The Member of Parliament for Yapei-Kusawgu constituency in the Northern Region, John Jinapor, has described as not satisfactory the answers given by the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison when he appeared before the committee probing the country’s banking crisis .
According to him, the Governor was very evasive in answering the questions that were put to him by members of the committee on Wednesday.
John Jinapor, who is a member of the Finance Committee was of the view of the Bank of Ghana wanted to absolve itself from the matter although “it was clear at the meeting that the staff of the Bank of Ghana did not do a good job.”
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Wednesday, he said, “I was dissatisfied because I thought the Governor will give us direct and accurate answers that were reassuring. The ordinary taxpayer is being called upon to contribute eight billion to pay for the sins of these banks. It was clear at the meeting that the staff of the Bank of Ghana did not do a good job. The Bank of Ghana which ought to monitor and supervise the bank went to sleep, I want to know what punitive measures have been taken against staff that were complicit in this act… The Governor could not tell us, he said it was an on-going process” Mr. Jinapor lamented.
He further expressed disappointed in the Governor’s inability to adequately respond to his question about the welfare of staff of the Consolidated Bank, noting that the Governor could not tell the committee how many staff would be sacked or retained.
While Jinapor’s colleague, Isaac Adongo, boycotted the sitting saying it was a mere “rubber stamp process,” he said he will sit through the process and ensure that strong recommendations are made in the committee’s report to ensure that the Governor of the Central Bank is held culpable if any such challenge happens again in the banking sector.
“I left the meeting disappointed…. Some of my colleagues also expressed their dissatisfaction with some of the answers… We’ve asked the probing questions and we’ll continue to do that, and after that the committee will present a report and make recommendations and I intend sitting to ensure that key recommendations are made so that next time when this happens, the law itself will make provisions for staff of the Bank of Ghana to be sanctioned. Next time this happens, I want recommendations to be made so that the Governor will be held liable…. We’ll put forward very strong recommendations.”
Adongo was demanding that he be furnished with further documents to enable him to better appreciate the situation.
“These are the documents they gave to us; statement of the banking sector, press release by the Bank of Ghana, Governor’s speech. When it comes to KPMG, they only give you conditions and opinions of uniBank….those documents will give me a clearer understanding of what happened and not what the government tells me. I must read the documents and ask the Governor the appropriate questions,” he told the media.
We’re on track
Meanwhile, another member of the committee, Fuseini Issah told Umaru Sanda Amadu that he was satisfied with the meeting with the Governor and officials of the Finance Ministry. He said the committee is on track and is certain it will get all the information it requires to put together a comprehensive report.
From what we set out to do, we are on track and we are getting the relevant information… We are still in the information gathering stage, he said.
Finance Committee’s work
The Finance Committee of Parliament is holding hearings from September 5 to September 7 on the current banking crisis that has seen 7 banks in the country collapse within a space of 12 months for reasons including poor corporate governance.
Representatives from the Bank of Ghana, Consolidated Bank, KPMG, PwC and the Ministry of Finance are expected to appear before the hearing.
But owners and directors of the seven banks that have collapsed, some under controversial circumstances, will not be invited, according to the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah.
Despite numerous petitions to the Speaker to open up the process and make it public, the hearing is proceeding in camera.
Officials of the Bank of Ghana, including the Governor, Dr. Ernest Addison, appeared before the committee on Wednesday morning.