Demo against Bank of Ghana by the Minority Group, as a Subset of Parliament must be Condemned , for not exercising Sovereign Power/Duty of care by usage of Constitutional, Legal provisions or tools/ not acting in a very civilized way as per code of conduct of Hon MP in the dealing with Bank of Ghana, a subordinate Constitutional Body. Thus not acting in the interest of the nation as well as not promoting leadership and examples and lastly for actions which could cause significant damages to the integrity of Parliament.
Firstly, let me explain that constitutionally the Minority Group in or of Parliament per the 1992 Constitution is just a Governmental decision making machinery or Company or body for Yes or No votes hence the seating arrangement in Parliament with the Majority Group on the Right side of the Speaker and the Minority Group in the left side of the Speaker for Yes or No Votes to his hearing even speaks volume of that.
So the Minority Group, as a subset of Parliament, hence in public space as Parliament is not and can never be a Citizen or Citizens or human association like a Political Party, Pressure Groups, or CSO’s or Workers’ Association like the TUC with the entitlement to human rights including the right to organize a protest demo in public space against the Executive Arm of Government or Constitutional Body like the Bank of Ghana or the EC, or CHRAJ or NCCE.
It should be noted that the Minority Group in Parliament as a subset of Parliament has the Rights/Immunities and Duties as Constitutional provisions and they wield Sovereign Power precisely Legislative powers and Quasi-Legislative powers through the adhoc Committee system example Committee investigating the Chief Bugri Nabu’s Tape.
It must be understood by now that term Minority Group in Ghana’s Parliament denotes exclusively a subset of Parliament and not necessary as exclusively as the Hon MPs from one political party say the NDC Party in Parliament, who collectively are termed as the NDC’s Parliamentarian Group, as in the Constitution of the NDC, which even regard this NDC MP’s Group as a minor group or one of the internal organs of the NDC hence a subset of NDC.
So, Hon Dr Ato Forson’s and his fellow MPs on the said Demo, were NDC’s Parliamentarian Group under the control of the Executive of the NDC and not necessary the Minority Group of Parliament, which in future may include MPs from other Political Parties say the PNC or PPP or Independent MPs from the Butter Fly of Alan Cash or others who may only be in business alliance with the NDC or NPP against matters of the Executive in Parliament and will vote in unionism against any Policy from the Executive, say a tax like E-levy and may ether carry a Minority or Majority Vote in Parliament depending on which group occupies the Right side and left of the Speaker of Parliament respectively
Let me make further clarification on this matter, due to the complex and unique nature of the 1992 Constitution which defines a Presidential System of Government which allows for Independent Candidates for both the Presidential Slot and Parliamentary Slots for Constituencies in the National Election to elect the President and Members of Parliament respectively. Juxtapose this with the fact that decision making per the 1992 Constitution is based on Majoritarianism.
So, decision say in Parliament is by Majority Group’s Votes carries the Day, hence means a loss or defeat votes by the Minority Group, which per the 1992 Constitution may represent the likelihood of MPs of one Party say NDC as the current state of affairs or a coalition of MPs of opposition Parties in Parliament say made of NDC and PNC or PPP or NDC with likely affiliated Independent MPs as the Minority Group for business in Parliament only as per the seating arrangement in Parliament to capture only Yes and No Vote and no dissenting view as in the Supreme Court.
It must be stressed that due to the setting (seating arrangement for only Yes and No vote) in the Parliament of Ghana, Parliament may one day generate a coalition of MPs from more than one Political Party and or Independent MPs forming a complex Minority Group or Majority Group for Yes or No vote to only do business in Parliament but not outside Parliament.
