The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper has challenged former Deputy Finance Minister, to show evidence that The Bank Hospital is part of former President John Mahama’s health infrastructure legacy.

Abdul Malik Kweku Baako said it is not enough for Casiel Ato Forson to claim that the project is Mr Mahama’s legacy when there are no minutes which may illustrate either ministerial or presidential directives to the management or board of the Bank of Ghana, relative to the conception and execution of the Hospital.

“…he [Ato Forson] produces no Cabinet or Ministerial records or documentation to underscore any governmental involvement or directives in the project under reference.

“All Mr. Forson sought to do was to recollect the fact that he was a member of the previous Board/Authority of BoG and a former Deputy Minister for Finance. How does that recollection sustain his/their case that TBH was inspired by the vision and leadership of President Mahama?”

Mr Forson and other members of the opposition National Democratic Congress have criticsed government for not crediting the construction of TBH to former President Mahama after the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu announced that the BoG had released the facility for Covid-19 patients.

While they maintain that Mr Mahama built the Hospital, Mr Baako has rejected the assertions. During a radio discussion on Wednesday, he wondered why the NDC wanted to claim credit for a project they had nothing to do with.

Mr Forson has countered that interrogation, insisting the Hospital is Mahama’s legacy.

But Kweku Baako disagrees. In a counter-statement, he said the Bank of Ghana Act is clear on how BoG profits are distributed.

“The retained profits after distribution to the Consolidated Funds, if any, are used for operational purposes, for which the Bank of Ghana has operational independence.

“That said, it is very clear if (And that’s a VERY BIG IF), Mr. Forson insists the President directed the use of operational resources at BoG, then it shows the degree of interference the President had at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), which then shows why Ghana had so many bank failures and macro-economic instability during the times Mr. Forson was a member of the Board/Authority of BoG and a Deputy Minister for Finance,” he added.

Read Mr Baako’s full statement below:

I was thinking that as a former Deputy Minister for Finance and a member of the previous Board/Authority of BoG, Mr. Ato Forson would have produced something of evidential value to back up his/their case.

He produces no minutes of Board meetings which may illustrate either Ministerial or Presidential directives to the Management and Board of BoG relative to the conception and execution of TBH; he produces no Cabinet or Ministerial records or documentation to underscore any governmental involvement or directives in the project under reference.

All Mr. Forson sought to do was to recollect the fact that he was a member of the previous Board/Authority of BoG and a former Deputy Minister for Finance. How does that recollection sustain his/their case that TBH was inspired by the vision and leadership of President Mahama?

Mr. Forson includes the construction of the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH) as part of President Mahama’s Health Infrastructural legacy.

The conception and construction history of IMaH does not support his assertion. The conception of IMaH crystallized in 2008.

The plot for a new medical facility for GPHA was purchased in 2008. And there are official GPHA records to support that fact.

Initial designs were done in 2009/10. Actual construction commenced in April 2012 and completed in October 2016. The project was fully funded by the GPHA.

His reference to the upgrading and rehabilitation of the Ridge Hospital and the construction of the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) were irrelevant in the context of my submissions relative to TBH and IMaH.

Indeed, I am on record as indicating that the conception and execution of those two projects can and should be credited to the Mills and Mahama Administrations! This is public record!

There is abundant official/public record to show that both Cabinet (including Ministerial) and Parliamentary Approvals for the construction of the two medical facilities, transpired during the tenure of the two Administrations.

In the case of the Upper West Regional Hospital (Wa), I want to believe Mr. Forson knows that Cabinet and Parliamentary approvals for the loan agreements were effected in, April, August, October and November 2008 respectively.

Interestingly, when President Akufo-Addo was commissioning that hospital in November 2019, he underscored the fact that the construction trajectory and history of that hospital had travelled through the reigns of 4 Presidents; starting with Kufuor through to Mills, Mahama and himself (Akufo-Addo).

How that project becomes the exclusive achievement of President Mahama is rather puzzling! The records do not support his point.

Somebody should call the former Deputy Minister for Finance’s attention to the fact the Bank of Ghana Act is clear on how BoG profits are distributed.

The retained profits after distribution to the Consolidated Funds, if any, are used for operational purposes, for which the Bank of Ghana has operational independence.

That said, it is very clear if (And that’s a VERY BIG IF), Mr. Forson insists the President directed the use of operational resources at BoG, then it shows the degree of interference the President had at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), which then shows why Ghana had so many bank failures and macro-economic instability during the times Mr. Forson was a member of the Board/Authority of BoG and a Deputy Minister for Finance!

The poverty of Mr. Forson’s intrusion should be manifest to all discerning Ghanaians! Propaganda yaamutu!

Good morning Ghana!