Business in Ghana

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MERBAN Transformed. Critical News, 24th November 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 24, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford,

There are serious issues to discuss this week and next, so forgive me if my humor does not burst through as normal.  I have a national budget to talk about, possible backdoor sale of a bank, a panel review of Supreme Court Judges’ involvement in the election petition and my own petition to CHRAJ on the GYEEDA program.

How can you find humor in these matters?  Maybe Vicky Hammah will have the last laugh.  She might be asked to party with the eight-member panel headed by Justice Date-Baah without the Attorney General’s gracious face, she excused herself for some reason, I hope it was a possible conflict of interest.

So I was in “The Skuup” on Friday, waiting for a car service to be completed and did the unthinkable, went to use the toilet.  WC had no seat cover, water was in short supply in the closet, but the floor was totally flooded and the door would not shut properly.  Don’t go there if you have a choice.  This is the toilet facility of an International Press Center, a meeting place for journalists and training ground for the discerning fraternity.  I won’t comment on the food, but hygiene in a toilet is so essential; I left very concerned that we should continue to allow facilities like that to be licensed by the AMA.  I rest my case.

I sent a petition to CHRAJ past Friday, asking that it does its job and start its own investigation into GYEEDA corruption issues.  Together with other Ghanaians, I am not satisfied that the only time we will investigate corruption in this country is when the President thinks it is time to do so.  I also petitioned the Council of State under section 92(7) of the Constitution to set up a commission to look into GYEEDA.

My petition to CHRAJ specifically calls for investigation into Roland Agambire’s AGAMS Group and Joseph Agyepong’s JOSPONG Group in particular and others I think are part of this rape of national coffers.  I am not focused on system failure; we have all that in place.  I think we must hold persons responsible; civil and public servants and private sector service providers.  The system does not steal money, it is persons creating avenues for lining their pockets.  I expect CHRAJ to respond vigorously and get to the bottom of this case irrespective of what the President says.

And needless to say, we should take a look at the FORTIZ and Merchant Bank sale by SSNIT.  It stinks and must be rotten.  Some persons in this country are bent on buying the bank at the cheapest price possible and want to do this through the back door.  I heard a discussion on JoyFm Newsfile, which I thought was all over the place without enough assurance by Government that this is above board.

Fortiz has not been asked by anyone to explain how they intend transforming Merban fortunes, so their offer in the Daily Graphic to explain their role at a future date is not on the table.  We need to hear from the Central Bank.

If First Rand conditioned their purchase of Merban leaving out the loan portfolio, asking for an improvement in capital adequacy and a consideration of use of the head office, which sits in the most traffic congested part of Accra, it is what a sensible banker does.

SSNIT cannot back away from the rot at Merban.  For more than a decade, they represented themselves on the Board as the major shareholder and were involved in large loan decisions by the bank.  The mess is their creation, ignoring BoG regulations.

But what Kweku Baako, speaking on Newsfile does not appreciate is the bad debt situation forced the Bank of Ghana to rescue Merban and also pressure SSNIT to sell the financial institution.  That Engineers Planners is now arranging to pay back what it owes since 2009 while trading and doing business since then at the expense of depriving Merban of working capital should never have been allowed.  More so when repayments stopped after the NDC got back in power in 2009 and one of the largest debtors happens to be the President’s brother.  You don’t need to stretch far.  This is not conspiracy theory; it is taking advantage of sibling authority.

Look, our President is conflicted in this deal.  He has called for a major elimination of corruption.  When your own brother has contributed nearly 20% to the demise of a major bank, you cannot look askance and not apply the same whip as for other corruption cases.  The bank is on offer, without its debts.

Chief Justice Georgina Woode set up a panel to read in between the lines of Vicky Hammah’s loose talk on the back seat of her car.  Nothing might come out of it, but we will hope for a slither of procedure.

I am out of space, no “transformational” budget comment.  I have to write shorter articles because my Daily Guide is feeling the pressure of competition in the market.  How for do?

Yet we made it through to Brazil 2014.  Ghana is elated and some idiot suggested we tattoo President Mahama’s face on our 2014 Brazil jerseys.  It is the kind of thing that might just get done if we stay mute and let the cult develop.

Such is the nonsense in Ghana from time to time.

Ghana, Aha a ye de papa.  Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!

One Response to “MERBAN Transformed. Critical News, 24th November 2013”

  1. Rosaria said

    I do accept as true with all the concepts you’ve presented on your post.
    They are very convincing and can definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for beginners.
    Could you please extend them a little from subsequent time?
    Thanks for the post.

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