General News of 2014-07-05

Airlifting $3m to Brazil violates banking law - ICAG

The Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana has criticized government for airlifting three million dollars in cash to Brazil, describing the move as a violation of the nation’s laws.

“In furtherance to ICAG’s mandate to ensuring the application of consistent global standards and best practices in the implementation of sound economic and public financial management, the Council of ICAG hereby states that the airlifting of cash to Brazil was ill-advised, contrary to established best practice and should not be contemplated again in future,” their statement said.

According to the Institute, the decision to carry the huge sum in physical cash across continents to pay players was inappropriate.

“This is substantiated by Section 15 (1) of Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723) states that ‘each payment in foreign currency, to or from Ghana between a resident and a non-resident, or between non-residents shall be made through a bank,’’ the ICAG statement said.

The press statement issued by president of the Institute, Prof K. B Omane-Antwi, also said the mode of payment adopted by the Government of Ghana was not only in violation of the banking regulations of Ghana, but was also inappropriate considering the availability of other alternative and more reliable payment systems (such as direct credits to the payees’ bank accounts).

"The issue under reference has also brought the financial credibility of Ghana into disrepute and the damage is far-reaching. In fact, many international bodies, including FIFA have raised serious concerns about the mode of payment,” the statement added.

The ICAG opined that government agencies must be proactive in future to address exigencies like the Brazil incident.