Anyone who was in Ghana about five years ago, would remember the microfinance scandal in the then Brong Ahafo Region, in which hundreds of people (if not thousands) lost their investments running into millions of cedis.
If this is the first time you are hearing about it, the issue that dragged on for months, happened after the Bank of Ghana (BoG) suspended the operations of microfinance companies including DKM, for violating the banking act.
The central bank confiscated the assets of the company and appointed the Registrar General’s Department to commence liquidation process to refund customers of the company.
Five years on, efforts by the then and current governments to ensure that all aggrieved depositors received their locked up cash, has still not yielded the desired results as majority of depositors still await payment.
There seem to be some ray of hope as the Vice President, Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, at a Town Hall meeting in Kumasi, gave yet another assurance that all depositors of collapsed DKM financial institution would be paid.
He said they would be included in the payment process of depositors of all collapsed banking and financial institutions over the last few years in the financial sector clean up.
He said over a million depositors had been paid so far, as government has already spent GH¢13 billion on the payment of depositors adding that, the banking sector clean-up was to protect the financial sector from total collapse.
It has been an excruciating experience for persons whose monies have been locked up.
We do not need to be in their shoes to know this situation has affected businesses and families because their locked up money irrespective of how much it was worth, had specific purposes.
In view of this, we expect the government to honour its promise to relieve these depositors of the pain they are going through.
The payment would go a long way to resuscitate collapsed businesses with rippling effect on the economy.
While we wait for the government, we also urge the aggrieved depositors across the country, to exercise patience while the government completes its verification exercise and pay them.
We have received snippets of information that some of these aggrieved customers are tired of waiting and are considering series of demonstrations to compel the government to pay them.
Inasmuch as we share in the pain that they are going through we urge them to give the government some more time to fulfil its promise and ensure their monies are paid to everyone.
In the financial sector cleanup, for instance, we have seen that assets of the banks are being auctioned, amongst other efforts to raise the money. This shows that with time the government can raise enough to pay all depositors.
We are very hopeful that in a little while the needful would be done.