By Abu M. Monor
AriseGhana, a prominent civil society organization, has issued a press statement expressing its intent to participate in the #OccupyBOG demonstration if the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BOG), his deputies, and the Board of Directors do not resign in response to allegations of gross mismanagement. Comrade Rex Omar, the Convener of AriseGhana, delivered a scathing criticism of the bank’s leadership following revelations from the 2022 audit Report and Financial Statements.
In its statement, AriseGhana condemned what it deemed “crass mismanagement” by the Addison-led Board and management of BOG, asserting that the bank’s dire situation was a result of their actions. The organization particularly highlighted the alleged illegal printing of money by the BOG in 2021 and 2022, amounting to GHS77 billion, purportedly to finance the perceived recklessness of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government. These actions were characterized as irresponsible and in violation of the BOG Act.
AriseGhana expressed concern over the apparent lack of positive impact on the lives of Ghanaians despite the substantial amount of money printed. The statement also criticized the alleged lack of parliamentary oversight in the utilization of these funds, noting the violation of the Public Financial Management Act. The organization linked these alleged actions to the reported losses of GHS60.8 billion and a negative equity of GHS55.1 billion in 2022 alone.
The statement further highlighted the adverse effects of the reported mismanagement on the economy, particularly the high inflation rate of 43.1%. AriseGhana argued that this had eroded the purchasing power of ordinary citizens, exacerbating their financial hardships. The organization criticized the government for its perceived failure to address these concerns and for the alleged accumulation of wealth by corrupt officials.
AriseGhana also took issue with the excessive operational expenses of the BOG, citing expenses related to vehicle maintenance, computer-related costs, travel expenses, and banking supervision. The organization questioned the prudence of spending amid economic challenges. In addition, AriseGhana strongly criticized the BOG’s decision to embark on a new office complex project worth $250 million, considering the bank’s reported losses.
In a call aligned with the Minority Caucus in Parliament, AriseGhana demanded the immediate resignation of the BOG Governor, his deputies, and the Board of Directors. The organization associated itself with the 21-day ultimatum for their resignation, which was issued by the parliamentarians of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), threatening to join public protests if their demands were not met. AriseGhana emphasized that its intention to participate in the #OccupyBOG demonstration was to ensure accountability and prevent further mismanagement of the central bank.
The coming days will likely see increased scrutiny of the BOG’s leadership and potential developments regarding the ultimatum set by AriseGhana. The situation remains fluid as stakeholders react to these allegations of mismanagement and the demand for resignations within the bank’s upper echelons.