The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured the Ghanaian people that “those responsible for the sequence of activities that led to the ‘banking crisis’ will face the full brunt of the law if they are found to have broken the law”.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “It is not right that the overwhelming majority of ordinary Ghanaians should pay for the actions of a greedy few, without sanction.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, 15th September, 2018, when he delivered a speech at the 80th Anniversary of the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School, Legon.
The President stated that “the so-called ‘banking crisis’”, and the collapse and subsequent consolidation of some indigenous banks have been caused by the cutting of corners, circumvention of the laws, flouting and non-adherence to regulations, apparently with the complicity of senior officials of the Bank of Ghana.
The inefficient and poorly managed banks, as a result, required the robust intervention of the regulatory bodies to prevent the infection of the banking sector with these acts.
As a result, under the rigorous leadership of the current Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, the President indicated that a number of prudent measures have been taken to save and sanitise the banking sector.
“To protect the deposits of the seven defunct banks, the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, has had to issue bonds to the tune of some GH¢8 billion in favour of GCB Bank and the new Consolidated Bank, the banks that took over the operations of the seven failed banks,” he said.
The President continued, “This is in addition to liquidity support of some GH¢4.7 billion that had been provided by the Bank of Ghana to these banks over a period before their closure. In effect, GH¢12.7 billion of public funds has been injected into these seven banks, following their malfunction.”
Depositors’ savings, he said, have been safeguarded, job losses have been minimised, and a strong set of indigenous banks is being born.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated his commitment to having two performing indigenous banks in the country than to have seven weak ones, as recent examples of Nigeria, Malaysia and others have shown.
“I have no doubt that, if these measures had not been taken, the banking system would have been seriously compromised, with dire consequences for depositors and their savings. We need urgently a vibrant banking sector that can help mobilise resources to finance our industrial, agricultural and economic transformation,” he added.
This, President Akufo-Addo stressed, is the justification for the measures of the Bank of Ghana.
Powerful Past, Prosperous Present, Prominent Future
President Akufo-Addo, who was speaking on theme of the Anniversary celebration “Powerful Past, Prosperous Present, Prominent Future”, stated that alumni (ƆdadeƐs) of PRESEC, many of whom can be described as Ghana’s “Powerful Past” and “Prosperous Present” of our country, have obtained this status and renown because they had access to education.
Future ƆdadeƐs, he added, who wish to become our nation’s “Prominent Future”, can only become so, if they receive an education.
He indicated that a survey of Ghana’s immediate past reveals that between 2013 and 2016, an average, one hundred thousand (100,000) children, every year, who passed the B.E.C.E., could not take up their places in Senior High, because they could not afford the fees, even though they had the qualifications.
If this situation had persisted for a decade, one million children would have dropped out of school at the level of Junior High School, an unacceptable outcome for any nation in the 21st century.
“It would have been too dangerous for Ghana’s stability, as we would have been building a future of hopelessness for our youth. Such a situation was intolerable, and my party and I were determined to end it. That is why the Free Senior High School policy was introduced,” he added.
The Free SHS policy, in 2017 and 2018, has resulted in 270,000 more students entering Senior High School.
The Progressive People's Party (PPP) has slammed President Nana Akufo-Addo for failing to fulfill his campaign promise on the fight against corruption.
Paa Kow Ackon who is the Communications Director of the party argued that, the NPP has failed woefully in their quest to fight corruption.
Chapter 4, of the party's 2016 Manifesto he said captured good policies on corruption but after assuming office, the party has abandoned these policies and allowed corruption to go on under this administration.
"Nothing has changed under this government. The corruption cases, nepotism, friends and family system of government and clearing of persons accused of corruption have all been done under suspicious circumstances. We expected something different but what we are really witnessing today shows that nothing has changed, " he added.
What the NPP is doing today, is contrary to what they promised Ghanaians.
He recounted how former President John Mahama was accused of corruption, cronyism and nepotism but what they said about their opponent has increased in an unprecedented manner.
Meanwhile, he has said there is no difference between the NPP and NDC when it comes to nepotism, corruption and nepotism.
Deputy General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), lawyer Obiri Boahen says the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), does have the moral right to point accusing fingers at President Akufo-Addo over alleged corruption cases.
