General News of 2013-12-06

BoG Governor will go to jail if NDC loses power- Ken Agyapong

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana should pray the National Democratic Congress (NDC) remains in power otherwise he will go to jail if the regime changes, that's is the prediction of the vociferous Member of Parliament for Assin Central.

Kennedy Agyapong of the opposition New Patriotic Party said for approving the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz Equity before doing proper due diligence, Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah deserves to be jailed.

The Governor of the BoG at a press conference last Thursday defended the Central Bank's actions in one of the most controversial takeovers in Ghana's banking history.

He said "there is a lot of noise out there; people are saying all sorts of things that we didn't follow due diligence, yet I'm not sure whether those people really know the processes of following due diligence."

He also said giving approval to a transaction before doing due diligence was a normal practice of the Bank.

Despite concerns about the ability of a six-month old Fortiz to manage a more than 40 years old bank, Wampah said "it doesn't depend on whether the transaction is profitable or not. That is not our role,"

But Kennedy Agyapong is disgusted at the Governor's "intellectual dishonesty" and "arrogance" in giving the regulator's blessing to Fortiz's acquisition of a majority stake in Merchant Bank.

The indigenous equity fund bought the stake for 90 million Ghana cedis. The amount gives the firm a controlling stake of 90 percent in the bank, leaving the minority 10 percent to the country’s pensions fund manager, SSNIT.

The outspoken MP warned Wampah to bear in mind that his position is temporal and with time, he will also be changed.

"He should pray the NDC remains in power forever. Any change of Government, that guy will go to jail. Even if he is dead his mortal remains will be exhumed and tried in court"

He said all board members who approved the deal will also go to jail.

Merchant Bank has been struggling with huge debts on their books. E&P, a company belonging to the President's brother is said to be one of the highest debtors.

His company owes $38 million dollars.