The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, has resigned from his post three years to the end of his tenure.
He told Joy Business George Wiafe that he was leaving the top job based on “personal reasons”.
The Governor also explains that the decision to step down is the outcome of an agreement reached with the current government earlier this month.
Dr Issahaku’s job came under scrutiny following the victory of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the Presidential elections last year.
Opinions were divided over whether the new Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration should replace him or he should be allowed to serve the remainder of his four-year term.
Dr Issahaku was appointed by former President John Mahama last year following a similar voluntary resignation of Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah as Governor of the Bank of Ghana.
“Our sources say a former Head of Research at the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernerst Addison, is expected to take over as the new Governor after April 1, when Dr Issahaku’s resignation takes effect,” reports George Wiafe.
Dr Addison left the Bank of Ghana in 2012 as Head of Research to the African Development Bank (AfDB).
He was Director of Research at the central bank from 2002 to 2012.
Dr Issahaku on Monday addressed Journalists after he chaired the Monetary Policy Committee Meeting last week to review the health of the economy where he reduced the policy rate by some 200 basis points to 23.5 percent.
The Governor is said to have already informed some critical international institutions that the Bank works with, like the IMF, of his decision to step down.
He will also later this week formally engage staff of the central bank about his resignation.
Before Dr Issahaku’s appointment as Governor, he was the Second Deputy Governor and Executive Board member with oversight responsibilities of nine departments including Economics, Statistics, Finance, Legal, Banking Supervision and Financial Stability.
Controversy after NPP victory
While NPP big shots, like the current Minister of Policy and Evaluation, Anthony Akoto Osei, held that Dr Issahaku should voluntarily step down, the Chief Executive Officer of Dalex Finance and Leasing Company Limited, Kenneth Thompson, and a former President of the Ghana Bar Association, Sam Okudzeto, kicked against the suggestion.
Replacing the Central Bank boss, according to Mr Thompson, will have dire implications for the economy, as the incoming government will have to dole out huge sums of money as a payoff to the governor and this is likely to affect investor confidence.
“It is very sad because this whole debate that has been ignited, I believe, has to do with some individual’s personal interest. But Akufo-Addo the President-elect must allow the institutions to work which I think will be to his advantage as well,” Mr Thompson had told the B&FT newspaper.
Sam Okudzeto at the time of the controversy also stated that “the day of appointment of a governor is not the same as the day of appointment of the government so we must allow the law.”
According to the law, the four-year term of a Governor of the central bank is protected and cannot be dismissed even by the president unless on stated grounds.
Article 183 (4) (d) of the 1992 constitution states that “he shall not be removed from office except on the same grounds and in the same manner as a Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature other than the Chief Justice, may be removed”.