It has come to light that the nation’s foremost commercial bank, GCB Bank has transferred a whopping total amount of GHc52 billion (about $10 billion) it held on behalf of the Bank of Ghana into “unknown sources” or accounts.
There were strong denials from government communicators when the story was first broken by popular social media commentator and CEO of Loud Silence Media, Kevin Taylor. Some who could not imagine that such a huge sum of money could be so mishandled accused Kevin of jumping to a conclusion based on a fake letter.
The Audit Service however confirmed that the said letter of reference number EID/B.Line/AUD/20/7 issued on the 5th of October 2020 and signed by the Deputy Auditor General together with the contents therein, was authentic.
Considering the staggering sums of money involved – sums amounting to billions of dollars (USD) – the laxity in financial administration could be construed as being either criminally negligent or criminally deliberate; given that there were no bank statements covering certain specific months for which reason the service was “unable to ascertain the completeness of transactions between the collection and holding accounts.”
The Audit Service, which is purported to be working at the instance of the Ministry of Finance, charged the Managing Director of GCB thus: “our examination of the Transit Accounts bank statement in relation to tax revenue showed that your bank contrary to the agreement for the funds to be transferred into designated BoG Holding Accounts, transferred a total of GHc 52,537,175,778.13 into unknown sources over the period under review.”
This raises a number of critical questions regarding procedure, transparency and accountability.
Interestingly, the Finance Minister, Hon. Ken Ofori Atta, a man whose name is “no stranger” to matters of conflict of interest has been mentioned as a possible interested personality who can shed light on the “unknown sources” or accounts that received the moneys.
Meanwhile, the media has reported GCB’s denial of the allegations of “unauthorized transfers.” The Ghanaian public is eager to learn who authorized them to make those illicit transfers. Hopefully, we shall know more in the coming days.