A Deputy Minister of Finance, John Kumah, has dismissed claims by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) suggesting that the government is in the process of introducing a recapitalisation levy for the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
The Minority in Parliament in a press conference on Tuesday, among other things, called for the resignation of the BoG Governor, Dr. Ernest Addison, and his two deputies over what it described as mismanagement after the bank posted losses totalling GHC60.81 billion for the 2022 financial year.
Reacting to the several allegations by the NDC, Dr. Kumah, in a Facebook post, pointed out that the BoG is solid and capable of performing its core function, adding that any unnecessary attack on the bank could negatively affect it and the economy at large.
“Ignore this funny NDC propaganda about the collapse of the Bank of Ghana (BoG). BoG is Solid! The NDC is funny! It’s not true that a recapitalisation levy is to be introduced for BoG; the Central Bank hasn’t collapsed,” he said.
Dr. Kumah added: “Such propaganda and unnecessary attacks at the central bank only results in increased market volatility, panic selling of assets, and can trigger chain of events that can affect our overall economic stability.”
Portions of the Deputy Minister’s post noted that the main source of income to the Bank of Ghana is from government transactions such as fees and charges on all government transfers, the bank’s investments in marketable instruments and also earnings from non-marketable holdings of the bank.
According to him, given that government transactions have gone down, naturally, the income of the bank will go down.
Beyond that, Dr. Kumah further highlighted that a negative balance sheet by a central bank is not unusual, adding that most central banks around the world run negative balances to achieve the overall economic anchor objectives of a Central Bank.
“Beyond this, the Bank is solid and is capable of performing its core function. Article 183 clause 2 (c) of the 1992 constitution enjoins the Bank of Ghana to promote and encourage economic development in the country , hence there is nothing untoward in the actions of the Central Bank to support the state in its economic recovery efforts,” he noted.
Meanwhile, speaking on Accra-based Citi News, the NPP Director of Communications, Richard Ahiagbah, also urged the public to disregard the NDC’s propaganda.
“Is the NDC trying to run the Bank of Ghana now? Is that the point they want to communicate to us, that the Bank of Ghana cannot make a decision until they refer to the NDC? This whole thing the NDC is doing is a clear distraction, clear evidence that the NDC doesn’t have any message. The relevant message any political party should communicate now is How do we strengthen this recovery, how do we make this recovery long term, how do we turn the curve and remain on a path to growth?
“The NDC must call another press conference…; this one they have done is a mistake. They should call another and tell Ghanaians their ideas to ensure this economy continues to build forward; that is where the conversation should go,” he said.
He added that the GHC60 billion losses incurred by the Bank of Ghana in its 2022 fiscal year are not unique to Ghana, saying same was being experienced by other central banks as well.
“Central banks across the world are posting heavy losses, and the NDC knows about this. The Bank of England is owed in excess, a debt on their books; the Swiss bank is also owed; this is an incident happening across the board. This is because all economies are trying to build back due to COVID-19 and Russian-Ukraine war,” he said.