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General News of Monday, 9 September 2019

Source: My News GH

Government exposed over GH¢800m GAT cash

Contrary to earlier claims by the government that is not providing some GH¢800 million to the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) to support NIB and ADB, it is emerging that such a move has actually been initiated.

The minority in parliament through its spokesperson on Finance Isaac Adongo last Tuesday accused the government of illegally doling out funds to the tune of 800 million Ghana cedis to the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT), a special purpose vehicle meant to provide support to solvent but challenged local banks with funds from private individuals.

“Government later came to Parliament to seek a sovereign guarantee of GH¢2 billion to enable GAT borrow on the market to fund the equity in the selected banks. Today, we are told that government has given GH¢800 million to GAT to buy shares in NIB. The question we ask is why will Government give its money to GAT to come buy government’s own bank? This is unbelievable. We call on Government to halt all activities relating to its funding of GAT as this is illegal and not approved by Parliament” the statement said.

Mr Adongo further stated it was the Vice President who announced that government is giving the stated amount of cash to GAT, contrary to its earlier objective that it was a private initiative. A move the minority described as dishonest on the part of government.

The claims of the minority was however discounted by spokesperson for the Vice President who challenged the minority to provide evidence of the announcement by the Vice President and stated emphatically on Joy Fm’s Top Story monitored by that “I think this time around Mr Adongo was with the Vice President more than me. I work with the Vice President and I move with him all the time and I have never heard the Vice President make such statement…so it is not surprising to me that he (Adongo) is unable to prove. That is what they do, they just lie and when you put them to fact check they tell you they will provide the evidence. You had a written press statement and you read it to the hearing of every Ghanaian. How many hours from now since you read the statement and still you cannot provide evidence to buttress claims that he has made? He (Adongo) is a member of parliament? Jesus Christ that is unacceptable and this level of lying should not be tolerated in our body politic,” Dr Gideon Boako stated.

It however emerged that Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at an event to launch a $5 billion housing project in Accra a week earlier disclosed that government is funding GAT with GH¢ 800 million.

Dr Bawumia said “Bank of Ghana’s directive to banks to increase their minimum capital requirement to 400 million Ghana cedis by December 2018 has been successful and the government’s decision to provide some 800 million to the Ghana Amalgamated Trust for it to capitalise indigenous banks that were insolvent and well governed and managed is progressing and would further bolster confidence in the indigenous banks”.

On 5th January 2019, government in a statement said “based on the committee’s recommendation an adviser was appointed to facilitate the setting up of a Special Purpose Vehicle – The Ghana Amalgamated Trust with the objective of raising funds from the private sector mainly pension funds to support eligible indigenous banks that successfully completed the due diligence process. Qualified banks have been determined on the basis of their solvency”.

In the view of the Bolgatanga Central Member of Parliament, the integrity of government, particularly that of the Vice President and his spokesperson Dr Gideon Boako is questionable in the banking sector clean up exercise.

Mr Adongo noted that “His Excellency the Vice President has been constantly accused of for the fact that it is not only the Vice President who is lying but you can’t even trust anybody in his office to speak the truth”.

Meanwhile Mr Adongo who has already sued government and GAT for using what he described as an illegal method to invest in five indigenous banks, has said he will inform the courts over government’s decision to give some GH¢800million to the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT).

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