The Managing Director (MD) of Japan Motors Trading Company Ltd, Salem Kalmoni, has denied paying money to sit at the high table with President Nana Akufo-Addo at a recent event.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Mr. Kalmoni stated, “Absolutely zero, not one cedi. I was on the table, a few seats away from the president””
He also denied paying to have his company awarded on the day, emphasizing that, “We did not pay anything and we were awarded and looking back I think we deserve it as a company”.
His reactions followed accusations by the Minority in parliament that some members of current government charged up to $100,000 for participants at an awards ceremony organized by the Millennium Excellence Foundation to sit by the president .
The minority had further alleged that the expatriates who were able to fork this amount were those who sat closer to the President at the high table.
On the award to his company, Mr. Kalmoni disclosed that, “I think it is new, an award to honour expatriates and natural expatriates who are part of the Ghanaian community and I will be supportive of such an action. There are so many awards and this is another out of the box idea and I will be supporting it.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, Mr. Victor Gbeho, has stated that some $25,000 and $100,000 charged per expatriate who sat close to Akufo-Addo at the awards ceremony were for fund raising purposes.
Ambassador Gbeho said,“The truth in the matter must come out. The figures charged were for fund raising and sponsorship but some of the companies have not even paid”.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo is reported to have invited Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen for questioning over the $100,000 for seat saga, according to Communications Director at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin.
Eugene Arhin said,“…We want to be clear that we heard it just like almost everybody from the MP for Asawase on the floor of parliament and also through the media. The president had no knowledge whatsoever about the fact that people were being charged $100,000 to sit by him on a table, he had no idea whatsoever.”
Mr Arhin said “the president will make a final decision on that matter”, once Mr Kyerematen has briefed him on Wednesday, 20 December.