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General News of Saturday, 14 November 2015


I want to own Ghana's judiciary – Kofi Amoabeng

Kofi Amoabeng Kofi Amoabeng

One of Ghana’s astute entrepreneurs, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, says he wish to own the country’s judiciary to make a thriving business out of the system that has recently been hit by scandalous corruption.

The 63-year old Chief Executive of UT Bank Ghana made the revelation Saturday afternoon when he sat in the hot seat on TV3’s Hot Issues to discuss the country’s economy, challenges facing businesses as well as the banking sector.

“One business I would want to own, if it is possible, is the judiciary and I could make business out of that,” he revealed, arguing for a system where Ghana can put a bit of business to some of its institutions like the Police Service and the judiciary.

He, however, could not give reasons for his arguments as the host of the show, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, interjected to sign-off on the show because it was time to end the one-hour show.

Delays in court cases affecting businesses

The former military lieutenant turned banker earlier on the show talked about how said weak institutions and systems in the country is one major challenge for businesses.

He particularly talked about how the judicial system is able to be manipulated by some people for cases to be dragged on for years, noting that the erstwhile UT Financial Services have cases pending in court for between six and eight years.

“…One of the interesting things is that they [people] are able to influence the system so that judgement is able to delay. UT has cases in court that is over six years if not eight years old.

“In actual fact, there is one case that made me crazy. There is a case where we gave a person a loan, he went to court and UT was found guilty of giving [him] the money…. at least, tell the man that go and give them the principal [loan],” he recounted.

“Until the Anas’ [corrupt judicial exposé] report I didn’t see how that was possible but when I saw Anas’ report, I said ok, then of course, it’s possible for a judge to give that kind of ruling,” he stated.

Ghana losing its economy

On Ghana's economy, Mr Amoabeng who bows out of the bank as its Chief Executive at the end of this year, talked about how Ghana is gradually losing its economy to foreigners; a situation he warned could cripple the nation if not addressed.

He observed that the major and critical sectors of the country’s economy were not in the hands of Ghana. He mentioned the telecom, tourism and hospitality, the mining, the oil and the banking industries as those being controlled by foreigners.

“When it comes to the whole economy, we’ve lost it and I think the government has to really take a bold step and say that we want to develop Ghanaians and put some of the businesses into the hands of Ghanaians. I want to see Ghanaian millionaires possibly billionaires and a lot of them,” Mr Amoabeng said.

He said it is imperative for the government to dialogue with the business community and strategise on how to put some of these businesses into the hands of Ghanaians.

“Otherwise, the way it’s going, we always are going to be marginalised. When the foreigners become very powerful they buy our politicians and when they buy our politicians, it means they still get a bigger chunk of our economy,” he argued.