The Finance Ministry is standing its ground in the move to set up the new Development Bank Ghana (DBG) without parliamentary approval.
A Deputy Finance Minister, John Kumah, has said the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who is leading the initiative, has not flouted any law by choosing a different route to set up the DBG.
“What is going on is not illegal and it is not contrary to our laws. The Ministry of Finance is going through the existing banking regime to set up the development bank,” he stressed.
Following the recommendation of a taskforce of experts, the Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration has been working towards the setting up of the DBG to address the market failures in the Ghanaian credit markets.
This is expected to increase the availability of medium to long-term financing to Ghanaian businesses and to facilitate economic transformation and job creation.
The primary focus areas of the Bank will be Agribusiness – with a focus on off-farm value-chain activities – Manufacturing, ICT, software, and allied services, including Business-Process Outsourcing, and Tourism and Homeownership Mortgage Finance.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story, the Deputy Finance Minister said it is not accurate for the Minority the Finance Minister has not been to Parliament on the DBG.
“In the 2021 budget…it was [stated] in the budget that a seed fund of about 300 million cedis was made available. Every time the Finance Minister has been to Parliament, he has informed Parliament about steps that are being taken to set up this Development Bank of Ghana. So, if anybody says we have not been to Parliament it is not true. It is a question of route. Are you seeking to set it up by an Act of Parliament, as in by legislation? That is different from not going to Parliament,” John Kumah said.
A Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Community and Minority’s Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, has also raised concerns about the government’s decision to use COVID-19 funds as seed capital for the DBG.
According to him the opposition NDC’s legislator for Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA), it appears the government has found a dubious strategy to capitalise the bank with COVID-19 in a bid to inflate COVID-19-related spending.
But in a sharp rebuttal, John Kumah said it is not wrong if COVID-19 funds will be used to capitalise the DBG.
According to him, COVID-19 has disrupted the plans of many countries and Ghana has not been left out