Banking Consultant, Nana Otuo Acheampong has downplayed any negative effect of the early exit of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah on the nation’s finances and stock market.
Dr. Wampah, on Tuesday, told the Reuters News Agency of his exit as governor of the BoG by end of March 2016.
[contextly_sidebar id=”B8bGc5do9nylPjpO284CiihP9MApHnUX”]According to Mr. Acheampong, experts in the industry were expecting the governor to retire by June after President John Mahama blamed the central bank for the confusion that rocked the micro finance sector recently.
“The issue with this one is that it’s already anticipated. In fact the shot came from the president of the republic himself when in the state of the nation’s address he called into question the judgment of the central bank headed by Dr. Wampah in the handling of the DKM debacle”, he recalled.
The BoG came under fire in recent times over its poor supervision of the micro finance sector that resulted in many Ghanaians losing millions of Ghana cedis to some microfinance companies, such as DKM, and God is Love Fun Club in the Brong Ahafo region.
Speaking on Citi Fm’s Eye Witness News, Mr. Acheampong, revealed that industry watchers got the hint when president Mahama indicated to parliamentarians that he could not dismiss the governor since the law forbids it.
Touching on the governor’s performance in handling the cedi depreciation against other currencies, Mr. Acheampong who is also a Principal Consultant at the Osei Tutu II Centre for Executive Education & Research, described as regrettable a decision taken in 2014 by the central bank to reverse the depreciation but received backlash from industry watchers.
“The decision taken on the 4th of February on six point which lasted for six months is not something anybody wants to remember at their tenure in the central bank”, he said, adding that the measures adopted by the BoG to halt the depreciation at the time was ineffective, hence the negative response that led to its withdrawal.
The decision to leave
Wampah, whose term officially ends on August 5, told Reuters he had informed President John Mahama of his intention to leave by the end of this March 2016, adding the decision was partly linked to presidential and parliamentary elections planned for November.
“I told him I wanted to leave office early and we have agreed that I will exit at the end of March,” Wampah said.
“It is just fair to leave early in order to give enough room for my successor, whoever it might be, to settle down before we get to the elections.”
He said one of his two deputies, either Millison Narh or Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, was expected to serve as interim central bank governor until President Mahama chooses a permanent successor.
Once considered a rising star in Africa, Ghana, which exports cocoa, gold and oil, has been dogged by large budget deficits, ballooning public debt and inflation that consistently tops government targets.
President Mahama appointed Dr.Wampah amid serious fiscal imbalances caused mainly by election spending in 2012 and a burdensome public sector wage bill that complicated the bank’s task of managing the money supply.
Dr. Wampah responded with a string of monetary policy reforms, including tighter foreign exchange liquidity management to slow inflation. Earlier, Citi Business News had reported of a possible exit by the Governor as pressure mounted on him to do so.
This also followed his approach in managing a number of issues in the banking sector.
The bank held its benchmark interest rate at 26 percent in its latest rate decision last week.
By: Lawrence Segbefia /citibusinessnews.com /Ghana