NDC fights Kweku Baako over funding of BoG Hospital
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ejumako/Eyan/Essiam, Cassiel Ato Forson, has said Kweku Baako, a veteran journalist, can continue to engage in propaganda gymnastics, but the fact remains that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) hospital is a legacy of his boss, former President John Dramani Mahama.
As the former Deputy Minister for Finance and a former board member of the bank, Ato Forson said the hospital was built using public funds at the time John Mahama was President and provided the needed leadership.
The ranking member on the finance committee of Parliament, Mr Ato Forson, issued a statement to respond squarely to the Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Kweku Baako who stated on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo yesterday that the BoG hospital has no traces of John Mahama.
This assertion, Ato Forson said, is untrue. He said Mr Baako needs to understand that the central bank has functional autonomy and that autonomy does not apply when it comes to the use of public funds.
“Mr. Baako can continue to do his blinded PR for the Government he prefers, however, he is not entitled to his own set of facts.
“As a former member of the Bank of Ghana Board, I am honoured to assert that The Bank Hospital is a proud legacy of the NDC and John Mahama. No amount of unprincipled propaganda gymnastics can change this obvious fact,” he noted.
Read full statement below
The Bank Hospital remains an unimpeachable John Mahama legacy
As former Deputy Minister responsible for Finance and one who served on the board of the Bank of Ghana from 2013 to 2017, I confirm without equivocation that the Bank Hospital is a President John Mahama legacy.
The Bank Hospital was built using public funds at the time H.E. John Mahama was President of the Republic. President Mahama provided the leadership and vision that was needed at the time to conceptualize and establish the hospital.
Mr. Baako needs to understand that the central bank has functional autonomy and that autonomy does not apply when it comes to the use of public funds.
It must be made clear that the Central Bank makes profit through its operations. The profit of the Bank of Ghana are public funds, hence the use of these funds are subject to the directives of the Government of the day under the laws of Ghana thereof.
Having served on the Board of the Bank of Ghana, I can impeccably confirm that it was the vision and policy directive of President Mahama during that era which informed the construction of the Bank Hospital.
For the record and for the avoidance of any scintilla of doubt, the Government of Ghana is the shareholder of the Bank of Ghana just as the Ghana Cocoa Board.
It is trite knowledge that the government of the day apart from appointing the Governor and Deputy Governors, making appointments to the board; the Government offers policy direction on how income (profit) accrued from a public institution which has functional autonomy is utilized.
There is no gainsaying in the fact that the novel coronavirus pandemic has brought to the fore the great vision and sound judgement of President Mahama in positively altering the health landscape of our country. From the Bank Hospital to the Ridge Hospital to the University of Ghana Hospital to the Dodowa Hospital to the Upper West Regional Hospital to the Maritime Hospital and many others, President Mahama stands vindicated for the superiority of his vision in transforming the health sector of Ghana.
The least President Mahama deserves especially from someone who claims to be his friend is an honest admission of the facts.
How ironic that when it suits Mr. Kwaku Baako, he blames President Mahama for the depreciation of the currency during his tenure without recourse to the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and the Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612) which prescribes the responsibility of price stability including inflation, interest rate and the management of the currency to the Bank of Ghana and yet by some warped logic and selective amnesia, he only remembers the Bank of Ghana’s functional autonomy now simply because he must deny President Mahama credit.
Mr. Baako can continue to do his blinded PR for the Government he prefers, however, he is not entitled to his own set of facts.
As a former member of the Bank of Ghana Board, I am honoured to assert that The Bank Hospital is a proud legacy of the NDC and John Mahama. No amount of unprincipled propaganda gymnastics can change this obvious fact.
Perhaps Mr Baako should use all that energy to tell us what investments his darling President Akufo-Addo has made in the health sector since assuming the Presidency particularly at this crucial time when we are at war against COVID-19.
Facts shall always be sacred.
Cassiel Ato Forson (MP)
Ranking Member, Finance Committee of Parliament.
Member, Board of Bank of Ghana.(2013- Jan 2017)
By Maxwell Ofori / www.thechronicle.com.gh