BoG – Second Deputy Governor still at post but fate uncertain

The fate of the Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Johnson Asiama, is uncertain, as his legal advisor says the government is pushing for his exit from the central bank.

His legal team is yet to begin discussions over a negotiated package for him.
The Daily Graphic has gathered that Mrs Josephine Ankomah, who heads Ecobank in The Gambia, is highly tipped to succeed Dr Asiama when his terms of exit are concluded.

Dr Asiama, who is on a 10-day leave, denied media reports that he had resigned from the BoG. Rather, he insisted that he was still at post, although reports suggest that he is on his way out.

“I have not resigned and I have not authored any resignation letter,” he told the Daily Graphic in a telephone interview.

Dr Asiama was appointed by President John Dramani Mahama in April 2016, but after serving two years of his four-year contract, he is bowing out in what analysts describe as a ‘difficulty working with the current regime’.

The Governor of the BoG, Dr Ernest Addison, has been widely commended for embarking on major reforms at the bank.

Exit by close of year

Although Dr Asiama would not say whether he was being pushed out of the central bank by the government, sources say the second deputy governor may not end the year at the bank.

“I have no problem working with any government any day, any time. I am a technocrat,” he told the Daily Graphic.

Dr Asiama rose through the ranks after joining the bank in 1996 as Assistant Director until his appointment as Deputy Governor.

He holds a doctorate degree in Economics from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, and a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Economics from the University of Ghana, Legon.

People who spoke to the Daily Graphic on condition of anonymity said the competence of the second deputy governor had never been in doubt.

But counsel for Dr Asiama, Mr Kojogah Adawudu, alleged that some people in the government were hounding his client out of the central bank.

According to Mr Adawudu, some government officials had indicated to Dr Asiama that they would want him to step aside.

“They have their terms and conditions of service and we expect them to apply them,” he said.

“He has not said he wants to leave or resign, but they want to push him out and if that’s the case, they should go by the terms as they did to others,” he said.

Cost to state

The sources at the BoG say if Dr Asiama’s conditions are accepted, then he will be paid his salary for the remainder of his contract.

He will also be paid all entitlements due him, including his end-of-service benefits, as was done in the case of the immediate past Governor, Dr Nashiru Issahaku.

Issahaku’s case

Analysts are concerned that the BoG will have to pay two governors and two second deputy governors.

Dr Issahaku, who also exited under similar circumstances, still draws his monthly salaries and has taken all other entitlements.

“This, they say, is a huge cost to the state,” the analysts said.

Effect of action

But an economist and lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dr John Gatsi, said the exit of the second deputy governor from the central bank would send a negative signal to investors.

He said investors would be worried about policy sustainability at the bank because they would not trust the continuity of policies being agreed on with the BoG.

“This action by the government will also mean that the central bank is weak and not able to assert its independence if it allows politicians to interfere in its operations,” he said.

“Again, you should know that investors will be worried that they will not trust the continuity of any policy they agree with the bank once there is a political change,” Dr Gatsi added.

Source: Daily Graphic

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