It should be noted that the various individual Parties or MPs who may form partners Group in Parliament, will also be seeking the Citizens’ delegated Sovereign power on their own merit or tickets as PPP or PNC, Independent MP in a National election as may be in future. As such, some or all of them may not join unwarranted demo or a decoy demo as NDC’s Campaign effort to be sponsored by the NDC through remote control or manipulation as was the case in the recent demo against BOG. So, with this kind of scenario the correct label for the demo by Hon Ato Forson and his fellow NDC’s MPs will be termed as Demo by NDC’s Parliamentarians Group and not the Minority Group which as indicated is a subset of Parliament for decision making.
So, there is vast difference between Minority Group of Parliament which must denote exclusively as a minor subset of Parliament with Sovereign power (legislative power and quasi- judicial power) and any Political Party’s Parliamentarian Group say NDC’s Parliamentarian Group which as stated denotes a subset or internal organ of the NDC.
Protest or demo on the street or public space is a fundamental human Right for Citizens, individually, or collectively as a Pressure Group or as members of a Political Party or CSOs or Student or Labour Union etc for a specific course or to resolve issues. But the Protest Demo on the public spaces/streets by the Minority Group, with enormous Sovereign Power, as a subset of Parliament with Legislative power other than a protest demo by a Walkout in Parliament is very distasteful or unacceptable and unsound especially against a lesser or subordinate Constitutional Body herein Bank of Ghana.
It must be made clear to Hon Dr Ato Forson and his cohorts that the Constitutional hierarchal Organizational Structure is made up of the traditional three arms of Government namely the Legislature, Judiciary and the Executive Arm of Government which are independent from each other in decision making etc. And by the principle of separation of powers, they share equal sovereign power delegated by the Citizens, hence they are on a lateral level.
Below the Executive Arm of Government are Bodies who have independence in Decision making. They enjoy operational powers or both Administrative Powers and Operational Powers as Independent Executive Bodies or Constitutional Bodies which are collectively termed in Political Science or by Constitutionalists as the Fourth Arm of Government (Constitutional Bodies including BOG, EC, NCC, CHRAJ etc) with Duties and Rights/Condition of Service/function as per the Constitution.
It need to be stressed that both the tradition three Arms of Government and the Fourth Arm of Government are governed also by the principle of Separations of Powers thus enjoy Independent limited Executive Powers or Constitutional Powers to carry out their duties.
So, any constitutional or political or Economic question against any of the Constitutional Bodies, in this submission Bank of Ghana, (the Governor of the Bank and his two Deputies) must be through Constitutional means either at a Court of Competent Jurisdiction or by summoning BOG to Parliament for questioning by persons dubbed as Hon MPs.
The Minority Group in Parliament and their cohorts in the Academia and the Ghana Bar Association need to be educated that the patapaa (the bullying) or the Builsa way used by Hon Dr Forson and others as Minority Group may suggest an act of Hooliganism by the Minority Group,
It was an act of hooliganism because it was both unconstitutional and illegal otherwise unbecoming of persons dubbed as MPs for demeaning or degrading the Constitutional powers of Parliament whose Members have been granted Rights and Duties/Immunities by the Constitution. So, the protest Demo on the public space(s) other than a walkout in Parliament by the Minority Group, a subset of Parliament is not unwarranted it was also infantile since it showed poor leadership by Hon Dr Ato Forson and others as well.
Ato and his cohorts must be told that the Constitution attributes a set of duties, rights, privileges and immunity to Hon Members of Parliament. Furthermore, all MPs before taking Office or their Seats are required to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution and Laws of Ghana. They are also required to abide by a code of conduct for Members of Parliament especially acting in the interest of the Nation and Promoting Leadership and
Ato and his cohorts must be told that the concept of National sovereignty empowers Parliament to express its will in the framework of the competencies allocated by the Constitution So according to Sir Edmund Burke, Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from agents and advocate, against other agents, and advocates but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of a Nation with one interest that of the whole, where not local purpose, not local prejudices, ought to guide but the general good resulting the general reason of the whole.
