The host of Metro TV’s flagship current affairs programme, Good Evening Ghana, Paul Adom-Otchere, has claimed that the Bank of Ghana(BoG) deliberately collapsed some indigenous banks.
According to him, the act was purely executed out of envy and hatred.
“It is motivated by jealousy. It is motivated by hatred. It is not motivated by law. No. It is motivated by a personal desire to see another Ghanaian who is succeeding fail and we have to change that in this country,” he passionately stated on his live TV show, Good Evening Ghana.
Mr. Adom-Othcere’s comment follows what he describes as a deliberate action targeting businesses belonging to competitors of the ruling class.
Justifying his proposition, with reference to similar actions involving the confiscation and subsequent collapse of Tata Brewery owned by Mr. Joshua Kwame Siaw, an industrialist and a philanthropist, under the leadership of then Head of State, Flt Lt Jerry Rawling during the revolution days, Mr Adom-Otchere, who is also a lawyer said: “Yes, we should not punish them because they are indigenous companies, grown to a certain level, so if the company does something wrong we should not punish them but does it mean we should not punish anybody? No! We certainly should not punish the company/companies that employ thousands”.
His rant is in reaction to similar assertions by Archbishop Duncan Williams, General Overseer of the Action Faith Chapel International, last year who contended that successive Ghanaian government have gone after local businesses in an attempt to bring them down in favour of foreign interests.
“We have to change that in the country. The new generation thirty (30) years and above listening to me. You must have a different mindset that this kind of evil will not be part of your story when you become a leader four, five years from now. this kind of story where Ghanaians go against themselves because of personal hatred for a man or a woman, they have to pull down his company and by the time they look around there is no single Ghanaian company,” he emphasized.
Mr Adom-Otchere in his commentary argued businesses were targeted because governments involved feared the owners are too strong to take them out of power.
“That was the reason as we have read in the books that the military junta at the time was worried that the confiscated businesses which were later left to collapse will become too strong to take the regime out… We are still doing it and that’s why the Archbishop is complaining,” he explained.
These suspicions are still rife and a large section of the public is keenly following Court proceedings on two separate cases involving former Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor, Dr Kwabena Duffuor and Business mogul, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom
Another respected journalist, Kwaku Baako Jnr has also condemned the collapse of the local banks in a recent media appearance.
“I have said it a couple of times that without the backing of science, meaning which is of evidential value, but rather you [BoG] took a sentimental action without any evidence”, Kweku Baako said on Accra-based Peace FM’s morning show Kokrokoo.
“I felt for the three banks: Nduom’s bank [GN Bank], Heritage Bank that belongs to that young man, Seidu Agongo (because of his extension into radio we met a couple of times in 2014 and 2015) and Dr Duffuor’s bank [uniBank]”, he said.
In reference to Mr Agongo, Kweku Baako said: “He is a young man and I appreciated him and I want to see a young man like him who does great things”, adding: “It was painful his bank went down”.
“The same with uniBank”, he said.
“I will tell [you] honestly; Dr Duffuor is a personal friend but the action taken against the banks was not right”, he added.
Kweku Baako is not the first to have spoken against the collapse of Heritage Bank, in particular.
In September 2019, the founder and CEO of the now-defunct UT Bank, Mr Prince Kofi Amoabeng, also described as unfair and unfortunate, the revocation of the licence of Heritage Bank, whose founder has always argued that the bank was collapsed despite its books being above board.
Asked directly by Accra-based TV3’s Paa Kwesi Asare in an interview on Business Focus: ‘Do you think, as many think, that some of the decisions to close down certain banks was politically motivated?’, Mr Amoabeng answered thus: “A few of them, specifically Heritage Bank”.
“I don’t understand the issue because the Chairman of the Board is Dr Kwesi Botchwey. I have a lot of respect for him when it comes to finance in this country and managing Boards and he will not, in my estimation, ever accept to be Chairman of a bank that is not right and dealing in all sorts of things.
“I can say that for him, so, I find it extremely odd that a bank – and it had not started doing business for it to have bad loans and all those things – and for you to say that the owner didn’t have what it takes or however they put it, I mean the owner doesn’t run the bank, he’s a Ghanaian, he’s got money, he’s appointed the right people to run the bank for him, so, what is the excuse.
“I find that extremely, extremely unfair”, Mr Amoabeng asserted, adding: “Maybe I don’t have all the facts, but from where I stand, I find it really unfortunate”.