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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Gov't Has Not Pressurized BOG"-Okudzeto

The Deputy Minister for Information, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has discredited media reports that the NDC gov’t is pressurizing the Bank of Ghana to print extra money in excess of 2 billion Ghana cedis. According to him, the BOG is an autonomous body that operates on its own, albeit in the interest of government.

“It’s not true. When it comes to money matters, gov’t does not direct the Bank of Ghana (BOG). Any such recommendations, directions or advice comes from the BOG, before gov’t takes a decision on it. This economy is not run that way The BOG works as an independent outfit,” he explained.

The Deputy Minister for Information was speaking in an interview with PEACEFM NEWS in reaction to a publication in the “The Statesman” newspaper that the National Democratic Congress is coercing the Bank of Ghana to print extra money in excess of 2 billion Ghana cedis.

According to the story, “this was contained in an unusual letter from the Minister of Finance to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana.”
The letter, requesting for the money, explains that Government is under pressure to pay off arrears owed to contractors and money is urgently sought for that purpose.

But Mr. Okudzeto stridently rebuffed the report as baseless and untrue and rather reminded the public of the serious repercussions such a scenario could have on the country’s economy and its relations with international partners.

He disclosed that the country has secured an amount of 1.5billion US Dollars from the IMF and the World Bank for development purposes, which will be available by the next quarter of this year or early next year.

“In the history of the IMF and the World Bank, no African country has had access to such an amount…so why the need to pressurize the BOG to print money we do not need?” he asked.

The government of Ghana owes about 81trillion cedis and is currently re-negotiating and arranging payments with countries it is indebted to.
Source: Kwadwo Asante/peacefmonline

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