Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has said the former President, John Dramani Mahama has been insincere with his criticism of the Akufo-Addo government’s handling of the financial sector cleanup.
The Minister in an interview with Citi News on the sidelines of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) 2020 manifesto launch said it is disingenuous for the former President to suggest that the cleanup was harsh and needless, given the positive results generated by the move.
“I think it is kind of difficult and disingenuous for me when I hear that kind of talk and that is a former President so you need to give him proper respect and honour but we came and met an asset quality review which said these banks were bankrupt and it has been lying on their desks for over a year and the hard decision to take was not being taken,” the Minister explained.
The Banking sector has since 2017 seen a series of clean up exercises carried out by the Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ken Ofori Atta pointed out that the clean up had led to a major restructuring which yielded positive results.
“No restructuring is perfect but must be done and I am unequivocal about that. At this juncture, the banks are stronger, they have been consolidated. Even those who were not strong enough but had the chance, we decided to give them money. 96 or 98 percent of the people have gotten their money.
“If you look at the resilience we have had currently and given the devastation of the pandemic in the world, there is no way Ghana will be where it is. I think it is quite easy to take one or two outliers and decry the policy but it took courage and real management of resources for us have to a strong financial institution.”
The former President has been an avid critic of the banking sector clean-up.
He had earlier suggested that the revocation of licenses of some financial institutions in the country was harsh and extreme.
The clean-up has resulted in the collapse of over 400 financial institutions – 347 microfinance companies, 39 microcredit companies or money lenders, 15 savings and loans companies, eight finance house companies, and two non-bank financial institutions.