Story: Atta Kwaku Boadi
2024 Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama has described as tragedy the decision by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to revoke the licences of some indigenous Ghanaian banks.
Mr Mahama who specifically mentioned GN Bank did not understand why the government took such a hasty decision when it could have resolved the liquidity issue without rendering many Ghanaians who were working with the bank jobless.
According to the former Ghanaian leader, the money government used to collapse the banks, same money could have been used to save the banks.
The crime of these banks, for instance, GN bank, the NDC’s leader noted was its decision to establish branches in risky areas where other ‘high street’ banks would not go.
“These banks, especially, GN Bank took the risk to go to areas where other banks will not go, and yet the government of Akufo-Addo did not find it necessary to protect the bank”, he said.
Former President Mahama made these observations when he met with members of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs as part of a two-day tour to the region.
The flagbearer of the NDC highlighted several economic indicators, including inflation rates, banking sector reforms, currency depreciation, and rising living costs, as evidence of the country’s economic downturn.
He bemoaned the current state of the banking sector in the country where Ghana cannot now boast of Ghanaian-owned banks apart of Prudential and Omni banks.
To this end, he condemned the action by the government, describing it further as unfortunate.
According to Mr Mahama, if government had paid the contractors who took loans from GN Bank to execute government projects, the bank would not have been declared insolvent.
He claimed that contractors who took loans from these banks to do government projects have not been paid since NPP came into office in 2017.
“ Instead of the government to pay the contractors so that they can also pay the loans they took from these banks, the government of Akufo-Addo has decided not pay them”, Mahama said.
“I have always said that this crisis is self-inflicted; it is a result of mismanagement and poor economic decisions. Let nobody tell you otherwise. Our economic managers have landed us in this situation, first because of excessive borrowing”, Mr Mahama added.
It will be recalled that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) in 2019 revoked the licences of twenty-three (23) insolvent savings and loans companies and finance houses including GN Savings and Loans.