Pressure group OccupyGhana has expressed its total support to the Bank of Ghana’s cleanup exercise in the banking and finance sector, which has so far led to the revocation of the licences of about 420 banks, microfinance institutions and finance houses collectively.
In a statement issued on Friday, 23 August 2019, OG said: “We express our unreserved and unalloyed support for the steps taken by the Bank of Ghana to address the contagion that hit the financial sector”.
“Sadly”, OG lamented, “The effect has been massive with the potential loss of funds and job losses”.
The group wondered why the central bank, under the previous leadership, watched aloof as the contagion festered.
“It is blindingly obvious that if the Bank of Ghana had taken preventive and early corrective steps (which it was empowered to do even under previous laws) to address these matters when they first began, the tide could have been stemmed and damage limited.
“However, the Bank of Ghana and its leadership at the time, simply sat by and watched things deteriorate, and in some instances just poured more money into banks that had already breached the law and misused depositors’ funds. Even when the Bank of Ghana’s own investigations showed blatant breaches of the law by licensed operators, the Bank of Ghana inexplicably did nothing”.
The statement said: “It also beggars belief that to date, the government has not commenced any prosecution against any persons who are alleged to have been involved in the acts that have led to the current melt down, or informed Ghanaians that after due investigations, there are no bases for any prosecutions. This unpardonable silence by the government is in part to blame for the eroding confidence of Ghanaians in the system. Nobody ever gets punished for anything.
“What is worse, the Bank of Ghana and the government have been aware of several illegal deposit-taking institutions (often blatant Ponzi schemes) operating in Ghana, and who simply disappear with depositors’ monies at the end of the day. The Bank of Ghana has done its part by issuing warnings to the operators and then publishing (admittedly few and far between) notices that warned the public not to deposit monies with such institutions.
“We are not aware of any attempt by the government to prosecute any of the offending companies and their directors for the blatant illegalities. Indeed, there appears not to be any completed prosecution of any of such persons in Ghana’s history. The recent comedic drama and risible pantomime on these matters show that we have simply failed to apply the law for reasons that we simply cannot fathom.
“conclude by calling on the government to make the law work, irrespective of whose ox is gored. A great and strong nation must be bold to defend forever, the cause of freedom and of right”, it added.