The private legal practitioner said the worst form of leadership and unprecedented cases of corruption, were recorded under former President John Dramami Mahama who failed to crack the whip on appointees implicated.
President Akufo-Addo in his view has shown leadership, commitment and faithfulness in dealing with corruption.
Speaking on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the lawyer posited that, Ghanaians would be the best judges when it comes the leader wHo has transparently led the country and made corruption unattractive.
He admonished Ghanaians to exercise patience and wait for the prosecution cases lined up against alleged corrupt officials under the previous government.
The Abeka and Lartebiokoshie sanitation courts have sentenced two persons to five months imprisonment for indiscriminate dumping of refuse on the Olusegun Obasanjo Way and Kaneshie street in contravention of Act 851 section 56 a and b of the Public Health Act 2012.
The two, Mamudu Mohammed and Kojo Boakye who are to serve three and two months jail term at the Nsawam prisons respectively were sentenced on their own plea and their inability to pay a fine of GH₵ 1,200 and GH₵360 each when they appeared before the court on Tuesday .
Head of Public Affairs at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) , Gilbert Nii Ankrah , who disclosed this in an interview with journalists said the Abeka Sanitation court also convicted Wofa Yaw, Forgive Senyo, Yayra Senyo , Yaw klutse, Esi Dogbe ,Owusu Asante, Efua Donkor, and Gladys Shabby and fined them between GH₵480 and GH₵720 for the same offence.
According to him, the accused persons were arrested by the assembly’s sanitation taskforce between Friday and Wednesday during their routine night patrols in the metropolis.
He pointed out that, the assembly as part of efforts to improve sanitation in the city, was embarking on routine cleaning in the metropolis and has deployed its taskforce to patrol the city during the night and at dawn to arrest all persons found dumping refuse illegally or defecating at unauthorised places.
He noted that, the assembly has accredited some waste management company to service specific areas within its jurisdiction and urged all residents to register for their refuse to be collected adding that this would ensure that waste collected would not end up on the streets and in drains.
He urged citizens to be disciplined and to desist from dumping into drains, unauthorised places, and littering as well as open defecation to help achieve a clean Accra.
The President, H. E. Nana Akufo-Addo cut sod for the Elmina Heritage Bay Tourism Project project which involves an enhancement of the immediate surroundings of the Elmina Castle. It includes the following; Receptive Facility that will provide a dignified welcome to visitors, a reverential garden, improved parking spaces, an event grounds, waterfront seats , busts of iconic Ghanaians, Africans and African-American, arts and craft shops and improved washrooms.
The project places emphasis on the sites UNESCO heritage status and will build on the strong participation of the Community, enhancing visitor experience in the surroundings of the Castle and Elmina in general, and drawing linkages with existing tourism inventory in the area. These include the old Dutch cemetary, Fort St Jago, Bethel Methodist church , the Elmina Fish Market and the Coconut Grove Bridgehouse.
The sod-cutting was done at a Durbar held at the forecourt of the Elmina Castle. Hon. Afeku, Minister for Tourism Arts & Culture said that the project coincides with the activities celebrating 400years since slavery which will be marked in 2019.
The President in his address praised the Minister and collaborators of the project and promised his support for the "hardworking" Minister and all she was doing.
Nana Kondua VI used the opportunity to thank the President for listening to fishermen and postponing the "off-season" fishing period. He further urged him to support him and other chiefs to take up the sanitation fight.
Hon. Catherine Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture used the opportunity to present 5% of proceeds of revenue from Elmina Castle to the Traditional Council as their share. She added that use of technology for revenue collection at attractions is part of government's efforts to bring transparency in its work.
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has taken a swipe at critics who have slammed the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the depreciation of the Ghana cedi against major currencies including the dollar.
The Vice President who mounted a spirited defense over the performance of the NPP said the rate of depreciation is much slower than previously.
Comparing the data from 2012 to 2018, Dr. Bawumia said the cedi recorded 17.5% in 2012, 14.6% in 2013, 31.3% in 2014, 15.6% in 2015, 9.6% in 2016 and 4.9% in 2017.
The fundamentals under the NPP he posited are stronger as compared to what we witnessed under the NDC.
He was speaking at the launch of the National School Entrepreneurship Initiative in the Northern Region today [Friday].
