General News of Thursday, 26 January 2017
The Member of Parliament for Asunafo South, who was a Minister for the Brong Ahafo Region under the John Mahama administration, has challenged President Nana Akufo-Addo, to fulfill what he calls a promise made to hundreds of DKM Microfinance customers, whose investments were locked up in what some have described as one of the largest microfinance scams in the country.
According to the MP, Eric Opoku, President Akufo-Addo, during his campaign for the Presidency as the New Patriotic Party Flagbearer, promised that all the victims of the DKM scam would be paid in full.
Mr. Opoku, a National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP, however believes that indications from the Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori Atta, are that the NPP may not commit to the promise.
When Mr. Ofori Atta appeared before the Parliament’s Appointments Committee, he insisted that, no such promise of refund to DKM customers was captured in the NPP’s manifesto.
“So I asked him a question about the amount involved and the preparations underway to ensure that these people are paid, and he responded by saying that, that is not captured in their manifesto,” the MP noted.
Mr. Opoku subsequently raised his concerns on the floor of Parliament, but some NPP MPs questioned the relevance of his submission.
The MP, however maintained that, he is simply trying to ensure accountability on the part of President Akufo-Addo and the NPP government. “The issue is that, when you promise, you must deliver… so long us you have made a promise, you must ensure that promise is redeemed and that is exactly what I trying to do now,” Mr. Opoku stated.
I can’t be blamed for DKM saga
Mr. Opoku, also debunked claims that he allowed the DKM scandal to fester with his inaction given that he was the Chair of the Regional Security Council.
According to him, “the Regional Coordinating Council does not supervise microfinance institutions. It is the Bank of Ghana (BoG) that supervises microfinance institutions.”
“When we realized that they were being cheated, we had to look into how we could save the situation, and that is the reason why we had several security meetings with the bank of Ghana, and ensured that they came up with a road map to pay them.”
Background to DKM saga
Thousands of customers of DKM Microfinance Company lost their investments, running into millions of cedis, after the owners of the company invested in unapproved ventures and lost their funds. Customers of the company thronged to all the branches to withdraw their funds after the news went viral, creating a panic situation.
The Bank of Ghana confiscated the assets of the company and appointed the Registrar General’s Department to commence liquidation process to refund customers of the company. The process to refund some of customers is underway, although it is facing some challenges.