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Saturday, March 2, 2024

BoG’s GH¢60.81bn loss will lead to cuts in some important operations

Dr. John Kwakye, the Director of Research at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), has criticized the New Patriotic Party flagbearer, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, for describing the GH¢60.81 billion losses the Bank of Ghana posted for the year 2022 as only technical losses.

The economic researcher said the losses will lead to cuts in some important operations of the Bank in its attempts to save costs.

In a piece titled “Dr. Bawumia’s Speech: Turning an Impossibility into the Possibility?” Dr. Kwakye said some of the immediate effects of the loss are the fluctuating inflationary figures the country is experiencing.

“Dr. Bawumia said BoG’s action was responsible and that it was temporary, as the Bank had advanced money to Government in only two of the past seven years. The Minister of Finance had expressed similar sentiments in the past, which was not surprising because Government was the direct beneficiary of the monetary financing.

“However, as central bankers, we know that the most inflationary source of financing the budget is high-powered money coming directly from the central bank vault. It is not the fact that BoG advanced money to Government that is the issue, for the Bank’s Act provides for such advances up to 5% of the previous year’s revenue. It is the magnitude of the advance—over 50% of the previous year’s revenue—that is disturbing. It is no wonder inflation peaked at 54.1% in 2022—and depreciation ballooned to 54.2% in November 2022, before falling bank to 30.0% in December 2022. Meanwhile, as Government debt to BoG was also discounted under the DDEP, the Bank made a whopping loss of GHS61 billion and a record negative equity of GHS54 billion in 2022.”

Dr. Kwakye argued that though the Finance Minister Ken Ofor-Atta and the BoG downplayed the loss, the country’s balance sheet has been severely impacted.

“Both the Minister and the Governor seem to have played down the loss as only a technical loss. However, the fact is that the Bank’s balance sheet has been severely impacted, and this would force it to cut back on some of its important operations so as to save costs.”

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