Dr. Bawumia said the slower rate of depreciation is because under the Akufo-Addo government, the 'fundamentals of the economy are getting stronger'.
He further explained that the reason why the economy is stronger under the NPP is in the increasing economic growth rate, decreasing inflation rate, decreasing fiscal deficit, decreasing debt to GDP ratio and an improving gross international reserves.
He attributed the cause of the depreciation to happening in the US economy.
According to him, the US Federal Reserve has increased interest rates which has made the dollar attractive to investors.
"You see investors moving money into the US to buy US-denominated assets" because the rewards will be much better,
This move by the US government has far-reaching global implications on the strength of other currencies, he noted.
Bawumia said Ghana's 7% depreciation shows, the managers of the economy have significantly strengthened the cedi against shocks from the dollar.
The Akufo-Addo government, he said, has done "much better than our predecessors and much better than other countries".
The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, has cut the sod for the construction of a steel manufacturing plant under the One District One Factory (1D1F) Initiative.
In line with Government’s public-private partnership module of ensuring economic stability and reducing pressure on government funds, construction of the new steel manufacturing plant will be fully funded by one of the country's long existing steel companies in the country, B5Plus with government facilitating it.
Government’s support for the project is in the area of provision of incentives to companies operating under the 1D1F initiative.
According to Hon Ahenkorah, completion of the project will help save the country a lot of forex as the country imports between 200,000 to 300,000 metric tones of steel annually.
The project when completed is expected to provide over 3,000 jobs for the country’s youth. This will shore up the already 3,000 people currently employed by the steel manufacturing company B5Plus Limited. The project when completed and made operational will also significantly help improve the country’s export revenue.
Present at the function were Hon Barbara Oteng Gyasi, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. Brender Singh Yadav and Mr. Mike Thakwani, the Chief Executive Officer of B5PlusLimited.
Some aggrieved customers of Menzgold at Kasoa in the Central region have threatened to embark on a naked demonstration should the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), fail to allow the company resume operations.
The customers who were mostly market women threatened to storm the Jubilee House naked in protest against the directive issued by SEC to Menzgold forcing them to stop operations.
The women are questioning if the president wants them to engage in prostitution in order for them to survive.
A women quizzed, ‘’I want to ask government if they want us to go out there and prostitute our bodies? That is what I want to ask President Akufo-Addo. We voted for him to assume the role as president but he has failed to give the youth jobs to do. God has brought in someone who has created jobs for us to do and government wants to close down the company. What does he [President] wants us to do if the company is shutdown?
Another aggrieved customer of Menzgold threatened, ‘’we are storming the Jubilee House naked. We voted for Nana Addo because we had hope in him. We voted for him because we trusted in him. There are no jobs and I have managed to set up my own business, gathered some money and invested it at Menzgold and now, you want to shut it down; this is not good and so we are ready to storm the Jubilee House naked.’’
The customers threatened to vote against his administration in 2020 should the challenges and issues of Menzgold be treated in a suspicious manner.
Others wondered why Menzgold is being treated ‘’unfairly’’ despite opening branches in other countries.
Meanwhile, another group calling itself Coalition of Concerned Youth have also called on the president to investigate his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta because they suspect he is in engaging suspicious dealings at the disadvantage of financial institutions in Ghana.
The group and the customers of Menzgold staged a demonstration in Kasoa today [Friday].
Management of Menzgold announced on Thursday morning that it has temporarily halted its collectables and any new business related to its gold vault market with immediate effect.
According to the company, the halt of what is also called extra value payments takes effect from today Thursday, September 13 and will be in place for six days, "by which time we believe all pending issues related to the Gold Vault Market Product would have been ironed out."
"This decision, though very unfavourable to us has been informed by our commitment to the rule of law, absolute respect to state agents, agencies and total submission to the state," the statement from the company said.
The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition comprising of organizations dedicated to the fight against corruption has issued a statement following the petition the Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Demelevo over interference in his work by Board Chair of the Audit Service, Prof. Dua Agyeman.
The statement, which was signed by all the 21 organizations under GACC, considers the allegations in the petition as troubling.
GACC in the statement said ‘’we consider these developments extremely troubling and a threat to the ongoing efforts by the Audit Service to protect the public purse and promote public accountability.’’