Ato and his cohorts must be told that according to the principle of national sovereignty, MP mandate is general and general representative, General because the Hon MP must represent the Nation as a whole and should have independent opinion. So a Member of Parliament shall act according to what he thinks is right or wrong and not to be remote control by outside agent or agency say the Executive of his Political Party, which was the reason Hon Haruna Iddrisu and his team were replaced by a puppet team or stooges
Parliament is the House of the representation of the Citizens and where both the Chief Justice and the President as the Head of the other Arms of Government namely the Judiciary and the Executive pass through by vetting and swearing of the Constitutional provided Oaths respectively. So, the sanctity of Parliament should not be demeaned nor the power diluted by an incompetent leader of a sub-set of Parliament for parochial interest. This matter to be expatiated later.
So, the unwarranted demo/wrong use of a protest tool against Bank of Ghana, a subordinate Constitutional Body by the Minority Group which is substantially a subset of Parliament with superior Sovereign Power and the subsequent illogical support by a cross section of the public especially members of the academia and lawyers gave a clear state of affairs of the level of unpatriotism, dishonesty and hypocrisy otherwise incompetency in our Country. This narrative must be changed.
Before I expatiate on the subject, let me express gratitude to our dear former Head of State namely ex-President Mahama for entreating fellow Citizens who are campaigning for Military Coup, hence the overthrow of the 1992 Constitution to halt the unpatriotic demand and actions that have the tendency to motivate the likelihood of a Military Coup. A coup, as you are aware will hamper a smooth change of regimes in the democratic dispensation of the Fourth Republic of Ghana and since in less than 14 months may see his second coming or otherwise which may bring improvement of the Economy.
Our former President has thus demonstrated that he is truly a person with very good Statesmanship and Leadership qualities. This is also evidenced by being among the first set of citizens who started the campaign for the IMF Bailout.
It is in response to the good recommendation for IMF Bailout by ex-President Mahama that resulted in the GHC60.8Billion of the Balance Sheet of Bank of Ghana, technically absorbed and saved the collapse the economy and the Fourth Republic of Ghana since National Security is contingent on among other a good economic outlook.
The impairment of the GHC60.8Billion from the balance of Bank of Ghana was a heavy Price paid for public good (stability of the Fourth Republic Ghana). This was so because the GHC60.8Billion from its Balance Sheet facilitated the payment in trenches of the Balance Support payment from the IMF. Coincidentally, the IMF Bailout which helping in the booting of the economy is in line with the Core or Constitutional and legal Mandates of Bank of Ghana for Macroeconomic and financial stability and inclusive growth.
Any protest against the impairment of the GHC60Billion which technically was not the fault of BOG is a demo against ex-President Mahama as well, since he was among the people who gave the solution. As a statesman, who was/is interesting in the development of the Nation, so, notwithstanding what caused the disaster which has divided us, to him finding solutions to the problem, required urgent action to meet the conditions of the IMF and the debate on what he crisis later say in 2024. So debate on whether the economic crisis was/is caused by mismanagement of the current regime or by external factors, there was only one solution to the problem and that was/is the IMF Bailout. This is common sense.
Instead of us growing or wising up by commending both the former Head State of Ghana for his recommendation and Bank of Ghana as a shock absorber for ensuring the stability of the Cedis and the Fourth Republic but due to our Pull Him Down (PHD) syndrome, we are behaving like kindergarten school boys and Girls. Hence, no critical reasoning or common sense on the matter hence, the unwarranted demo against matters on the GHC60.8Billion by the Minority Group which as subset or part of Parliament.
It must be made clear that the august house with members dubbed as Hon Members, as the citizens representatives and among others as the approving authority of the loans and National Budget, the national duty or otherwise led to the unsustainable debt and the enactment of conflicting laws with some of which are bad or unconstitutional, so make the citizens to see Parliament as part of the main problem.
Consequently, our anger on the matter on the GHC60.8Billion of BOG technically absorbed in the Domestic Debt Restructuring Program must be directed towards Parliament, since it is the Risk Owner of the accumulated Debt of loans approved by Parliament since 1992.
