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Kweku Baako replies Ato Forson over Bank of Ghana Hospital


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The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako, has said if former Board member of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, insists that Mr John Mahama interfered in the central bank’s use of its operational resources by directing the banking regulator how to use that money, including for the construction of the Bank of Ghana Hospital, then such interference explains why nine local banks collapsed in the last couple of years.

Mr Forson had asserted in a statement that Mr Mahama, as President, provided the needed leadership that conceptualised and established the Bank of Ghana Hospital, and, thus, asked Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako to stop denying the former President credit for the health post, which has become one of the centres for managing COVID-19 patients.

Among other assertions, the Ranking member of Parliament’s Finance Committee said: “As a former Deputy Minister responsible for Finance and one who served on the board of the Bank of Ghana from 2013 to 2017, I confirm, without equivocation that the Bank Hospital is a President John Mahama legacy”.



He continued: “The Bank Hospital was built using public funds at the time H.E. John Mahama was President of the Republic. President Mahama provided the leadership and vision that was needed at the time to conceptualise and establish the hospital.

“Mr Baako needs to understand that the central bank has functional autonomy and that autonomy does not apply when it comes to the use of public funds.

“It must be made clear that the central bank makes profit through its operations. The profit of the Bank of Ghana are public funds, hence, the use of these funds are subject to the directives of the government of the day under the laws of Ghana thereof”, the opposition MP said, adding: “Having served on the Board of the Bank of Ghana, I can impeccably confirm that it was the vision and policy directive of President Mahama during that era which informed the construction of the Bank Hospital”.

In his counter-statement, however, Mr Baako said: “I was thinking that as a former Deputy Minister of Finance and a member of the previous Board/Authority of BoG, Mr Ato Forson, would have produced something of evidential value to back up his/their case”.

According to him, Mr Forson “produces no minutes of Board meetings which may illustrate either ministerial or presidential directives to the Management and Board of BoG relative to the conception and execution of TBH; he produces no Cabinet or ministerial records or documentation to underscore any governmental involvement or directives in the project under reference”.

In a caveated remark, Mr Baako then pointed out that: “It is very clear if (And that’s a VERY BIG IF) Mr Forson insists the President directed the use of operational resources at BoG, then it shows the degree of interference the President had at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), which then shows why Ghana had so many bank failures and macro-economic instability during the times Mr Forson was a member of the Board/Authority of BoG and a Deputy Minister for Finance!”

“The poverty of Mr Forson’s intrusion should be manifest to all discerning Ghanaians!” the Editor-in-Chief added.A

Read Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako’s full statement below:

I was thinking that as a former Deputy Minister of Finance and a member of the previous Board/Authority of BoG, Mr Ato Forson, would have produced something of evidential value to back up his/their case.

He produces no minutes of Board meetings which may illustrate either ministerial or presidential directives to the Management and Board of BoG relative to the conception and execution of TBH; he produces no Cabinet or ministerial records or documentation to underscore any governmental involvement or directives in the project under reference.

All Mr Forson sought to do was to recollect the fact that he was a member of the previous Board/Authority of BoG and a former Deputy Minister of Finance. How does that recollection sustain his/their case that TBH was inspired by the vision and leadership of President Mahama?

Mr Forson includes the construction of the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH) as part of President Mahama’s Health Infrastructural legacy.

The conception and construction history of IMaH does not support his assertion. The conception of IMaH crystallised in 2008.

 

The plot for a new medical facility for GPHA was purchased in 2008. And there are official GPHA records to support that fact.

Initial designs were done in 2009/10. Actual construction commenced in April 2012 and completed in October 2016. The project was fully-funded by the GPHA.

His reference to the upgrading and rehabilitation of the Ridge Hospital and the construction of the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) were irrelevant in the context of my submissions relative to TBH and IMaH.

Indeed, I am on record as indicating that the conception and execution of those two projects can and should be credited to the Mills and Mahama Administrations! This is public record!

There is abundant official/public record to show that both Cabinet (including ministerial) and parliamentary approvals for the construction of the two medical facilities, transpired during the tenure of the two administrations.

In the case of the Upper West Regional Hospital (Wa), I want to believe Mr Forson knows that Cabinet and parliamentary approvals for the loan agreements were effected in April, August, October and November 2008, respectively.

Interestingly, when President Akufo-Addo was commissioning that hospital in November 2019, he underscored the fact that the construction trajectory and history of that hospital had travelled through the reigns of 4 Presidents; starting with Kufuor through to Mills, Mahama and himself (Akufo-Addo).

How that project becomes the exclusive achievement of President Mahama is rather puzzling! The records do not support his point.

 

Read Also: #Election2020: Dr Kwabena Duffour to partner Mahama as running mate for election 2020?

 

Somebody should call the former Deputy Minister of Finance’s attention to the fact that the Bank of Ghana Act is clear on how BoG profits are distributed.

The retained profits after distribution to the Consolidated Funds, if any, are used for operational purposes, for which the Bank of Ghana has operational independence.

That said, it is very clear if (And that’s a VERY BIG IF) Mr Forson insists the President directed the use of operational resources at BoG, then it shows the degree of interference the President had at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), which then shows why Ghana had so many bank failures and macro-economic instability during the times Mr Forson was a member of the Board/Authority of BoG and a Deputy Minister for Finance!

The poverty of Mr Forson’s intrusion should be manifest to all discerning Ghanaians! Propaganda yaamutu!

Good morning Ghana!

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