The statement further said: ‘’If we are going to seriously achieve a Ghana Beyond Aid we need a stronger and more committed Audit Service and Auditor-General. We hope that at the end of this process we would have taken positive steps in that direction. Yours in the service of Ghana.’’
President Nana Akufo-Addo has instructed his Secretary to look into a petition by Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo, accusing his Board Chair, Prof. Edward Dua Agyeman of interference.
Nana Asante Bediatuo has also been tasked to report the outcome of discussions between the two public officials.
Daniel Domelevo has accused Prof. Dua Agyeman, a former Auditor-General between 2001 and 2009 during the administration of John Agyekum Kufuor, and the Governing Board, of unlawfully interfering in his work.
Read Below the full statement:
The Coalition of national civil society organizations dedicated to the fight against corruption under the umbrella of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) has taken careful notice of a petition from the Auditor General, Mr. Daniel Domelevo to the President leaked to the media. The petition, which has been confirmed as authentic, raises concerns about activities of the Board Chairman of the Audit Service Board, Professor Edward Dua Agyeman and members of Board, amounting to interference with the functions of the Auditor General and in some cases represent a violation of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663). We consider these developments extremely troubling and a threat to the ongoing efforts by the Audit Service to protect the public purse and promote public accountability.
Article 187 (7) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana is very clear that in the performance of his functions the Auditor General “shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority”.
Those functions include auditing the public accounts of Ghana, all public offices including universities, courts and local assemblies. This independence is thus essential in ensuring the Auditor General carries his duties impartially, professionally and in pursuit of the public interest. Thisis why the Constitution under Article 187 (8) provides a very narrow set of circumstances for even the President to request the Auditor-General to conduct audits outside of planned audits.
The Coalition therefore finds it unfortunate that Professor Dua Agyeman, a former Auditor General himself, credited with initiating important reforms at the Audit Service that has helped in building the institution to its current level is the one implicated in this worrying situation. This scenario mirrors a number of Board – Executive impasse that has engulfed the public sector and reflect the weaknesses of our corporate governance arrangements. Notwithstanding, this general observation, the Constitution is very clear about the limited role the Board of the Audit Service should play. We have taken notice of the swift action of the President, once the matter became public, to investigate the matter and we urge that this task is undertaken with alacrity to ensure the ongoing work of the Auditor General and the morale of the Service is not affected. Finally, the Coalition wish to state unequivocally that it holds Mr. Daniel Domelevo and the staff of the Audit Service in high regard for the work they have embarked upon to ensure that our leaders are held accountable for how they utilize public resources. If we are going to seriously achieve a Ghana Beyond Aid we need a stronger and more committed Audit Service and Auditor-General. We hope that at the end of this process we would have taken positive steps in that direction. Yours in the service of Ghana.
Nana Osei-Bonsu Chair - Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), CEOPEF Beauty Emefa Narteh Executive Secretary – GACC 2. Prof. H. K. Prempeh Executive Director, Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) 3. Prof. E. GyimahBoadi Executive Director, Afrobarometer 4. Linda Ofori-Kwafo Executive Director, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) 5. Benjamin Boakye Executive Director, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) 6. Emmanuel O. Akwetey Executive Director, Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) 7. George Osei Bimpeh Country Director, SEND-Ghana 8. Kwami Ahiabenu Executive Director, Penplusbyte 9. Elizabeth Executive Director, Financial Accountability & Nkrumah Transparency-Accra (FAT-Africa) 10. Steve Manteaw Campaign Coordinator, ISODEC/CSO Oil and Gas Platform 11. Franklin Cudjoe President , IMANI – Ghana 12. Sulemana Braimah Executive Director, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) 13. Nana Afadzinu Executive Director, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) 14. Mina Mensah Regional Coordinator, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)/RTI Coalition 15. Gladys Gillian Naadu Tetteh Deputy Director, Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) 16. William Nyarko Executive Director, Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability – ACILA 17. Samuel Obeng Executive Director, Parliamentary News Africa – PNAfrica 18. Godson Aloryito Coordinator, CSO Platform on IMF 19. Frank Bodza Programmes Manager, WILDAF Ghana 20. Edem Senanu Co-Chair, Citizens Movement Against Corruption (CMaC) 21. Daphne Lariba Nabila Executive Director, Legal Resources Centre (LRC)