Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, has questioned the government’s decision to establish the Development Bank of Ghana without parliamentary approval.
Speaking to the media during a press conference, Mr Iddrisu cited that similar banks including the Agricultural Development Bank which was set up in 1965 were established by an act of parliament.
He explained that given the challenges the banking sector has had to face in recent years, the government will need parliament to regulate the objective of the bank, its functions among others to ensure it does not engage in fiscal irresponsible acts.
“So it is the kind of defeatist for me for the Ministry of Finance to want to establish this bank without recourse to parliament. But, will they come for parliament to provide funding for it? What will be the basis for parliament approving money for such a bank? Already it means the GHC300 million allocation is clearly illegal,” Mr Iddrisu said.
His comments come after the government decided it will not seek parliamentary approval for the setting up of the Development Bank of Ghana.
The government stated that it will use the registrar general’s department for the necessary approval.
However, the minority believes that there needs to be parliamentary legislation in place before the bank is set up as pertains to other development banks in the country.
Mr Iddrisu said that “we will not accept any public resources dedicated to that bank until it is supported by legislation. We in the minority are opposed to even the concept of a new national development bank.”
He also questioned the ongoing recruitment process to fill key positions at the bank stating that it has been shrouded in secrecy.
“You hear them saying that the determination of a board and the determination of a CEO was competitive, show me an advert inviting interested Ghanaians applicants of repute with enormous financial experience to lead this process, that has not happened,” Mr Iddrisu added.
Meanwhile, responding to Mr Iddrisu’s concerns Deputy Finance Minister Dr John Kumah said there are many ways including using the parliamentary act to set up a bank for the country and thus the government has chosen to use existing structures and laws to set up the bank.
Speaking on Top Story on Thursday, he said that “I think that what is going on is not illegal or contrary to our laws. The Minister of Finance is going through the existing banking regime, for instance securing licenses from Bank of Ghana, [and], operating and setting up structures within the banking governance regime that is already existing. it is not wholly true that you could do this by setting up legislation.”
He added that this route will help the government steer the bank away from politics.
Dr Kumah told Evans Mensah that it is also untrue that the Finance Minister has not been to parliament or furnished the members with the needed information about the bank.
He explained that in the 2021 budget, a seed fund of about GHC300 million made available for the bank was highlighted and also other additional information was captured in the 2021 mid-year budget review statement.
“I heard the minority leader say they will oppose any allocation of such an arrangement, but the finance minister and government has already spent monies on various banks without going for any act but still within the banking structures, the Bank of Ghana licensing regime and the banking act,” he added,
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