The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday sent officials of the Bank of Ghana who had appeared before it packing because the Governor was not among them.
Dr Ernest Addison and his officers were scheduled to appear before the committee to respond to the Auditor-General’s report on the statement of foreign exchange receipts and payments of the bank for the years ending December 31, 2017 and 2018.
But when the meeting was called to order, it was discovered that neither Dr Addison nor any of his two deputies were there to respond to the concerns as captured in the Auditor-General’s report.
Instead three directors, led by Stephen Opata, Director, Financial Services were there on behalf of the top echelon of the Central Bank.
Asked why their boss was unable to attend upon the Committee, Mr Opata could not give any reason only to say that “as late as yesterday, the plan was that the Governor or one of his deputies was going to attend.”
Unenthused about the conduct of the Governor who was yet to appear before the Committee since his appointment in 2017, the Committee Chairman, James Klutse Avedzi, tossed on his colleagues what should be done.
“Colleagues, the [Governor of the] Bank of Ghana does not see the work of this Committee as important and so he has decided to send directors to appear before this Committee. What should we do?” he asked.
In response Committee Members demanded that the available team went back and made way for the Governor himself to appear today.
“There is nowhere in this world where a Committee of Parliament is treated this way. Let us remind them that per the Constitution and Standing Orders of Parliament, Parliament is clothed with the necessary powers to subpoena the Governor of the Bank of Ghana to appear before the Committee,” a Committee Member, Ras Mubarak, bemoaned.
“It appears the head of the Bank of Ghana does not take us serious and that is an obvious disrespect to the legislature.
“I do not recall since he assumed office as Governor when he appeared before this Committee.
“We have had past governors appearing before this Committee to respond to issues and I don’t see how different he is from those who were before him that he does not find it important to appear before this Committee,” another member, Richard Quashigah, lamented.
Ruling on the matter, Mr Avedzi said “we want the governor to appear before the Committee tomorrow [that is today].”
“Kindly communicate to the governor that the Committee wants him to appear before us tomorrow so that we can consider the 2017 and 2018 reports.”
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI