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Ghana’s Parliament summons the Finance Minister over the collapse of local banks

Ghana's Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta
  • In August 2018, the Bank of Ghana merged five other local banks into what is now called the Consolidated Bank Ghana limited.
  • Ghana's Parliamentarians have indicated that they want to know the state of the banking sector after the merger and other reforms.
  • Parliament has therefore asked the Finance Minister to appear himself to answer questions.

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye has directed the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to appear before the house himself to answer questions filed by Members of the House on the collapse of some local banks.

This comes after the Minority in Parliament insisted that Mr Ofori-Atta should be present and not his deputies who often step in for him when he cannot honour the invitations.

The questions were to be answered on Thursday (March 7, 2019) but the Minister wrote to the House asking for a leave of absence.

When the substantive Minister cannot appear, his or her Deputies some of whom may be Members of Parliament, are allowed to answer questions on behalf of the sector Minister.

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However, the Deputy Minority Leader, James Avedzi complained that Mr Ofori-Atta has never honoured their invites. He added that Mr Ofori-Atta only comes to the house to present annual budgets.

“We only see the Minister here when he stands in dispatch box to present the budget statement or you see him seated behind the [Majority] Leader using his hand to support his jaw. But we want to see him come into the dispatch box to answer questions.”

This compelled the speaker of the house to direct that “the Minister of Finance himself should come and answer the questions in accordance with the date suggested by his good self.”

The Minority in Parliament wants to demand answers from the minister and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana on the state of the banking sector.

Their concerns are coming after the Bank of Ghana consolidated five other local banks into what is now called the Consolidated Bank Ghana limited.

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The banks were Beige Bank, Construction Bank, Royal Bank, uniBank and Sovereign Bank.

The Minority has maintained that customers and the general public should be properly informed of developments within the sector.

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