Customers’ Retirement Benefits, Savings, Hospital Bills & Provident Funds Going Unaccountable
It is becoming increasingly clear that, Ghanaians have not fully appreciated the extent of the financial sector clean-up with respect to the savings, investments, retirement benefits and the provident funds of customers being swept away through the combined acts of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Ministry of Finance.
But The Herald’s continuous investigations into the matter and the various roles played by state officials and their private sector operators, suggest only a public inquiry, could get the entire citizenry to brace up for their imminent life without money to pay school fees, medical bills and an imperfect retirement.
This paper’s information is that there is a long list of businessmen, politicians, political party financiers and several others, including relatives of President Akufo-Addo, who had taken loans from some of these banks and financial houses, and had defaulted in payment.
Attempts to retrieve the debts with court judgements, rather saw the withdrawal of licenses, thus stalling the process, and a return of the collateral to the defaulters. This was after they had rushed to the Office of President to intervene and prevent the auctioning of the properties they had used as collaterals.
Some of such concerns, The Herald is informed by Jubilee House sources, have been raised in an SOS letter reportedly sent to President Akufo-Addo in August this year, by the Council of State representative of the Greater Accra Region, Dr. Nii Kotei Dzani, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Groupe Ideal.
The Herald, learnt that Dr. Dzani, wrote to President Akufo-Addo, complaining about how his government owes his company about GHC90 million and requesting for an emergency meeting with him before SEC shut down his company, but the said meeting did not happen and SEC led by Rev. Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, who many believe is only doing the bidding of his former boss at Data Bank, Ken Ofori-Atta, currently the Finance Minister.
This paper is informed that, the Finance Ministry, Ministry of Roads, the Ghana Education Trust Fund, Energy Ministry, are part of the many state agencies which are heavily indebted to Groupe Ideal, and had they settled their debts, the company’s license, could not have been withdrawn by SEC.
Groupe Nduom, had also complained about similar maltreatments, saying government heavily owes it, and insisted if those debts had been settled, its operations could not have been downgraded from a fully-fledged commercial bank to a Savings and Loans, and the subsequent withdrawal of its licenses by BoG.
This paper’s findings, have revealed that the BoG and Ministry of Finance, have not been candid with the Ghanaian taxpayers ,who according to Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, have so far spent almost GHC21 billion to reform the banking sector.
But arrangements have also been to shield friends and family members of the Akufo-Addo regime, who are heavily indebted to these commercial banks, saving and loans companies and the financial house.
So instead of chasing the defaulters, the government is rather focused and pursuing the directors and owners of these institutions.
This paper’s investigations, also discovered, that many directors and indeed, the owners of these banks and financial houses, would like to speak out on the unfairness of the process, but their morbid fears are that they will become victims of government propaganda, mudslinging and the use of the courts to intimidate them on phony criminal charges as happened to William Ato Essien, founder of Capital Bank, who was quickly dragged to court after an interview with Paul Adom Otchere on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana Show.
Dr. Dzani, The Herald further learnt from insiders at Ideal Groupe in their letter to the president, lamented about how government’s indebtedness, had rendered the company unable to meet its clients’ demands and this had brought untold hardship to them, such that they are unable to pay their hospital bills, undergo required surgeries, pay their children’s school fees, pay their rent, among others.
The Council of State member’s letter according to Jubilee House contacts, mentioned reputational damage to the directors and shareholders of his company, as well as their dependents, and demanded the President’s timely intervention in the above state of affairs, to get Capital Partners’ funds released to them will not only save a number of jobs for citizens of your dear country, but also bring to an end the deep woes of our clients.
But as mentioned, the meeting with President Akufo-Addo, did not happen and few weeks later, the Fund Management Company, licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Ghana moved in to shut down the Groupe Ideal.
More to come!