Mahama Ayariga petitions BoG to investigate plans to sell GAT shares to third parties

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Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has petitioned the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to investigate both the Board Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) over alleged plans to sell the Trust’s shares to third parties.

Mr. Ayariga argues that Albert Essien and Eric Otoo are in close liaison with the Ministry of Finance and the Second Deputy Governor of BoG to execute the transaction.

“The Finance Minister through its agents at GAT and SEC is in the process of offloading GAT shares to its third party nominees without giving an opportunity to original Ghanaian shareholders to buy same. This questionable conduct must be investigated by BoG and halted immediately or BoG will be seen as complicit if it is ultimately proven to be fraudulent and this will expose the bank to grave liability.”

He insists in his petition to the BoG Governor that GAT, under the leadership of Mr. Essien and Mr. Otoo has also engaged in a number of dubious transactions. These, according to Mr. Ayariga, have weakened the corporate governance capacity of certain banks, and rendered them vulnerable within the financial sector.

“GAT engaged the various banks sometime in 2019 when the banks urgently needed capital injection to meet the new BoG recapitalization requirement,” he said.

He added that: “though some of the banks were, prior to the closing of the transaction, described as a solvent, well-governed and well managed, these banks were forced by circumstances of having to meet the BoG’s minimum capital requirement within the stipulated time frame to accept the offer from GAT.”

Mr. Ayariga further noted that the Minority in Parliament will not hesitate to bring legal action against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), GAT, and BoG if the said allegations are not investigated.

Incorporated under the Companies Act as a public limited liability company in 2018, GAT is made up of some private pension funds, and was put in place to support five banks that were unable to meet the GHC400 million capital requirement but were solvent.

The five banks were: ADB, NIB, the merged Omni/Bank Sahel Sahara, Universal Merchant Bank, and Prudential Bank.

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