Please check Section 19 of the Bank of Ghana Act 2002 (Act612) which gives 100% Emergency powers to the Governor of BOG to act with alacrity in event of Force Majeure or Emergency Situation and Section 3 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2018 (Act982) especially the clause at Section 3 that say that in event of emergency or force majeure situations, the Minister of Finance is granted the statutory authorization to suspend the clause that Bank of Ghana should not violate the 5% advance, loans etc of the previous year total revenue and his suspension of the limitation of the 5% threshold must be confirmed at Parliament within 30 days by the Minister and not the Governor. This and desire to prevent the collapse of the Economy paved the way for BOG to obey the laws passed by Parliament.
Google for Hon Mr Osafo Marfo, asked for the amendment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2018 (982). This was in 2023 after his regime has benefited from the loopholes of this law. Parliament hence Hon Forson and other were negligent or slept on their job. So, Parliament is the problem for passing ambiguous laws or failing to bite with the teeth or powers as provided by the Constitution, or failure in the usage of the principle of Separation of Powers with the associated checks and balance. So the Minority Group is part of the mess
Parliament among others, is the approving authority for National Debts or loans and this reached 110% of GDP in 2022, hence unsustainable in 2022, and a condition precedent for getting IMF support as recommended by ex-President Mahama was/is the reduction of the debt from 110% to a sustainable level of 55% of GDP, which resulted in the technical absorption of the GHC60.8Billion of the Bank of Ghana’s Balance Sheet.
Parliament is made of both Minority and Majority Groups, so the Minority Group cannot absolve Itself for the approved loans which were acquired by the Minister of Finance and added to the National debt and became unsustainable level of 110% of GDP in 2022 and funds released by BOG to the Finance Minister, which was based on the legal conditions of in event of Emergency and which truly was the case so, the Minister and BOG acted appropriately or legally as per Section 3 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 982 of 2018 and Section 19 of the Bank of Ghana Act 2002 (Act 612) due to the Force Majeure Situation.
As part of the dogma of the 1992 Constitution of Probity, Transparency and Accountability, BOG proclaimed all matters except where matters are classified as Need to Know basis/secret or confidential hence no disclosure of everything which may entail cost to the public. So, the litmus test for any wrong doing must be done by summoning Public Officer Holders, hence officials of BOG to Parliament for questioning or getting them punished by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction by Hon MPs. That is why they are dubbed as Honourable persons for them to use honest and honorable ways as expected in a civilized society in order to ensure national cohesion or good national security.
Use of a demo by a subset of Parliament which is wielded with legislative powers and with duty of care resorting to demo is demeaning, distasteful. Protest demo on the Street must be reserved for the citizens or less powerful or poor citizens or Pressure Groups including CSOs, Workers or their Union, Political parties including the NDC as a party to protest or demo their anger or demand for certain actions.
We need to find out from Parliament hence the Minority Group a subset of Parliament whether they are aware that they are part of Government that is an Arm of Government?. Well in event of a Coup, we will know the two bad boys to be sacked as Parliament and the Executive. So a subsection of Parliament as stated above has no moral and legal locus to demo on the street. Any act by Parliament other than by the Constitutional and legal tools and code of conduct is best described as an act resembling hooliganism otherwise an act which may be regarded as a violation of civilized rules or Constitutional provisions for ensuring peace and tranquility, orderliness/correctness and demeaning of nobility as Hon MP .
Let me reiterate that Hon MPs who share sovereign powers with members of the executive and the judiciary must not demean Parliament or make Parliament to appear as a subordinate Constitutional Creature to the other Arms of Government especially the Executive. So, it was very disgraceful for Parliament of Ghana through it subset (the Minority Group) subordinating Parliament to the Executive by being shepherd on the Street by Police which is an executive tool for the enforcement of the law and maintenance of peace and order. So, the failure of the Minority Group to act honorably or in an honest manner in a Civilized Society to deal with a Constitutional or legal or political or Economic/financial question should be regarded as unbecoming of Hon MPs otherwise speaks volume of the level of incompetency and or hypocrisy and dishonesty.in the Country due to the deepened political polarization with the associated racour and acrimony.
