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OccupyGhana demands details of GH₵2.2bn

-Auditor-General claimed to have retrieved



Surcharge, disallowance, Newscenta, Auditor General, Johnson, Akuamoah Asiedu, GH₵2.2 billion,

OccupyGhana is demanding specifics, details and particulars of alleged disallowances and retrievals from the Auditor-General.

The pressure group wants names of the people involved, amounts allegedly retrieved from each of them, and when and how the said retrievals occurred.

The demand constitutes  the exercise of  OccupyGhana’s right to information under both the Constitution and the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989).

OccupyGhana’s demand was in response to a story dated September 18 2022 in which the Auditor General Mr. Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu disclosed that his outfit disallowed GH₵4 billion and ‘retrieved’ GH₵2.2 billion from those disallowances between 2017 and 2020.

According to the reports, Auditor Service has opened a recoveries account with the Bank of Ghana, into which GH₵908,653 has been paid.


However, OccupyGhana  said a close reading of the story, and comparing its contents with information the Auditor-General provided to the pressure group, letters dated June  14 and  July 4, 2022, gives OccupyGhana  much cause for concern, grounds to doubt the veracity of recovery claims, and bases to question the legality of some of the steps  the Auditor-General claimed to have taken.

The pressure group pointed out that section 17(2) of the Audit Service Act demands that ‘a sum specified by the Auditor-General to be due from any person shall be paid by that person to the department or institution.’

In view of this provision, OccupyGhana stated that Auditor-General’s alleged recoveries into the above-named account are illegal.

“The persons affected are to pay the amounts ‘to the department or institution’ and not to any special account that you may have opened.

“This formality requirement is stated in section 17(1) of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584), which mandatorily demands that you ‘shall specify to the appropriate head of department or institution the amount due from any person upon whom he has made a surcharge or disallowance and the reasons for the surcharge or disallowance.’


“Section 17(6) then reinforces this formal requirement by saying that in any recovery proceedings, ‘a certificate signed by the Auditor-General shall be prima facie evidence of the facts certified.

“To compound matters, you informed us, in your letter to us dated 14 June 2022, that you had (i) decided that before you issue the formal specification/notice, you will first issue a notice of intention to disallow, and (ii) established a committee that ‘is collecting evidence from the various audit teams before proceeding with the notice of intention to disallow and/or surcharge and follow it up with disallowance and surcharge certificates where appropriate,” it added.

OccupyGhana therefore stated that Auditor-General cannot claim to have disallowed any expenditure, without the formal documentation required of it by both the Supreme Court and the Act.

“Further, you cannot claim to have ‘retrieved’ any sums unless and until you have issued surcharges,” it added.

The pressure group said it struck at the blinding speed with which the Auditor-General transitioned from setting up the committee, to the committee concluding its work, to issuing notice of intention to disallow Ȼ4 Billion, to issuing disallowance certificates, and to retrieving Ȼ2.2 billion (without surcharge certificates), and all between June and now.


OccupyGhana is therefore curious to know how these headline disallowances and consequent ‘retrievals’ occurred.


Ofori-Atta appeals to Parliament to approve revenue measures



Ofori-Atta, Newscenta, revenue measures, debt restructuring, parliament,

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has informed parliament of his intention to present necessary fiscal adjustments to the house in august after the debt operation is completed.

Outstanding revenue mobilisation bills

Already, he said the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, Excise Duty & Excise Tax Stamp (Amendment) Bills as well as the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill, are outstanding in Parliament.

According to him, the consideration and approval of fiscal measures by Parliament are critical for recovery from the current economic crisis.

Facilitating IMF Board approval


The Minister therefore entreated Parliament to prioritise the approval of the outstanding revenue mobilisation bills to facilitate the Board Approval for International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme staff level agreement by the end of March, 2023.

“We are still counting on you for the passage of all the outstanding revenue Bills which are necessary for effective Budget Implementation as well as boosting our efforts at increasing our Tax-to-GDP from less than 13% to the sub-Saharan average of 18,” he stated.

Expected impact of IMF Board approval

He is confident IMF Board approval will restore macro-economic stability, ensure debt sustainability as well as provide critical social protection for the benefit of Ghanaians.

Factors that impacted economy negatively


COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine war, soaring energy and food prices, higher interest rates, a strong dollar and a global slowdown negatively affected the economy.

Ghana seeking $3 billion loan

Ghana and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached staff-level agreement on economic policies and reforms to be supported by a new three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of about $3 billion.

But, the IMF has made it clear that the Board approval of the deal is contingent on a successful debt exchange programme.

Broader govt response strategy


Addressing Parliament on the ongoing debt restructuring efforts, Ofori-Atta explained that debt operations are a composite part of a broader government response strategy for addressing the current challenges.

While being optimistic about IMF programme to boost confidence in the economy, he emphasized that complementing it with enhanced domestic mobilisation efforts is critical.

4 out of 5 agreed Prior Actions in the Staff Level Agreement

The Finance Minister averred that the passage of the Bills will enable government to complete four out of five agreed Prior Actions in the Staff Level Agreement.

