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The Mahama-led government has dismissed claims by ex-President J.A Kufour that it deliberately blocked Ghana from becoming a financial hub in Africa, including the plan to establish an off-shore bank in the country.
The former Ghanaian leader at a JoyFM Thought Leadership event in Accra recently said his administration put in place pragmatic steps within the financial sector to see this dream being realized, but sadly successive governments failed to see through some of the policies he initiated as President.
“If the election of 2008 had come my way, that is if my side had won, then the many things we put on course would have matured. For instance at that point we had secured the partnership of Barclays International to do an off-shore banking here in Ghana. We set up offices, we made all the laws and if that project had been maintained and sustained perhaps much of the monies from Southern Europe and the continent of Africa would be here. Ghana would be managing the hard currencies of our neighbourhood and as far as the fields of Europe.”
He added: “But because my party didn’t win, within a year after our losing, the succeeding regime just canceled the agreement. That hurts, I couldn’t understand it then…and I can’t understand it now, because it would have added to the good of our economy.”
But speaking on TV3’s Business Focus programme, Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper stated that the NDC government did not sabotage the process, adding that the Kufour Administration rushed with the idea which eventually caused problems for Ghana.
“The way that policy was handled led to Ghana being blacklisted for money laundering and we had to take laws to Parliament. As we speak today Ghana is being monitored. If you hasten with certain policies, that is the outcome, that is because the regulatory framework that was required to put that in place wasn’t put in place and by 2009 Ghana was being blacklisted. Ghana was going to be managed as a tax haven but things were not done well.”
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