…Decries among other things, the stranglehold of Databank on government

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been petitioned by a group of concerned Ghanaians who have accused the Fund of condoning egregious misconduct on the part of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, even as his mean-streak is officially brought to attention.

Among others, Progressive Alliance Media Communicators (PAMC) has asked for an urgent voice of wisdom from the IMF, as Mr. Ofori-Atta allegedly turns Ghana’s financial market into a subculture of cronyism, while his personal bank, Databank, tightens its stranglehold on government.

“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,” PAMC wrote in a letter to the Country Director of the IMF in Ghana.

Signed by Lead Convener, Annette Enyo, the letter catalogued misconducts of the Finance Minister –from vandalizing financial regulations in the $2.25 bond issuance to Franklin Templeton, his business partners company, to being obscurantist in the usage of the Bank of Ghana to acquire the toxic assets of Capital and UT Banks, through to making government an extension of Data Bank.

“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 letter said referencing Keli Gadzekpo and Daniel Ogbamey Tetteh, both of Databank, as examples.

Keli, co-founder of Data Bank, is a Board Member of the BoG while Daniel Ogbamey Tetteh, Vice President of Data Bank, was only recently appointed Director General of the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) of Ghana.

It is worth noting that Togbe Afede, another founding member of Data Bank, is the Chairman of the Board of the National Investment Bank (NIB), on which same Board, is Lynn Allotey Gadzekpo, the sister-in-law of Keli Gadzekpo.

The Finance Minister is said to have since replaced eight senior staff at the Ministry of Finance with Data Bank people and appointed other such like Data Bank officials to the Ghana Revenue Authority.

But PAMC’s letter points out that the tainting of government with Data Bank appointees is not the worst of sins by the Finance Minister.

“The 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 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.

“The state owned Banks are not spared as there is massive interference. Recently in the absence of a board of 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.”

The group pointed out that the appointment of Alfred Ogbamey Tetteh to lead the SEC, effectively, is a way of gagging the SEC from carrying out its independent responsibilities of regulating the Financial sector, including, investigating the Finance Minister.

The group accused the IMF of condoning Ofori-Atta’s misconducts through a deafening silence on all the pertinent issues raised.

“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).”

Pointing out that the BoG has become obscurantist over the $2.25billion bond issuance and the questionable takeover of UT and Capital, the group asked the IMF to state its position on the perceived roguery going on in the sector.

“We are, surprised that under your watch the government of Ghana since 7th January, 2017, has been undermining the tenets of corporate governance in almost all its activities.

“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,” the letter said.



Source: Samuels

The Republic News Online

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