Former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, says he would have been counted among the wealthy if he were a thief.
His comment came after he was invited by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for alleged corruption-related cases regarding certain expenditures by the defunct Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining he chaired.
He stated that he could have amassed a lot of money when the opportunity presented itself, but he could not dip his hands into the public purse.
“If I were a thief, I would be one of the very wealthy people in this country. If we all thought about Ghana and had the best interests of this country at heart, we would not be where we are now,” Professor Frimpong-Boateng said in an interview with JoyNews.
He indicated that the country would be a better place if more people had the mindset he has, adding that he single-handedly built the National Cardiothoracic Centre without a pesewa from the state.
“If people behaved like I have done, this country would not be the way it is. I built a whole hospital and trained people, added structures and systems to Korle Bu with internally generated funds, and changed the way the Ghana Red Cross operates. As a minister, I introduced a lot of things that, if they had been pursued, we would have made a lot of changes in this country,” he said.
“Since I came from Germany, I planned the National Cardiothoracic Centre at the age of 39 and built this centre without a single cedi contribution from the government. I am talking about the building, and I have done many things, all in the interest of this country. I never thought about myself,” he said.
Professor Frimpong-Boateng described as legitimate the OSP’s probe suggesting to the OSP not to be selective in its investigations.
“These are monies belonging to the people, therefore we should all account for our stewardship wherever we are. If I have done anything wrong, I stand to go before the court and answer these questions and this should apply to everyone.
“Those in charge now should know at some point they will be at the other end. if you are on one side of the table, another time you will be at the other end and also receiving questions. Whatever we are doing, we should do it in the interest for Ghana. If you do things without any selfish interest, then this country will be a better place,” the former Minster stated.
He was granted a GH¢2 million bail.