Business News of Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Source: Economy Tribune
Source: Felix Dela Klutse/Economic Tribune
ACCRA, Jan. 21 (Economy Tribune)-- There are clear indications that current Acting Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Henry Kofi Akpenamawu Wampah, could for the second time in four years be by-passed in the selection of a substantive head of Ghana’s Central Bank.
Should Wampah be dropped, it would neither be due to non-qualification, inefficiency nor anything he may have done wrong, but simply because he has no strong lobbyists like his other competitor.
Credible information Economic Tribune has been working on since October 2012 indicates that immediately after the demise of President John Evans Atta Mills, the Northern Caucus in the ruling National Democratic Congress swung into top gear, lobbying to see their compatriot, Alhassan Andani, Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, as the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
“The lobbying got so intense that non-northerners, who were seen as friends of the north with close ties to President John Dramani Mahama, were even approached to help in the lobbying process for the brilliant and relatively young top banker,” a source at Castle, who pleaded anonymity, told Economic Tribune.
Although the attempt to name a substantive governor was to have been done late last year, the decision was shelved upon advice that every appointment was withheld till after the elections.
After elections however, Mr. Andani’s name was dropped as one of the possible candidates for the Finance Minister position, with many believing that his close association with the president would give him some advantage over Mr. Seth Tekper, the hard working deputy minister.
However, when the list of the first batch of ministerial nominees came out some few weeks ago, the Stanbic boss’s name was conspicuously missing, with Tekper firmly named as Minister of Finance and Economic Planning-designate.
This development has set tongues wagging in various places where the belief is that whereas a non-economist could succeed as finance minister such as was the case with Yaw Osafo Marfo, this is impossible at the Central Bank, where the country’s monetary policy formulation, implementation and management are some of the key responsibilities.
Many stakeholders are apprehensive that having been “denied” the finance minister position, Mr. Andani could be compensated with the BoG chair. There are further speculations that, the lobbyists may have put out his name as a possible candidate for the exchequer job knowing he was not being considered for it, in order to create a morally difficult situation for the president.
Some believe that the affable banker is over-qualified for a ministerial position, adding that, at Stanbic, he is already in a very prestigious job, and wonder why he needs a government appointment.
Others think the Stanbic MD’s sterling capabilities would better be utilized at the National Investment Bank (NIB), one of the state banks which has not been doing particularly well, to inject some dynamism there.
“He must leave the Central Bank job for specialist monetary policy experts to deal with since the job there is far different from just banking and finance,” a source told this paper.
When reached for comments, the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Analysis, a policy think-tank, Dr Joe Abbey advised the president to maintain Dr Wampah as the Governor regarding the fact that he has been working at the Central Bank over the past 20 years.
“He is very solid, competent and highly qualified for the job and I believe he will do a good job when given the opportunity,” Dr Abbey stated.
Speculations about Mr. Andani’s quest to occupy the most prestigious banking seat in Ghana are not new as this came up during the Mills administration in 2009. At that time, Dr Wampah was highly tipped to take over from Dr Paul Acquah but a twist of events saw the current Vice President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur being sent to BoG where he chalked remarkable success.
Both gentlemen are highly qualified and experienced individuals between whom, if the selection committee and the president adopt an open mind approach would have some difficulty to choose.
Mr. Alhassan Andani Mr. Alhassan Andani is transformational leader with the kind of passion and drive that has led him to become one of the nation’s greatest leaders in the banking industry. Andani holds a certificate in International Management from INSEAD, France in 1999, a Master’s Degree in Banking and Finance from FINAFRICA, Milan Italy in 1992 and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Ghana Legon in 1984.
He has track record exceeding 25 years in the banking industry, having previously worked as a Project Officer for SG-SSB in 1987 and rising to become Regional Project Manager (Upper Region) and Credit Officer between 1990 and 1993. In August 1993, he joined Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Ltd as an Accounts Relations Manager and moved on to become the Regional Manager for Domestic Corporate (Accra). In 2000 Andani joined Barclays Bank Ghana Limited as the Executive Director for Corporate Banking.
