Address the nation on the issues of Bank of Ghana – Ato Forson tells Akufo-Addo

Dr. Cassiel Forson, the Minority Leader, has called upon President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to publicly discuss the GHS¢60.8 billion deficit incurred by the Bank of Ghana.

In a tweet, he urged the president to “clearly state the decisive measures the government intends to implement in order to restore the financial stability of the Bank of Ghana.” These remarks were made despite the Bank of Ghana’s assurances to important stakeholders and the general public that it has maintained the highest standards of responsible management, governance, and transparent financial and audit practices.

The Bank, classifying itself as a non-commercial institution, indicated that its financial outcomes have minimal impact on its day-to-day operations. This clarification was provided shortly after the primary opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Governor, Dr. Ernest Yedu Addison, and his deputies – Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari and Elsie Addo Awadzi – demanding their resignation.

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The NDC announced that all of its Members of Parliament (MPs) would march to the Central Bank’s headquarters within the stated period to demand the resignation of the Governor and the Deputy Governors. This call was prompted by the GHS¢60.8 billion loss documented in the Bank’s 2022 Annual Report and Financial Statement.

However, in a statement released on Wednesday, August 9, the Central Bank explained that it had acted as a buffer for absorbing losses on behalf of the country. It further elaborated: “Consequently, the yields on Ghanaian bonds increased, indicating that investors were dissatisfied with the fiscal policy approach. The 2022 Budget, presented in 2021, failed to effectively address fiscal concerns, as it adopted an even more expansionary stance by approximately 23%, accompanied by a range of revenue measures to raise funds.”

“We have to get this Governor out and let us have a new Governor,” said Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson on Tuesday, August 8.

“If we allow him to stay in the office, we will set bad precedence for future managers to do the same.

“He has messed us so much that we cannot wait to see his back.”

This is as a result of the GH¢60.8 billion loss recorded in the 2022 Annual Report and Financial Statement of the Bank.

But in the statement on Wednesday, August 9, the Central Bank explained that it rather acted as a loss absorber for the country.

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“It is important to put the Bank of Ghana’s 2022 financial results in proper context with a clear statement of the problem that Ghana faced and the chronology of events in Ghana since 2019.

“There was a clear mismatch between revenue inflows and expenditure financed in 2020 by
exceptional support from the IMF and World Bank resources, and in addition to financing from
the Bank of Ghana through the issuance of the GHS10 billion Covid-19 bond.”

It continued: “As a result, sovereign spreads on Ghana bonds widened, signalling investor dissatisfaction with the stance of fiscal policy. The Budget for 2022, which was read in 2021, failed to address fiscal concerns as the Budget was even more expansionary by about 23% with a raft of revenue measures to raise financing.

“As a result, the Credit Rating Agencies further downgraded Ghana’s sovereign debt rating, which blocked Ghana’s access to international capital market borrowing.”

It said central banks across the globe recorded price and exchange rate movements which led to “a loss of GH¢5.2 billion whiles impairments of Cocobod loans amounted to GH¢4.7 billion”.

“This is the reason the Bank of Ghana reported a loss of GH¢60 billion in 2022.

“Central banks are not commercial banks. This financial outcome has very little implication for the operations of the Bank of Ghana as supported by evidence from other central banks.”

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