Barely an hour after the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Doe Adjaho ruled out the petition filed by 80 members from the minority side to investigate the acquisition of Merchant Bank by Fortiz Private Equity Fund Limited , the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul has stated that "this is just the beginning of the fight". He revealed that the Minority would reveal the next line of action on Thursday. According to him, the stand taken by the majority side not to consider the motion filled by he (Dominic Nitiwul) and 79 other minority lawmakers showed that there was more than what the eyes could see. He further explained that the reason for calling on parliament to investigate the sale was to ensure if due process was observed before the acquisition of Merchant Bank Ghana (MBG) by Fortiz and if the deal was in the interest of all Ghanaians. Addressing press men in the House yesterday, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, who led the petition, noted that the information available to parliament about the sale was scanty, not clear and as such the petition was a non-partisan way they could ensure the public coffers had been protected. To him, there were questions that the House could have asked to ascertain if the sale was genuine. "Why MBG after emerging as the Best Bank in Advisory Services and the Best in Long Term Loan Advances and Competitive Banking in 2007 should be on its knees. "Three members have resigned from MBG and we are expecting parliament to ask them why after taken the oath of office to protect the bank, will choose to resign? This is because their conscience would not allow them to engage in such deal", he noted. Continuing he said the ruling of the House was dangerous and unfortunate, adding that, if the National Democratic Congress in the past had the moral to fight the sale of the then Ghana Telecom by the NPP, they should do the same with the sale of MBG to Fortiz. In a related development, the majority MPs in their engagement with the press, led by Hon. Benjamin Kunbuor stated that the deal was in the interest of all workers of Ghana hence its approval by the Bank of Ghana , who are the appropriate regulator and supervised the transaction. "The transaction was transparent and conducted in conformity with the laws of Ghana . We are confident that the new majority shareholders of MBG would lift the state of the bank out of its current predicament", he said. MBG was a healthy bank when some leading members of the NPP, including Hon. Dr. Akoto Osei got on the board of the bank, which increased the loans portfolio from 37 million cedis to 318 million cedis from 2002 to 2008", Dr. Kunbuor explained. Adding that, the situation in 2007 led to the bank's inability to meet its new capital of 60 million cedis and the minimum adequacy ratio of 10 percent as set by the Bank of Ghana . He went on to say that the sale of MBG to Fortiz was the only way to rescue MBG after being ruined by the reckless spending of the NPP in 2007. "This press conference is to details into the detail of the transaction to show that nothing untoward took place on the part of the government", Kunbuor stressed.
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