Ghana perhaps, could be sitting on a goldmine, but still poor and debt-ridden. The controversial goldmine is the Oman Ghana Trust Account, which is believed to have a colossal $800 billion or in excess of $3.2 trillion in it, says Gregg Frazier; the man who holds the key to the account.
On Thursday, January 29, Mr. Frazier stormed Public Agenda's office with a pile of documents to prove that Ghana had more than $800 billion sitting in account number 17-46-041 at the United Bank of Switzerland.
Mr. Frazier lamented that he has spent the last three decades or more trying to persuade successive governments to go for the money, but all his efforts have failed partly due to official diffidence or what he calls 'mis-steps' and mistakes in the retrieval of the Oman Ghana monies.
Officially, it is estimated Ghana's external debts are about $ 7 billion, a tiny proportion of the huge $800 billion of Ghana's money supposedly sitting in the Swiss Bank. Viewed against a current account deficit of 13.2 percent and a decline in investment and manufacturing by 2.3 percent, according to the current government, it makes sense for the government to get to the bottom of the issue.
In ensuring that a new chapter is opened on the issue, Frazier earlier this week presented documentary evidence to the current Chief of Staff, Mr. John Martey Newman who promised to get back to him after reading the documents. 'I am challenging the Mills Administration to go for the money, if the bank says there is no Oman Ghana Trust Money in the account, I am prepared to go to jail for deceiving the people and the Government of Ghana."
According to Frazier, the Oman Ghana concept was started by African and Africa-American investors to kick- start Africa's development using Ghana as a launching pad. He says it was a 49-year development plan, with the first seven years devoted to establishing and developing 27 corporations in Ghana. The subsequent 42 years would have seen the extension of the 27 Ghanaian corporations into new independent African countries to help develop their infrastructure in exchange for commodities they have comparative advantage in. But unfortunately, Ghana's first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah did not stay in office to ensure the maturation of the plan.
Frazier says emphatically that he is the only surviving person with full knowledge of the source of the present day quantum and the mandatory code numbers and words to access the fund. He says by the mandatory instructions of the Trust Document accompanying the opening of the Oman Ghana Fund, the fund belongs to no single person, but the Government of Ghana.
This explains why he has been trying to persuade successive governments to pursue the money, all to no avail. Frazier recalls that in November 1986, in the company of Attorney General, John Mitchell and himself, the late Mr. Blay Miezah brokered a deal with United Bank of Switzerland to transfer an amount of $47 billion into a current account out of a fixed deposit account. He says at that meeting the bankers produced a ledger showing assets in excess of $400 billion, representing the accumulated deposits of all Ghana's accounts. These monies, according to him were held in six fixed deposit accounts and one current account which bear the same number and are accessible by the same code words. 'I alone know the code words, which I am prepared to disclose upon substantial agreement between myself and Ghana."
He alleges that in 2003 and 2007, the Kufuor-administration after obtaining some preliminary information from him, sent a highly powered delegation led by Mr. J.H. Mensah to Switzerland and tried to access the funds behind him, but they failed because they did not have the code words.
"The bank knows and will demand and insist on full compliance with the original instructions issued by the Republic of Ghana in 1959 to the UBS to enable the funds to be accessed. The instructions are that first; the 'sitting president 'of the Republic of Ghana is the sole Trustee of all the funds known in the Oman Ghana Trust Fund. 'President Atta Mills alone, as sitting President has the authority to access these funds", he stressed. But the President can delegate an individual who is at least 65 years to act on his behalf, according to him. More on this in subsequent editions.