Economists and financial players want newly appointed governor of the bank of Ghana Dr Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku to quickly begin measures to deal with the challenges facing the economy.
President John Dramani Mahama yesterday appointed Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku as Governor of the Central Bank.
[contextly_sidebar id=”jfzgEsz8JkiFZyMCwPEGKiWXkyA23OhP”]He replaces Dr. Kofi Wampah who proceeded on leave prior to retirement.
Dr. Issahaku, until this appointment, effective today April 5th, 2016, was a deputy Governor of the Bank.
Prior to his appointment he also served on a number of key committees at the central bank including the Economy and Research Committee, Strategic Planning and Budget Committee, and the Monetary Policy Committee of Bank of Ghana.
Before he joined the BoG, he acted as the Chief Executive Officer of Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF).
Dr. Issahaku has also worked with the African Development Bank and the World Bank.
He holds a Masters in Agric Economics and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Issahaku who has strong expertise in governance issues was first noticed by industry players here in Ghana when he was made acting CEO of EDAIF in 2013.
But his deeper touch in the financial space and for that matter the central bank was felt when a vacuum was created in 2013, following the elevation of Dr Wampah to the post of Governor.
At the period, the current Vice President of Ghana Paa Kwesi Ammisah Arthur had vacated the BoG Governor seat to assume the Vice president slot.
As expected, as the third in charge of the central bank, he rarely spoke but on countless occasions appeared with the governor during MPC meetings.
He was one of three persons who were tipped to take the position, when it became vacant a few days ago.
During the period questions were raised on whether his appointment will have a significant impact on the operations of the bank.
While others had argued that his background as a governance expert and agric economist will not serve the central bank well, which for about two years had struggled to keep in line, due to the country’s economic challenges driven by many issues.
But Chief Executive Officer of Dalex Finance, Ken Thompson believes that should not be an issue.
“He can do the job, let him try it. For me, I have every confidence in him. I am glad that the President has surprised us and I hope that he is able to explain things to us in a candid manner and he is able to restrain the government from overspending. He has very few levers and the biggest lever he has is to make sure that the government spends within its limits,” Ken Thompson stated.
He added, “I am looking for a governor who will start bouncing government’s cheques and it is very clear to all of us that we have to spend within our means. We have not secured our future because we have been unable to spend within our means for over twenty-five years, and once he is able to put the brakes on spending, he has to find other ways to ensure that we can cover expenditure. But if every time the person bows to the winds of the government, we are in trouble.”
Dr. Isshaku nevertheless will be faced with a lot of pressures following current developments in the country.
He will have to bring sanity to the microfinance industry which currently has seen some massive challenges mainly to do with fraud among others.
Majority of victims of DKM and God is Love for example will expect he puts in much effort to ensure their locked up investments are gained back.
With an impending election and the likelihood of government to over spend, he will be faced with the bigger challenge of ensuring that the country does not live above its means and does not overspend.
He must also ensure we adhere to the IMF conditions which his predecessor was instrumental in ensuring in reaching that deal.
Tackling inflation has been a difficult venture for his predecessor.
Very soon pressure will mount on him to improve that and also help push the country’s high interest rates down.
He will also have to ensure the cedi stays stable among others.
A Member of Parliament’s Committee on Finance, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah told Citi Business News the new governor of the bank of Ghana will have to use his first 100 days in office to demonstrate his resolve to address major challenges confronting the economy.
He argues that Dr. Abdul Nashiru Issahaku’s past experience as Deputy Governor has already exposed him to the challenges facing the Ghanaian economy.
Though Dr. Assibey Yeboah contends the governor may not be able to completely solve the issues within that period, he believes a will to do them will restore confidence in him and the central bank.
Dr. Assibey Yeboah explained to Citi Business News he expects the governor to work to reduce inflation, interest rates and the alleged cases of fraud recorded in the micro-finance sector.
“The first hundred days will normally be the honeymoon period as he comes into office and fortunately for him he has been at the bank so he knows the workings of the bank. So he has to hit the ground running, we have to see some strong research team since the bank has been lacking in that department. Research has not been strong at the bank, and research drives policy and so looking at his background as an academic, I expect him to put together a strong research department, recruit top notch economists around the world to come and conduct research to shape policy,” the MP stated.
“Beyond that we would want to see some stability in the exchange rate and also we would want to see an aggressive push to bring inflation down. Also, he would have to address in the first hundred days the Microfinance issues,” Dr. Assibey added.
Meanwhile Managing Director of Cal Bank, Frank Adu tells Citi Business News he is least surprised at the appointment of Dr. Abdulai-Nashiru Issahaku as governor.
“I am not surprised, if he wasn’t good material he wouldn’t have been made deputy governor. I think that all managers of this economy have challenges but then challenges may come and I am sure he will be able to navigate these challenges successfully. The Bank of Ghana Act provides responsibility and authority for the governor and so I am sure being who he is, he will apply that guide in performing his duty,” he observed.
According to Frank Adu Jnr, the new governor should among other things work to gain the respect of the banking community.
“He must exact his independence first and foremost, he must manage monetary policy in a manner that will deal with the problems that we have and he must develop for himself the respect of the banking community.” He further noted.
By: Vivian Kai Lokko/Pius Amihere Eduku/ Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana