from my office,” he said.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said he then “wrote to the president to inform him” of his inability to approve the judgment debt for the Apex Pollution Control Company. however to his dismay, he said,” I did not get any response.”
Although the president’s alleged silence to his report was followed by his dismissal from office, the world class cardio expert made it known that he does not regret any of his actions during this period believing that his decision to reject the bribe was “a natural thing to do.”
“Whoever serves in the president’s administration is his prerogative, so one cannot talk about that. He can fire any minister any time and one must reckon with that. But I am at peace with myself,” he added.
He however expressed his concerns about corruption in the current administration, saying, “I think the president himself will agree that he has not been able to fight corruption. Today, it permeates every sector of this country, and it is getting worse by the day. It’s unfortunate that things have turned up to be this way. The Akufo-Addo who is ruling Ghana today is not the same man that we campaigned for to win the 2016 presidential election. He is not the Akufo-Addo that I knew.”