National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, Cassiel Ato Forson, has countered claims by Kweku Baako that the Bank Hospital cannot be said to be a project by former President John Mahama.
According to the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, it is an unblemished fact that the hospital, managed by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), was constructed during the tenure of the John Mahama.
“The Bank Hospital remains an unimpeachable John Mahama legacy,” he headlined a short piece on the matter.
According to him, Mr Mahama provided the needed leadership and vision to ensure project success.
“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,” Mr Forson said.
Mr Forson wrote his opinion piece in response to claims attributed to the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, that the Bank of Ghana has the autonomy to embark projects without recourse to funds from central government.
Cassiel Ato Forson’s piece that defends the construction of the hospital as a legacy of John Mahama is published 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 blaims 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)