Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, a former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has said that he could have been among the rich people in Ghana if he had chosen to be corrupt.
He made this remark after he was summoned by the Office of the Special Prosecutor over some alleged corruption cases involving some expenditures by the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining that he chaired.
He said that he had many opportunities to enrich himself at the expense of the public, but he did not take advantage of them because he was not a thief.
“I would be one of the very wealthy people in this country if I were a thief. If we all thought about Ghana and had the best interests of this country at heart, we would not be where we are now,” Prof Frimpong-Boateng told JoyNews in an interview.
He said that Ghana would be a better place if more people had his mindset, adding that he built the National Cardiothoracic Centre without any government funding.
“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.
“I came back from Germany and 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 added.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng said that he welcomed the OSP’s investigation and urged them not to be selective in their probes.
“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,” he stated.
He was granted bail of GH¢2 million by the OSP.