A group called the Progressive Alliance Media Communicators (PAMC) has petitioned the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, USA, over what they describe as “painful developments in the financial market” in Ghana.
Ghana is a member of the IMF and the fund is currently guiding the Government of Ghana under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme which was expected to end in April 2018 but has been extended into 2019.
The programme, among others, is designed to achieve improved reforms in key institutions including Bank of Ghana and the financial sector.
But PAMC, in their petition, said they are surprised that under the watch of the IMF “the government of Ghana since 7th January 2017 has been undermining the tenets of corporate governance in almost all its activities”.
According to the group, government, through the Ministry of Finance, did not follow the constitutional requirement for the issuance of the $2.25billion bond and also did not comply with the requirements of the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) Act.
“The Finance Minister, in particular, is facing conflict of interest investigation with USA SEC, Ghanaian SEC and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in Ghana. There are a number of business associates and family members occupying key financial market regulatory institutions such as Bank of Ghana, National Insurance Commission and SEC. The state-owned banks are not spared as there is massive interference. Recently, in the absence of a board at the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), the Minister of Finance personally approved a GHC10million credit to a private firm on behalf of ADB. It is also believed that this interference in the credit management of banks will affect many loans from January 7, 2017 till August 2017. This means many loans have been granted without the actual approval of Board of Directors of commercial banks such as GCB, NIB and ADB.
“Finally, the Finance Minister has today appointed his close business partner and friend who, until today, was Vice President of his Data Bank to serve as the Executive Director of the SEC which is expected to investigate the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta. We are losing hope as the IMF seems not concerned about all these developments. This is not good governance. In the takeover of the Capital Bank and UT Bank, again the SEC law and the Companies Act were violated, with applause from you (IMF).
“We are drawing your attention to these painful developments in the financial market in Ghana under your watch and to let us know why you are allowing the Minister of Finance and the government engage in hardcore disregard for corporate governance rules in the financial sector of Ghana. Now the Bank of Ghana is becoming very arrogant and unwilling to provide information about the $2.25billion bond and the takeover of the two banks by GCB without approval by the shareholders as required by law.
“Your urgent comment on these matters is requested unless you approve of the dangerous corporate governance roadmap by the Finance Minister, Bank of Ghana and the Government of Ghana,” the statement said.