Former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has charged the Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper to resign from his position for violating the regulations of the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia while addressing students of the Accra Polytechnic last week accused government of diverting about $250 million of the total proceeds from the nation’s $ 1 billion Eurobond it issued in 2015 to a private account at the United Bank of Africa (UBA).
He claimed the fund was not yet operational.
But the Finance Minister rejected the claim and said “the US$250 million seed money to the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) lodged by the Board with a Commercial Bank is safe and has already started bearing interest to the idle Fund.”
However defending his claim on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, Dr. Bawumia called for a Parliamentary enquiry into the issue.
He quoted section 53 of the Bank of Ghana Act:
“The bank shall hold all foreign exchange of the state and be responsible to parliament in the performance of its function in relation to the foreign exchange.”
“What the Minister has done violates the Bank of Ghana Act and I would ask quite humbly that this transaction be reversed, that the there should be a parliamentary enquiry into how this happened and the Minister should re-consider his position.
His position is not tenable, if you are the one supposed to enforce the law and you are violating the laws and you are violating the laws he should resign.
He is a very good friend of mine, I like him a lot, he is a nice person and all of that but I think there is no minister of finance in the world who can maintain his position when he has violated this law in the manner that has been done.”
Dr. Bawumia argued that per the Act, there is no other place to save Ghana’s foreign exchange apart from the Bank of Ghana.
He further described the movement of funds from the Bank of Ghana to the UBA as “essentially circumventing the Bank of Ghana’s role in managing Ghana’s foreign exchange.”
“That is what we have done. We’ve gone round the bank of Ghana and given the money to UBA which is now buying treasury bills to pay for the deposits which we have given them.
So the Minister in connivance with the Bank of Ghana has violated the Bank of Ghana Act,” he insisted.
When asked whether he will go to court if Parliament fails to probe the matter, Dr. Bawumia said “that is something down the road, we will consider all the advice that we have but I think Parliament has all the over sight responsibility on this matter and there is a clear violation of the Bank of Ghana Act and it should be dealt with.”
I won’t resign
But Seth Terkper also speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show said he has not breached any law hence would not resign.
“We are a country of law, every minister of finance has legal advisors and I take every step after listening to my advisors.
So I believe that I did not break any law and I don’t have any reason to resign,” he added.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana