Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has ridiculed a promise made by former President John Mahama, the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to the effect that should the biggest opposition party win the December 2020 elections, the next Mahama administration would ensure that all locked-up funds of customers who fell victim to the financial clean-up exercise of the Akufo-Addo government are paid, in full, to them “in the shortest possible time”.
The Bank of Ghana, under President Nana Akufo-Addo, collapsed nine local banks, 347 microfinance institutions and 23 savings and loans companies; and finance houses within a space of two years. Also, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) collapsed 53 fund managers.
Mr Mahama made the promise in a Facebook interaction at the end of January this year saying: “We believe that we do owe depositors when I come into government, we will make sure we will pay depositors their monies within the shortest possible time”.
Mr Mahama chastised the Akufo-Addo government for the manner in which it carried out the clean-up exercise.
“The route government took on the banking sector was extreme and harsh and has created more harm”, he said on Thursday, 30 January 2020, adding: “I think that the government took this [decision] too quickly”.
“It has created a huge debt for the taxpayer”, he noted.
“The President has said that he is going to pay depositors in full but that is not going to happen in 2020”, Mr Mahama asserted, adding: “Even if the government is going to pay that money, it is going to be spread over the next four years. So, depositors can’t sit and think they are going to get their money.”
Speaking at a town hall meeting on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, however, Vice-President Bawumia said the Akufo-Addo government is rather cleaning up the rot left by the Mahama administration.
“We are, therefore, cleaning up the mess the NDC created in the financial sector. The NDC was unable to do it. Given their management of the economy, they could not find money for teacher or nursing training allowances or free SHS. Where would they have found the GHS13 billion to settle bank depositors? Left to the NDC, our banking system would have collapsed by now”, he said, adding: “They were aware of the problem, they refused to act”.
“But now they are going around saying: ‘Oh, we’re going to pay everybody their money’. You couldn’t pay teacher training allowance, where are you going to get the GHS13 billion from your management?” he wondered.