He was appointed as the Deputy Managing Director of the Bank in 2004. Throughout his tenure as Corporate Director in Barclays, he successfully led the team to win the mandate for arranging the pre export receivables backed financing for Ghana COCOBOD and several other important transactions notable among them the expansion programme at Cocoa Processing, Ministry of Defence, UN Peace Keeping operations, Government equity participation of approximately $96m in the West African Pipeline project. In July 2005 he was appointed as the Director of Non Presence countries in the Bank’s African Head Office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Andani became the Managing Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana after he was head hunted by the Standard Bank Group. Thus leading in the transformation of the Bank from a mere small operation with a profit size of GHC1.6M and ranked 18th position to the current GHS15m ranking 6th position. The Bank was regarded as a small bank with a branch network of 4 and was not known to many Ghanaians. The branch network has increased from four in 2006 to 22. He is the first Ghanaian Managing Director of the Bank since its inception in December 1999. In summary, the tenure of Andani has witnessed significant growth in profitability, branch network expansion, cohesive management team and above all the Bank has become visible in the corporate Ghana and also relevant to the economy of Ghanaian. Outside of the bank, Andani’s activities include his active participation as a member of the Ghana Rotary Club. He loves sports, in particular, golf and soccer. This is evident in his support and participation in the affairs of the Ghana Olympics Committee. Andani interests also include reading with a scope that extends beyond banking to motivational and leadership.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of Stanbic Bank Ghana Ltd, Ghana Home Loans Company Ltd, the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of which he performs the role of Chairman and the J. A. Group of Companies. He is also the Board Chairman of SADEC and Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA). Andani is a philanthropist and has contributed immensely to a number of institutions, families and individuals. He is seen as role model of the youth. He is an inspirational leader and has a passion to develop private sector.
Dr Henry Wampah Dr Henry Wampah has taken office as the Acting Governor of the Bank of Ghana following his appointment by His Excellency the President, John Dramani Mahama late last year. Prior to his appointment, Dr. H. A. K. Wampah was the First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank. He was also the Director of the Research and Statistics Department of the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), responsible for the overall supervision and coordination of the work programme of the Department.
He supervised the planning and implementation of the Macroeconomic Convergence monitoring programme of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), and was extensively involved in preparing the five member countries of the zone (The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) for monetary union, in the areas of macroeconomic convergence and policy harmonization (monetary policy, statistics, fiscal policy and exchange rate management).
Dr. Wampah was the Head of the Research Department of Bank of Ghana, a position he held for five years from February 1996 to February 2001 until he went on secondment to WAMI. He served the Bank of Ghana in various capacities as Head of the Statistics Office and Head of the Public Finance Office of the Research Department. He began his career at the Bank of Ghana in September 1986 as a Deputy Manager and rose through the ranks to become a Director in 2006.
Whilst still with the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Wampah worked at the International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC as a Special Appointee from May to December 1998, with the Monetary Operations Division of the Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department and the Africa Department. He participated in the Technical Assistance Mission on Monetary Operations and Banking Soundness to the Gambia, and also worked on a project on economic integration in East Africa.
Dr. Wampah has a background in teaching, having held various teaching appointments with McGill University, Montreal, Canada and the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, Legon in the areas of economic statistics and mathematics. He has participated in many international conferences and seminars and has authored a number of publications and working papers.
He obtained a B.A. (Hons) Economics and Statistics degree in 1977 from University of Ghana, Legon, and both a Masters’ degree (1983) and a PhD (1986) in Economics with specializations in econometrics and public finance from McGill University. He had his secondary education at Hohoe E. P. Secondary School (GCE ‘O’ Level) and Konongo-Odumase Secondary School (GCE ‘A’ Level). Dr. Wampah is married with six (6) children.