Nothing wrong with Individual MPs in solidarity with their Political Party or CSOs or ordinary citizens or member of the public or the powerless citizens participating in a protest march on the street to openly express frustration or get something done but not a subset of Parliament protesting with placards in public space against the operations of a lesser or subordinate Constitutional Body especially a Central Bank.
Individual MPs are Citizens, so they are free to demo or join others in a demo to demand accountability but not a demo by a Group from Parliament, which has quasi-judiciary powers, so are expected to act in neutral manner when dealing with national issues. There is a very good reason why the 1992 Constitution unlike the Constitution of Nigeria allows for Independent Candidates for both the Presidential and Parliamentary slots, so, the demo which had the Minority Group led by Dr Forson and with the participation of the Chairman and the General Secretary of the NDC Party depicted and thus confirmed an earlier perception that the change of the Leadership of the Minority Group was to allow the NDC Party to manipulate them, this was evidenced by the speech of the Chairman of the NDC that they may soon boycott Parliament.
The participation in the demo and the conduct of the Chairman, General Secretary and Head of Communication of NDC depicted that the demo was a decoy for NDC campaign effort, hence political. It was also very problematic because any reasonable person could tell that the mixture of the Minority Group and the National Executive of the NDC Party to deal with a constitutional question violated or dishonored the sanctity of Parliament whether wholly or subset as well as violation of political party organizational hierarchical since it was the Minority Leader who championed the cause.
The Party Executives should have therefore owned the risk or venture and not the stooge Minority Group Leadership appointed by the Party Executives so that they can manipulate them which was very clear during the demo, when the Chairman of NDC unknowingly disclosed their secret agenda to make this Country ungovernable. This was manifested by his statement that they may opt for the boycotting of Parliamentary duties thus indicative of the secret plan for sabotaging National interest for no tangible reason.
It is hoped that the Chairman of NDC goofed, hence he was/is not courting for a Military Coup, and particularly after a statement that Ghana was ripe for a Coup which he made earlier on Joy News TV. (Google for Ghana is ripe for a Coup or Ex-President Mahama reacted to Hon Mr Asiedu Nketia Coup talks). The Chairman must be told that a coup in Ghana will mean the end of the Fourth Republic, so his jokes or talks on or for a Military Coup may give a wrong impression of an attempt to sabotage the second bid of ex-President Mahama for the Presidential slot.
This thus speaks volume of the unwarranted demo in the name of the Minority Group which has legislative powers provided by the Constitution to deal with the said matters in a civilized way against Bank of Ghana as may be a motivation for a Coup, since Coup makers normally gauge or look for reason(s) that could lead to no resistance and the reception of massive support for the Coup.
As a student of risk analysis, it is envisaged that he and others have a fear that the NDC is likely to lose the Presidential election in 2024 for the third consecutive time, so a Military Coup could avert this problem. Otherwise the Chairman like Ex-President should be speaking against a coup, since the next election is to be organized in less than 14 months’ time.
It is very sad that the elite of our Society especially in the academia particularly our seasoned Professors in Political Science etc and seasoned legal brains instead of demonstrating competency in their fields combined with critical or judicious mindset on National matters related to National Security on the front burner and speak in a way to ensure national cohesion, they have either showed that they may be dishonest, may be due to political party affiliations otherwise exhibition of incompetency in linking academia and legal works with nation building in a Democracy (Republic or Democratic State) which hinges on good National Security and effective National Security, depends on among others, a good economy condition for public good or interest.
It is envisaged that it was for effective National Security that the framers of Bank of Ghana Act 2016 (Act 918) declined or did not amend or touch Section 19 of the Bank of Ghana Act 2002 (Act 612) which granted Emergency Powers to the Governor of BOG to act with alacrity in event of Force Majeure situation. Otherwise the Act 918 of 2016 is an inadequate law since it is silent on the event of Force Majeure situation. May this could be the reason Parliament in 2018 enacted the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2018 (Act 982) with section 3 which dictates on what must be done in event of a situation of force majeure as the situations were effective March 2020 exhibited.
Dr Adison the Governor of Bank of Ghana must therefore be commended for the usage of risk management tool and saved the economy from collapse or meltdown due to the force majeure situation effective 2020, thus worked for National Security as per the Constitutional mandate of BOG. So the Bank must be judged whether the actions executed were towards the achievement of the Core or Constitutional mandate of macroeconomic and financial stability and inclusive growth.
The demo by the Minority was therefore unconstitutional, illegal and uncivilized/unbecoming of a subset of Parliament (not working within the code of conduct for MPs). Since, Parliament a creature of the Constitution which Members of the House have pledged their Allegiance to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution at all times. So the Group should not have used the wrong tool which is only meant as human right tool in attempt to resolve a Constitutional question instead of the usage of the Rights and duties/immunities of Hon MPs in the dealing with the matters of Bank of Ghana, a Constitutional Creature like Parliament which the Minority Group is a subset.
A case of study for MPs should be guided with, was what happened in Sri Lanka when the Governor of the Central Bank refused to support the idea of IMF Bailout to cushion the blow from inflation and exchange headwinds
Demonstration as the term implies, among others could be a roadshow or the showcasing of products a new commodity etc, or street carnival or a protest march to demand for redress or register anger against an issue or demand specific action(s). Hence, a Protest Demo on public space cannot be a right for Parliament to deal with a constitutional question. Parliament rather has a duty.
Demo on public space is just a human right tool by which an aggrieved subordinate person or persons or subordinate institutions be it workers Association, students or CSOs etc in a Country, since they power they have is by voting right, voicing out their frustrations or by individuals holding placard to depict his or her anger to gain public support for redress/appropriate action or to seek attention by a higher authority or Company or the Government.
Once again, a demand for action/ remedy or protest Demonstration is a Democratic right or tool or technique which should be the last resort to be used by a Citizen or associations etc if persuasion failed in a civil society for expressing of public sentiments or a vehicle to express anger or to seek redress by the Citizen, worker(s), Pressure Groups like CSOs, who neither have administrative powers nor exercise the Sovereignty Powers of a Country be it executive power, legislative, or judicial nature.
Parliament is clothed with Legislative powers and to some extent quasi-judicial powers through a Committee of Parliament including investigation and inquiry matters of both national and public interest. So if the members of the Minority Group wants us to see them as patriotic citizens, then they must use proper tools spelt out as their duties and rights/immunities provided by the Constitution or Standing Orders of Parliament at all times.
Impairment of GHC60.8Billion Saga
The Government of Ghana on behalf of the Citizen’s owns Bank of Ghana (BOG). BOG holds the Account of the Government or the Citizen of Ghana and the IMF can only grant Ghana a bail out as recommended in March 2022 by Ex-President Mahama contingent on if and only if, Ghana through Bank of Ghana can reduce the Public debt accumulated since 1992 which was at 110% of GDP thus unsustainable to a sustainable debt level of 55% of GDP to buy the bailout from IMF. Dr Adison and the two Deputies in order to protect and defend the 1992 Constitution, which anchors the Fourth Republic, had to use emergency tools to prevent the collapse of the economy of Ghana, hence the BOG’s saga..
This noble acts by the Governor which prevented the likelihood of Military Coup, among others involved accounting process with GHC55.1Billion (out of the GHC60Bllion) from the Balance sheet of Bank of Ghana in accounting terms or system to clear the accumulated Public debts of Ghana since 1992.
The Bank disclosed the breakdown of the GHC60.8Billion as due to marketable stocks of government amounted to GHC16 Billion and non-marketable instrument of government amounted to GHC32.3 Billion (toxic waste or bad debts ) held in the books of Bank of Ghana since 1992 plus Bank of Ghana’s exposure to Bills of COCOBOD amounting to GHC4.7 Billion, also built over the years since 1992, so, as the result of the Domestic Debt restructuring, Bank of Ghana had to pay the price for Public good (stability of the Fourth Republic) when the Bank served as the loss or shock absorber of the entire debt exchange program. This was so, in order to meet the threshold for the approval of the IMF bailout program for actions to achieve macroeconomic and financial stability. So BOG took 80% haircut on a total principal which stood at GHC64.5 Billion, at the time of the Domestic Debt exchange based on the cedi and dollar exchange rate then.
Finally, on posting to the General Reserve Account, resulted in the overall negative equity of GHC55.1 Billion which everyone has been talking about as if it is a separate amount from or not part of the GHC60.8 Billion.
The Bank of Ghana also had a technical loss of GHC6.9 Billion in 2022 when the Cedi to dollar rate reached GHC1 to $15.00 in 2022 due to internal shocks and external shocks occasioned especially by fuel importation/purchase and our penchant for foreign goods.
BOG cannot be blamed for the nation’s woes due to the truth the fundamentals of the economy of Ghana is the problem no credible import substitution policies because Ghana is still maintaining the structures of the Sir Gordon Goggisburg Economy, hence Nkrumah’s Ghana has been importing over $2Million worth of tomatoes every month from Burkina Faso, over $2Million worth of Onion from desert Niger every month, over $1.5Billion on importation of Rice every year, not talking of $450million for fuel every month. Also over $1Billon for importing fish, so many dollars in the importation of second hand goods (broni wawu) including sexy pants and so much is spent on power etc.
Bank of Ghana made it clear that the situation did not render the inability to meet its core mandate of price stability and not affect its Constitutional mandate. The Governor indicated that the Bank was fully aware that a sustained negative equity could undermine the Bank’s Credibility; consequently, structures have been put in place to ensure the BOG remains policy solvent and capable of delivering on its primary mandate. The Bank has furthermore stated that it has sufficient funds to cover cost and build up long term capital reserves.
For historical records, It is important to state some Central Banks globally also had fair share of the negative equity. These include Israel, Germany, Czech Republic, but were able to maintain price and financial stability. Negative Equity means a Central Bank‘s liabilities exceeds its Assets.
Report from the Financial Times news dated 25 July 2023 disclosed that UK Government faced 150 Billion Pounds Bill to cover Bank of England’s losses. Singapore was reportedly posted a loss of$30.8 billion for financial year ending March 2023.
Alleged printing of new money of GHC22Billion
A Central Bank granting of money to the Government is deemed as printing money. A Central Bank say BOG’s holds the account of Government and the Government is the 100% shareholder of the Government. So, net claims including Special Drawing Right from IMF etc and dividends cannot be said as printing of new currency.
Unfortunately, the allegation was made that BOG printed fresh or new money which amounted to GHC22 Billion between January and June 2022 without knowledge of Parliament. As explained, above the Governor of BOG did no wrong if the release of this amount to the Government was budget support due to emergency situation and not normal deficit budget financing that is after section 3 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2018 was invoked due to a force majeure situation and approved by Parliament and considering Section 19 of the Bank of Ghana Act 2000 (Act612) which granted emergency powers to the Governor only not shared with his two Deputies. BOG even claimed that it was actual the net claim of Government and not new currency that was printed to the government.
According to BOG, the said GHC22.04 Billon was in the midyear review budget and was made of stocks and bonds sold by banks as per repurchase agreement plus GHC6.2 Billion as Ghana allocation of Special Drawing Right (SDR) from IMF. Also, the drawdown of government balances with BOG amounted to GHC1.6 billion from Commercial Banks and the residual amount of GHC11.4 billion was included in the GHC22.04 billion. This was an overdrawn balance on the government treasury main account held by BOG as on the reporting date which is normal matter from time to time as the auction system has been designed to ensure same day settlement of maturities and interest payments once the auction is concluded which is part of the auction system as part of the development of the local bond or the local currency market so it was/is done on rolling and continuous basis.
The Bank added that, outstanding balance has to be cleared by the end of the year and clearing is regularly done. Some of the details were proclaimed under the signature of Mrs Sandra Thompson, Secretary to the Bank of Ghana per release dated 26 July 2023 that meant Bank demonstrated Transparency and Accountability.
Justification of printing of GHC48.4 Billion to Government
BOG justify decision to print 48.4billion to government under the Fiscal Responsibility Law 2018 (Act982). It must be noted that as stated above, the Bank of Ghana Act 2016 (Act 918) especially on the fiscal policy aspect was made redundant by the conflicting law of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2018 (Act 982) by Parliament that is in event of disaster a situation not in Bank of Ghana Act 2016 (918).
In 2022, there was no option for external loan opened to Ghana due to the Capital market which was closed to Ghana in 2022, this coupled with the down grading of the Credit Rate of Ghana by International Analysts to junk status as a result of the showdown over the e-levy in Parliament, so the Minister of Finance invoked the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2018 (Act 982), thus he suspended the cacophonous issues of loan or advance to the Government not to exceed 5% of previous year GDP irrelevant, since the matter was ratified by Parliament in 2022, so Bank of Ghana acted in accordance to the power of emergency granted to the Minister of Finance duly approved by Parliament in order to prevent the collapse of the economy by adhering to its secondary constitutional mandate for supporting the development of the economy .
This imply, the Bank of Ghana as Lender of Last Resort had to aid government to avert a disorderly default of both servicing for domestic and external debt including financing critical imports to keep the economy on the stable path which was in line with the Bank’s core mandate.
Bank of Ghana New Head Office
Bank of Ghana also gave very good reasons on why the construction for the fit for purpose Headquarters, as due to the current location of the Main Offices as prone to earthquake and for other technical reasons. It also explained that the source of the fund being used for the work came from huge profit made by the Bank, which ordinary, the Bank should have handed over to the Shareholder, the Government but the Governing Board with the approval of the 100% shareholder decided to use the profit for the construction of the fit for purpose Headquarters. Additional profits were made in subsequent years and it was made clear that the Initial work started in 2019 with dedicated budget line with funds before the crisis that occasioned the economic depression.
The construction is about 50 % complete and it is providing employment to artisans/ construction elements and suppliers of construction inputs and meals and security personnel and it is going to house the subunits of the Bank and some International Institutions from which it will earn revenue in dollars.
It should also be noted that it will improve on the Landscape of Accra and thus enhance the tourist potential of Ghana with associated revenue and employment generations .It will be easily accessible hence with reduction of turnaround, hence save of fuel cost, Lastly, the old Site could be sold out or rented out to Companies for revenue hence the Project is cost effective. This submission from the comfort of my bedroom is based on the Press Releases etc of BOG, in the public domain thus a clear authentication of the Bank’s openness or Transparency and accountability to the people, the very important pillars of the Bank as a Constitutional Body, which works for public good and accountable to the people.
Governor of BOG Remarks and Confirmation by IMF
According to BOG, Structures and actions being done to return to positive equity bank and Bank remains positive solvent and discharge mandate effectively.
The IMF confirmed the loss of the GHC60.8 Billion was caused by the Domestic Debt Restructuring Program with GHC55.1 Billion for the reduction of the Public Debt to sustainable level a condition precedent for approval by the IMF Board and the balance of GHC5.7Billion was due to exchange rate movement or problem or volatility.
The Bank urged for urgent cooperation among stakeholders, citizens, MPs, the Executive, Financial institutions, business houses to ensure a strong and resilient economy. The Bank has kept to the tenets of the 1992 Constitution of Probity, Transparency and Accountability and it also met the three pillars of a Central Bank namely, Transparency, Accountability and Independent.