“The Governor of the Bank of Ghana shall, for the purposes of this article, disallow any transaction or transfer involving directly or indirectly, any foreign exchange whether in or outside Ghana, which is contrary to law.”
Mr Speaker, complaints were lodged that these people were directly changing moneys into hard currency and wherever they were depositing them, only God knows and yet they sat down aloof, unconcerned. This is in violent breach of article 183 (3) of the Constitution.
So, certainly, as some of my Hon Colleagues have spoken about somebody sleeping on his job. That is why the entire nation, I would not say a region, has been thrown into such turmoil. If we were a nation, which had an eye on diligence, this certainly, would not have happened or at least travelled this far.
Mr Speaker, the BoG is charged with supervising enterprises which take deposits, not only mainstream banks. They are supposed to monitor and supervise their activities. What happens? All deposit taking institutions come under the ambit of the BoG.
So, they pretended that they did not know that they were doing that? When quite apart from the people who were saving, we were told the banks in the catchment area of these institutions also made representations to the BoG, if they did not hear from the victims, did they not hear from the mainstream banks as well?
Mr Speaker, certainly, somebody is not being candid with the people of this country and somebody did not perform his functions.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Regional Minister for the Brong Ahafo Region, the region that apparently suffered most, has told us that the other clubs were registered as fun clubs. Yes, Mr Speaker, they were registered as fun clubs but they were taking deposits and the BoG ought to have intervened.
In that case, they deceived the BoG and should have been charged, arrested and prosecuted for misleading and deceiving the people that they had taken the deposits from.
Mr Speaker, the National Security, I believe, if it were other operations, would have entered the fray. The Regional
Security Council (REGSEC) also existed. What were they doing all this while?
Mr Speaker, we have two Bills before us now and ostensibly I believe, the combined effect of those Bills, once we pass them, would be to help cure some of the mischief that have ensued from the operations of the microfinance institutions.
Mr Speaker, I would think that BoG may have to be invited to sit with Parliament, especially with the Finance Committee, to help us build much more rigidity into the systems such that these things would not have further procreation. Mr Speaker, we need to sit down with them because these things must not be allowed to happen again.
Mr Speaker, in 1993 or thereabout, I guessed the matter came before Parliament and if you listened to the contributions that were made at the time, it was like treating the matter with kids' gloves. Is it the reason why the nation has seen the rebirth of these institutions? Once and for all, we must act decisively so that these things do not reappear on the national scene.
Mr Speaker, I agree with the proposal by the Hon Member for Sunyani West that we should treat this as a national emergency.
If for the time being, there are no provisions for that, the Ministry of Finance may have to make the right approach to the Finance Committee for purposes of rectifying this situation, because we are approaching the farming season and the farmers cannot be allowed to sit in limbo.