Hoarding of currencies indicates mistrust in banking system – