Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
VICE-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Tuesday stripped members of
the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) naked as he questioned the
genuineness of their newly found care for the country’s indigenous firms,
describing it as ‘quite baffling’.
He said criticism by the NDC members of the financial sector clean-up carried out by the
central bank was strange, given the number of indigenous firms that collapsed
under four years of ‘dumsor’ (persistent, irregular and unpredictable electric
power outage) under the watch of former
President John Dramani Mahama and his NDC government.
The former President and his party members have chastised the
clean-up exercise, which led to the revocation of the licences of nine banks,
23 savings and loans and 386 microfinance companies.
The Vice-President insisted at a town hall meeting in Kumasi on
Tuesday that the exercise was a necessary evil to save the savings of 4.6
million depositors and over 10,000 jobs.
According to him, the government’s intervention to ensure an orderly
exit of the failed institutions had provided ”over a million depositors”
access to their deposit funds already…
Dr. Bawumia disclosed that salaries and benefits of employees, which
the defunct institutions again failed to honour, had been paid or were being
paid by the receivers.
“The Bank of Ghana did not do so just because they felt it was
time to create suffering for depositors and difficulties for the owners of
those institutions, as the NDC is forcing us to believe.
“Rather, the central bank did this to protect the financial
system and save the hard-earned monies of hard-working men and women like those
bustling at Suame Magazine, Kumasi Market and Adum right now as I speak,” he said.
The Vice-President said the affected financial institutions were
dead and in many cases were not even paying their depositors or employees at
all or regularly, indicating that there were countless instances where some
customers would travel several kilometres for just a GH¢200 withdrawal and they
were told to go and come another day.
Dr. Bawumia said the swift and decisive action taken by the new
management team at the Bank of Ghana provided relief for the financial system
as a whole through the funds provided by government for depositor payouts.
“Let us remember that the failures of financial institutions
that we have witnessed were a direct result of a system of poor licensing,
non-existent capital, weak corporate governance characterized by related party
transactions, political influence peddling, among other things. This has hurt
so many innocent people – depositors and employees,” he stressed.
The Vice-President stated that the NDC government and the previous
management of the central bank had ample time to address the impending
failures, indicating that they were aware of the problems in 2015 in the case
of banks, and as far back as 2012 in the case of savings and loans and micro
finance companies but they simply did not care about the
Dr. Bawumia stated that Ghanaians should never forget that under the NDC, the country had the messy liquidation of the BCCI in 1999, and the closure and liquidation by the Bank of Ghana in the year 2000 of the Co-operative Bank and Bank for Housing and Construction, the collapse of infamous DKM, and the proliferation of unlicensed financial services such as Pyram and R-5, God is Love fan club, Menzgold, and others that took advantage of their customers.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi