The exit of Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah as the Governor of the Bank of Ghana should make all Ghanaians, the IMF, and the international business and investor community extremely worried because it “paves the way for another wholesale pillage of the vaults of the central bank,” according to Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, former General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Sir John, as he is popularly called, sees, what he calls “the forced resignation of Dr Wampah to be replaced by a crony of the President” as done with only one thing in mind: “to let President John Mahama and his Vice President Amissah-Arthur do what they know best, which is to rob the central bank to fund their greed and the NDC election machinery and leave the impoverished people of Ghana even poorer for the next four years until the next general elections.”
In 2012, a few months before the general elections, Mr Amissah-Arthur resigned from the Central Bank for Dr Wampah to replace him, and the confirmation of his tenure was effectively considered to depend on the NDC remaining in office.
In what seems to Sir John as “a carefully orchestrated move,” the timing, and manner of Dr Wampah’s exit as well as his replacement by Dr. Nashiru Issahaku, confirms three things.
“First, President John Mahama intends to break the bank again, as he did in 2012, an election year, for electoral purposes, and that he will do anything to achieve that, including blackmailing public officials.
“Secondly, the President prefers mediocrity above competence, and cares nothing about the health of the economy, and the impact a poorly managed economy has on the ordinary people of Ghana.”
Sir John adds that the appointment is a reaffirmation of the fact that the President is pushing an agenda of “ethnic cronyism.”
“The agenda to reduce the influence, and power of the Fanti, Ewe, and GaDangme factions in John Mahama’s NDC is pretty obvious to me. He wants to establish a hegemony of a small, inner circle of John Mahama drawn from people he grew up with, people he played chasskele with and people he plays with.
“It is not as if he is even doing it to help the people of the North because he took over $200 million in their name through SADA and that became just another victim of create, loot and share. So he does not even do things to help the people of the North. He only does gimmicks like this for them to think he is doing it for them,” Sir John argues in an interview on Tuesday.
He goes on to explain why he thinks the exit of Dr. Wampah, and his replacement by a party loyalist like Dr. Issahaku, was engineered to create the necessary conditions and room for a repeat of the “reckless” expenditure by John Mahama leading up to the 2012 elections.
“In 2012, an election year, Ghana’s fiscal deficit was almost GHc9 Billion, representing about 12% of our GDP. Some $2 billion hole was blown into the budget in the last couple of months to the election. Up to date, no proper explanation has been given to the people of Ghana who have had to tighten their belts, lose their jobs, to pay for those financial sins of the President and his cronies,” the NPP General Secretary during the 2012 elections maintains.
In 2012, government expenditure increased to about 31% of GDP, most of the expenditures occurring in the last few months to the election.
The Bank of Ghana, under then Acting Governor Dr. Wampah has been blamed for the outcome.
The domestic debt market largely financed the fiscal deficit, peaking in 2012 when it accounted for 80% of Total Deficit Financing.
“John Mahama stole from us to win to win at all cost for the people to suffer and suffer. He wants to do it again and we must find a way to stop him,” says Sir John.