Those with the firm belief that the Chief Executive Officer of Engineers and Planners Company Limited, Mr. Ibrahim Mahama owns Merchant Bank now Universal Merchant Bank, West Hills Mall and other Malls in the country should revise their notes.
Mr. Mahama has stated emphatically that Merchant Bank now Universal Merchant Bank does not belong to him as Ghanaians have been made to believe.
There was hue and cry in the run-up to the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz Equity Fund.
Prior to the take-over of Merchant Bank’s 90% shares by Fortiz for GHC 90 million, members of the NPP, found it extremely intriguing that government could turn down bids from multinational companies which offered a higher sum for a lower percentage shares.
The sale of the bank developed into a running debate and majority of NPP MP’s openly voicing out their views. They raised several points but their centralized message was that the sale of Merchant Bank to Private Equity Fund, Fortiz, was simply a fraudulent deal.
Months after the acquisition, it was later re-branded to Universal Merchant Bank.
Speaking on Okay Fm’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, the E&P CEO intimated he will not buy a bank or construct shopping Malls because these two ventures are not profitable enough for a businessman like him to engage in.
“If I have money, I won’t buy a bank or build shopping malls; those are not profitable ventures. If you deal with a bank, you ask yourself why the banks exist…Merchant bank is not for me; you can go and ask the workers. You can ask the owners of Merchant Bank; I have nothing to do with the bank,” he stated.
Touching on the news of his indebtedness to Merchant Bank, Mr. Ibrahim Mahama said as at the time some NPP members accused him of collapsing the Merchant Bank as a result of the $68m debt he owed the financial institution, some of his friends in the opposition party were indebted to the bank to the tune of $200 million.
He reminded his accusers to note that he didn’t go in for the loan during his brother (President John Dramani Mahama’s) tenure as President, but rather during the era of former President Kufuor.
“…I urge those attributing my tireless efforts to make it in life…my ability to win contracts and access loan facilities…to the position of my brother, President John Mahama…to cease forthwith,” he said.
While stressing that he has already repaid the loan facility he took from Merchant Bank, Ibrahim Mahama indicated that he has developed a thick skin which makes him immune to such negative stories about him.
“I have paid my debt to Merchant Bank and they are even asking me to come and transact further business with them again but I told them no…I told them I would be interested in banking with them when John Mahama is not the President of Ghana…even if I bank with you, people will say I own the bank, so for now, I don’t want to,” he stated.