Economist, Mr Jelili Jerry Afolabi has called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to consolidate a team of experts to probe and prosecute all offenders who contributed to the collapse of some seven local banks.
Reacting to the Bank of Ghana report on the collapse of Capital and UT banks, the economist told Kwame Tutu that, the issues and allegations from the report is not only criminal but condemnable.
The faces and figures behind the saga he noted are respected persons in society and for them to be implicated in the banking brouhaha raises a lot of questions.
The issues he indicated would have serious implications for the country and paint Ghana in a bad light globally.
‘’I will be surprised if they [culprits] get away with this. It is criminal, it is not acceptable and totally condemnable. It is a serious indictment for the integrity and credibility for the country Ghana.’’
For him, we should not look at the issues from only the Capital and UT banks perspective because we are looking at the country Ghana and how the international world looks at the country Ghana.
Mr Afolabi said: ‘‘your financial system determines your wellbeing as a country. And so, if things like these are going on in your financial sector as a the country, don’t expect any serious investor to bring his money…If the banking sector system is so corrupt and preside over fraudulent activities like this, then Ghana as a nation should be ashamed.’’
A Bank of Ghana report has indicated that Capital Bank failed to use an amount of GHC195 million to revive the ailing bank.
While still under distress but having received the bail-out, the board approved an expenditure of ¢2.6M and $50,000 on “re-branding.” The board also “ratified” a proposal to increase the fees and benefits of directors, including two first and business class air tickets for all members of the board. The publication is also indicating that some 130m was transferred to Alltime Capital, a transfer that needed some explanation from the CEO Ato Essien who said the transfers were "strategic," and “highly classified information.” The transfers were expected back into the bank by March 2016 - in five months, he said with additional assurance from the chairman, Dr. Mensa Otabil. Alltime Capital, all this time, was however acting as an arranger for the transfer of the ¢130m to two other companies.
Reacting to the issues, Mr Afolabi stated that he had received calls from friends from other countries abroad who have expressed shock.
‘’I am telling you how Ghanaians would be described by foreigners when we travel most especially the president. He would be seen as someone presiding over scandals in the financial sector in his country.’’
‘’They are reading these things because it has gone viral,’’ he added.
He added: ‘’President Akufo-Addo as a lawyer should consolidate a team and deal with these people drastically. You have to do it to send a damage control report to the international world. You have caused a total mess in your financial institution. Banks are collapsing; seven banks within two years. That is one; it is a wrong signal to the international world. Secondly, it comes out that; it did not just collapse, but it is out of ignorance and out of the selfish interest of management and directors who were supposed to be presiding over these banks.