Agreed Prior Actions already implemented


He noted that tariff adjustment by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Publication of the Auditor-General’s Report on COVID-19 Spending, and Onboarding of Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) and Road Fund on the Ghana integrated financial management information system (GIFMIS) have all been completed.

International and domestic bond markets are shut

Ofori-Atta reminded the legislators that the international and domestic bond markets are shut for the financing of government’s programmes, forcing government to rely on the Treasury Bills and concessional loans as the primary sources of financing for the 2023 fiscal year.

Therefore, he called on Parliament to support the government’s financing requests to ensure a smooth recovery from the economic challenges.

He thanked everyone who tendered and supported the Domestic Debt Exchange programme saying “It is a truly remarkable act of sacrifice in our nation’s history. We thank those who heeded our clarion call and took the selfless, patriotic decision to participate. Your names and deeds will never be forgotten. Your timely support is deeply appreciated,”.


He is confident that the programme government has set out for this year, supported by Parliament, will get Ghana out of the economic crisis that has hit the economy since Covid-19.

Inflation interest and exchange rates to stabilise

He hopes for stability in the exchange rates, inflation and interest rates, bringing businesses and families some respite.

Suspension of payments of interest on foreign debt

Government also announced a suspension of all debt service payments for certain categories of external debt, pending an orderly restructuring.


International bondholders

Ofori-Atta revealed that Ghana initiated discussions with representatives of international bondholders and their Advisors.

According to him, substantive discussions are due to start with them in the weeks to come.

G-20 Debt Treatment initiative

Ghana officially asked its bilateral creditors for a Debt Treatment initiative under the G-20 Common framework.


Negotiations with commercial creditors underway

The Finance minister said the process of negotiations have started in good faith with commercial creditors.

Ofori-Atta stated that two preliminary discussions and exchange of information have started on a good footing with representative committees and advisors.

Creditor Committee to assess Ghana’s request

According to him, the members have indicated their commitment to establish a Creditor Committee to assess Ghana’s request for debt treatment under the Common Framework by end February, 2023.

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IMF assigns resident financial supervision adviser to BoG



Financial adviser, BoG, Newscenta, banking sector supervision, IMF,

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has assigned a Resident financial sector supervision adviser to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to provide technical assistance and help build the capacity of the banking supervision function.

The appointment was at the request of Bank of Ghana with full funding from Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Mr. Leonard Chumo, the Resident Adviser, started his assignment at the Bank of Ghana on February 6, 2023, and was expected to stay for three years.

A statement issued by BoG in Accra said the Adviser’s placement was a continuation of cooperation in this area between the Bank, the IMF and SECO, that started as early as in 2015 and had already seen the assignment of a previous Adviser until 2018.

It said achievements from the past collaborative efforts include the passage of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), the development and issuance of the Corporate Governance Directive 2018, and the Capital Requirement Directive 2018.


Mr Chumo, brings first-hand knowledge of supervisory work from leading central banks as well as previous technical assistance experience in the Western Africa region.

The statement said among others, he would support the implementation of Pillar two and three of the Basel II/ III capital frameworks, as well as strengthen the Risk-Based Supervisory framework at the Bank of Ghana.

The Bank commended the management of SECO for the continued funding of Long-Term Technical Experts from the IMF to the Bank.

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Govt pledges to pay coupons, principals on all maturing bonds  



Coupons, Newscenta, maturing principals, bondholders, payment,

Government has assured all bondholders, including those who self-exempted from the voluntary Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) that it will honour all coupon payments and maturing principals when due.

Payment of coupons and principal for bonds that matured since   February 6 to date (herein referred to as ‘Due Bonds’ remain outstanding.

Bondholders want government to make payments not later than Friday, February 17, 2023.

A statement issued by the Finance Ministry indicates that more than 80% bondholders participated in its $137 billion DDEP.

“The DDEP closed on Friday February 10, 2023, with over 80% participation of eligible bonds,” it said.


The Finance Ministry pledged to honour all coupon payments and maturing principals in addition to commitments to further streamline Government’s expenditures.

“We would like to stress that, all Individual bondholders, especially our Senior Citizens, should rest assured that their coupon payments and maturing principals, like all Government bonds, will be honoured in line with Government’s Fiscal commitments.

“The Government would like to reassure all individual bondholders who elected not to participate that your coupon payments and maturing principals, like all Government bonds, will be honoured in line with Government fiscal commitments,” it added.

Government reiterated that the DDEP had been executed to help protect the economy and enhance Ghana’s capacity to service its public debts effectively, as its debt had become unsustainable.

The alternative for not executing the DDEP would have brought grave disorder in the servicing of our national debt and exacerbated the current economic crisis.


It expressed gratitude to bondholders for the overwhelming participation, adding that their support and contributions had gotten Ghana much closer to securing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

There are fears that those who opt against signing up are not guaranteed market liquidity for the old bonds, because they are likely to become less tradeable on the secondary market compared with the new bonds.

On the other hand, individuals who sign up for the new bonds will have more certainty even in a changing economic landscape.

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