Former President John Dramani Mahama has launched a scathing attack on Dr. Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), accusing him of attempting to conceal mismanagement at the central bank by using the Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE) as a cover.
Mr. Mahama, the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), launched his attacks in response to the central bank’s explanation that a significant portion of its GH¢60 billion losses reported in the fiscal year 2022 (GH¢53.1 billion) was a direct result of the government’s domestic debt restructuring exercise.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the BoG stated that the Domestic Debt Exchange, a critical component of the corrective strategy stipulated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, did not meet the expected goals.
It indicated that the objective was to reduce the stock of government debt by half, from 105 percent of GDP to 55 percent of GDP by 2028.
“Despite the negative effects on households and banks, the targeted threshold of 55 percent of GDP was not reached. The Bank of Ghana played a role in bridging this gap to enable Ghana to meet the debt threshold that qualified the country for the IMF programme,” the central bank explained.
The statement added that consequently, the Bank of Ghana absorbed the “associated losses.”
However, in response to the BoG statement, Mr. Mahama stated that the Governor had ruined the central bank by allowing himself to be dictated to by the government, referring to him as a pliant.
“An incompetent Finance Minister damages the economy and uses COVID-19 and Ukraine/Russia war as cover-ups. A pliant Governor destroys the Central Bank and seeks to use the Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE) as a cover,” the NDC flagbearer posted on social media.
Earlier on, the Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson called for the immediate resignation of the BoG Governor and his deputies.
“We call for the immediate resignation of the Governor of the Central Bank and his deputies within 21 days from today,” he demanded during the NDC’s “Moment of Truth” address on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at the party’s headquarters.
The Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam MP chastised Dr. Addison for spending $250 million on a new head office while the apex bank struggled to stay afloat.
“Perhaps the more troubling fact is that having brought the Bank of Ghana to this terrible financial state, the Governor and his deputies have found it prudent and expedient to invest $250 million (¢2.8 billion) on another head office building somewhere at Ridge.
“In our circumstances, this is the height of insensitivity in the management of the finances of a troubled country,” he asserted.
By Ernest Kofi Adu