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General News of Friday, 30 August 2019


Mahama re-writing banking history - Bawumia

Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice President, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, has accused former President John Dramani Mahama of rewriting the history of the banking sector in the country to save his face, ahead of the 2020 General Elections.

Dr Bawumia, who tagged former President Mahama as incompetent, which has since become a household name, blamed the latter for failing to take the bull by the horns while in office, leading to the collapse of some banks.

According to him, measures put in place by the then Kufuor led administration to solidify the banking sector, which made some financial institutions chase people to take loans, were all eroded by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, plunging the sector into crisis.

He noted that even whilst in opposition, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) pointed out to the (NDC) that some eight banks were on the verge of collapse, a revelation which made its opponent (NDC) to refer to him as a ‘Prophet of Doom’.

The Vice President expected the former President to explain to the “good people of Ghana how his government superintended over outright regulatory failure, which led to the biggest financial crisis ever in Ghana, [but] he rather chose to rewrite history,” adding that not all “Ghanaians have short memories.”

Mr Mahama had, in a statement, jabbed the sitting government for collapsing the financial sector. He said the banking crisis had created major problems in the financial system, “including deepening the already widely-held mistrust and lack of confidence in the system by many people. And there appears to be no end in sight.”

John Mahama said the developments in the banking and financial system and matters arising, call for grave concern from all who have been affected by this financial sector turmoil, especially because it is an issue that threatens our country’s national security.

“We must all be worried about the businesses that have collapsed, the licenses that have been revoked, the massive job losses, the hardship this is causing to some customers, and the trauma of having their lifetime savings in jeopardy.”

Mahama described as trying times, the state of the banking sector, and said as leader of the main opposition party, he could not look on unconcerned.

In proffering some solutions, Mahama elaborated, among other things, that he had set up a Policy Working Group on Finance and Economy, which is “studying and analysing the situation with a view to coming up with pragmatic steps that we can employ, not only to restore the confidence of our people in the banking system, but also ameliorate the suffering imposed on the customers and staff of these financial institutions, caused by the poor handling of the crisis by this administration.”

Meanwhile, the head of the Economic Management Team, Dr Bawumia, rubbished the statements made by the 2020 presidential candidate of the NDC, John Mahama, saying that “the next NDC government has nothing useful to offer Ghanaians.”

He compared his opinion with John Mahama’s output whilst in office, more reasons Ghanaians voted him out, adding that if he had anything good to offer the banking sector in particular, what barred him from acting when he was the President and had executive powers, but had turned around to blame government for failing to bailout these banks.

“Perhaps, he (Mahama) also has not caught up with the collectively wisdom around the world, that bailing out insolvent banks does not cure the canker that won’t rest its head again. Is former President Mahama suggesting that the Bank of Ghana should have continued to dole-out the largesse of public funds to enrich bank shareholders who, themselves, plundered access of their banks funded with depositors’ funds? Was he expecting government to nationalise all the failed banks; the failed financial institutions?” he quizzed.

Vice President Bawumia was speaking at a ceremony to cut the sod for the construction of a 100,000 affordable housing project at in Amasaman, near Accra, yesterday. The project will cost some US$5.6 billion.

While lauding the project and commending the United Nations Office of Projects Service and Sustainable Housing Solutions for supporting Ghana in that regard, he emphasised the need to have a sound banking and financial sector to enable the citizens have financial footing to acquire mortgaged houses. He, thus, commended the Bank of Ghana for taken such a bold step to sanitise the system, which has saved the monies of over four million depositors.

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