March 4, 2024

….Govt writes off GHc77.6 billion debt, GH¢131.586 million spent on vehicle maintenance, GH¢1.620 billion paid as salaries, GH¢97.437 for foreign trips, others
A lot appears to be happening at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) under the Akufo-Addo government on the blind side of Ghanaians.

It doesn’t appear there are any checks and balances in place to control activities of the bank which plays a strategic role in the Ghanaian economy.

Firstly, the UK-based news agency; Reuters reports that Ghana’s government, has written off half of the GHc77.6 billion cedis ($7 billion) it owed to the central bank and has replaced the remainder with a lower yielding, 15-year bond.

Secondly, the same Central Bank, has in its annual report revealed that GH¢131.586 million was spent on motor vehicle maintenance/running as of December 2022, this is away from the GH¢61.510 million spent over the same period in 2021.

Thirdly, BoG’s 2022 Report and Financial Statement stated its staff strength at the end of the year was at a massive 2,215, which drew a colossal GH¢1.620 billion compared to GH¢1.260 billion recorded in 2021.

A general analysis of the balance sheet, indicated that there was a more than 100percent increase in most of the Bank’s expenditures in 2022, as compared to the previous year, according to the annual report.

On the debt cancellation, the UK News agency reports that the latest move is part of the West African nation’s push to restructure its domestic debt – a requirement to qualify for the next tranche of a US$3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) rescue loan. Ghana now wants to focus on negotiations with external creditors.

The gold, oil and cocoa producer, concluded the first phase of domestic debt restructuring in February, when 85percent of eligible holders exchanged their local currency bonds for new longer-dated bonds, with lower interest rates. This included the central bank, which exchanged 17 billion cedis.

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The government is now restructuring 123 billion Ghana cedis of domestic debt – including domestic U.S. dollar bonds, cocoa bills, pension funds, as well as debt owed to independent power producers and the central bank.

“The [central bank] had wanted to be excluded and they pushed really hard but there was no agreement,” Reuters reported quoting a senior government official out of three sources with direct knowledge of the transaction.

“The IMF also made it clear that we cannot achieve our target on debt restructuring if we do not include the [central bank debt].”

The official said that the central bank debt that had been written off was non-tradable, comprising overdrafts to the government and the cocoa marketing board, a COVID-19 bond and other legacy debt spanning 15 years. Interest payments on the majority of those debts had been in line with the central bank’s main interest rate, which now stands at 30percent.

A Ministry of Finance letter seen by Reuters requesting legal advice from the attorney general and justice minister on the transaction, said the government would exchange the principal amount of the debt at a 0.5 ratio with a 2038 bond issued in February.

“The instrument… carries an interest rate of 10%, of which 5% is paid in kind in 2023 and 2024,” said the letter, dated May 7.

The three sources, who declined to be named as the matter is confidential, confirmed that these were the final terms, but did not say when exactly the transaction was executed.

The finance ministry and the central bank did not respond to requests for comment.

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Ghana, which defaulted on most external debt in December, aims to reduce its overseas debt payments by $10.5 billion over the next three years to address its worst economic crisis in a generation.

A central bank source said that the debt restructuring had inflicted a record loss on the bank of about 50 billion cedis.

“From the estimates, the loss will be on the books for the next five years or so,” they said.

From the annual report of the BoG, it was revealed that GH¢97.437 million was blown on both foreign and domestic travel – a 300% increase compared to GH¢28.176 million recorded in 2021.

For instance, Communication expenses and banking college and Monetary Institutes expenses were GH¢32.020 million and GH¢13.252 million respectively.

Computer-related expenses and banking supervision expenses were GH¢ 67.987 million and 357.923 million respectively.

In the breakdown of who and who makes up the staff of the BoG, the statement listed the members of the bank who make up the various levels of management, including its Board Members, those on the organisational structure, management of the bank, and regional managers.

Board Members:

The Board of the Bank of Ghana is made up of 14 members, including its Chairman, Dr. Ernest Addison, who is also the Governor of the Bank.

The others are Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, Executive Director, First Deputy Governor; Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi, Executive Director, Second Deputy Governor; Mr Charles Adu Boahen*, Non-Executive Director; Mr Joseph Blignam Alhassan, Non-Executive Director; Dr Samuel Nii-Noi Ashong, Non-Executive Director; Dr Kwame Nyantekyi-Owusu, Non-Executive Director; Mrs. Comfort F. A. Ocran, Non-Executive Director; and Mr Andrew A. Boye-Doe, Non-Executive Director.

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The rest are Mr Jude Kofi Bucknor, Non-Executive Director; Prof. Eric Osei-Assibey, Non-Executive Director; Ms. Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh, Non-Executive Director; Dr Regina Ohene-Darko Adutwum, Non-Executive Director; Dr Regina Ohene-Darko Adutwum, Non-Executive Director.

Management of the Bank:

TOP MANAGEMENT
Dr. Ernest K.Y. Addison,
Governor

Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari,
First Deputy Governor

Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi,
Second Deputy Governor

Ms. Sandra Thompson,
The Secretary

Heads of Department:

Mr. Eric Koranteng
Governors’ Department

Mr. George Adu-Sefa
Internal Audit Department

Mr. Sandra Thompson
Secretary’s Department

Mr. Stephen Opata
Financial Markets Department

Mrs. Abla Mawulolo Masoperh
Legal Department

Wg. Cdr. Kwame Asare-Boateng
Security Department

Mr. Bernard Ato Otabil
Office of Ethics and Internal Investigations

Mr. Kobina Amenyi Richardson
Information Security Office

Mr. Joseph Akwasi Kuma
Project Management Office

Mr. Elliot Adu Amoako
Resolution Office

Dr. Philip Abradu-Otoo
Research Department

Dr. Philip Abradu-Otoo
Research Department

Dr. Philip Abradu-Otoo
Research Department

Mr. John Gyamfi Currency
Management Department

Mrs. Gladys Awuku-Mills
Human Resource & Capacity Development Department

Mrs. Gladys Awuku-Mills
Human Resource & Capacity Development Department

Mr. Charles Parker
Information & Communication Technology Department

Mr. Kwame Agyapong Oppong
Fintech and Innovation Office

Mr. Osei Gyasi
Banking Supervision Department

Mr. Yaw Sapong
Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department

Dr. Joseph France
Financial Stability Department

Mr. Kennedy Akonnor Adu
Banking Department

Mr. Charles Elias Reindorf
Finance Department

Mr. Fred Asiamah-Koranteng
Collateral Registry Department

Dr. (Mrs.) Charlotte Osafo
Medical Department

Regional Managers

Mr. Victor Kodjo Atta-Akakpo
Hohoe, Volta Region

Mr. Abdulai Lawal Abubakari
Sunyani, Bono Region

Mr. Alex Kwasi Donkor
Kumasi, Ashanti region

Mr. Kofi Okwaben Assan
Takoradi, Western Region

Mr. Ankrah Akuoko
Sefwi-Boako, Western North Region

Mr. Abdul-Aziz Mohammed
Tamale, Northern Region

 

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