Baako’s ‘Childish’ Defense Of Bawumia Collapses

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… Cedi Redenomination Cost Ghana US$66.2 Million

The Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, has shockingly taken on President John Dramani Mahama, saying he was wrong in questioning the cost of the redenomination of the cedi by Kufuor administration, which cost our poverty ravaged country US$66.2 million.

Speaking on MultiTV/Joy FM news analysis show, Newsfile, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako said: “the President goofed and goofed big time.”

This according to Mr. Baako, was because the then Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Paul Acquah, although daringly refused to give details of the redenomination exercise, when he was summoned to parliament, he later granted an interview to the Daily Graphic newspaper, where he mentioned the cost.

Mr. Baako, an apostle of strict proof and accountability, ignored the value for money analysis, which Parliament, would have subjected Dr. Paul Acquah and his officers, including his then deputy, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia; something the newspaper could not do.

Meanwhile, The Herald, has landed some interesting details and names of some individuals, who played active roles in the redenomination exercise and would be making it public in the coming days.

President John Mahama, while on a campaign tour at the Ablekuma North Constituency in Accra last week, questioned the cost of the cedi redenomination undertaken by President John Kufuor’s government in 2007.

He challenged the NPP’s vice-presidential candidate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who was then a Deputy Governor of the BoG to come clean on the cost of the redenomination.

In a response, Dr. Bawumia, said the request by the President was another “demonstration of incompetence.”
Kweku Baako in his submission on the issue, said the comment by the President was an “inexcusable gaffe” that must not be rationalized.

Mr. Baako, who mounted a feeble defense for Dr. Bawumia, believes “it was just politics…propaganda on a political platform which all of them do anyway…but in this case it is the President so you take him on, you deal with it but because he is our president, we are showing some little moderation and respect in dealing with this matter.”

Kweku Baako, read part of a Parliamentary Hansard of December 4, 2006.

According to the Hansard, the then Governor, was asked to disclose the cost of the exercise in parliament, but he did not give the full figure.

However, with reference to a Daily Graphic publication, Mr. Baako, said the cost involved in the exercise was announced by then Bank of Ghana Governor, Paul Acquah, at the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting in 2007.

“There is no need to rationalize it….yesterday I heard some NDC communicators trying to revise the whole thing to the effect that the president was not talking about the cost of the printing but that there were some other related things which should be added to, then why didn’t the President tell us? he quizzed.

Policy Advisor to the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Kofi Asamoah Siaw on the same platform said the President’s comment is evidence of a “desperation that has hit the NDC campaign and they are pushing the President so hard…they should give him a break so that he can retire peacefully after December 7.”

On his part, the NPP MP for Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng, quoted a Daily Graphic publication Mr Baako referred to.

He said the story, authored by Samuel Doe Ablordepe read: “The bank of Ghana spent a total of $66.2 million about GHC62, 188 million on the redenomination exercise, the governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Paul Acquah has disclosed.”

He then challenged the President to arrest the culprits if he suspects any corrupt dealings in the redenomination of the cedi.

The NDC MP for North Dayi, George Loh, on the other hand, reiterated the President’s call and urged Dr. Bawumia to make public the cost of the redenomination exercise.

A story attributed to The Chronicle newspaper dated Thursday, May 24, 2007 titled “Cost of cedi re-denomination – Still Unknown”.
Newspaper reported that “The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Paul Acquah, says the cost of the cedi re-denomination to the country is not yet known.

In an answer to a member of parliament (MP) on how much it was going to cost the country to print the new notes, the Governor, said he could not indicate, because public education was underway and was part of the expenditure.

The Governor also said that the cedi redenomination exercise was not mentioned in the 2007 budget, presented to Parliament, because it had the risk of sending wrong signals to the market.

He added that his outfit however had consultations with the government before the introduction of the cedi re-denomination.
The Governor said this in response to a question posed by the Minority Leader on whether government was aware of the sudden introduction of the critical monetary policy and why it was not mentioned in the 2007 budget.

Briefing Parliament on the new policy, the Governor, said because Parliament has oversight responsibilities for budgetary policies, Parliament’s commitment to fiscal discipline would be crucial for the success of the monetary reform over the long term.

He said the re-denomination demands a continued commitment to financial stability, a dedication to preserve the values of the currency unit as a monetary standard to maintain its value in terms of quantity.
According to him, it is a commitment to implement policies and manage affairs in both the public and private sector in such a way that the value placed on the cedi remains stable.

He said that the re-denomination would free the economy to do business in the most efficient way based on the cedi as a means of exchange and with continued commitment to prudent and disciplined economic policies.

Dr. Acquah disclosed that the new currency notes and coins were planned for introduction by July 2007 and the public would be kept fully informed about the exercise, which would require the cooperation of stakeholders and public institutions.

He noted that in this regard, Parliament would be required to soon rectify the statutes of the West African Monetary Zone and its institutions, which is one of the obligations Ghana has to fulfill along with other convergence criteria.

The Governor ,explained that both the old and new cedi notes and coins would be in physical circulation for a period of at least six months before the old cedi notes and coins would be withdrawn.

He cautioned that one does not need to withdraw money already in the bank for exchange because after the re-denomination, new notes would be given but after six months, old notes would be changed only at the bank of Ghana and any commercial or rural bank but would not be legal tender to be used for trade and other transactions.

After the presentation, Hon. Bagbin said members of the house needed more insight and needed to be convinced, because they would not be in a position to play a crucial role as a vehicle in the educational process of such an important policy, if they were not well versed in the process and requested a revisit of the Governor to the house.

“He has to come back to tell us the progress of the exercise”.
More to come!

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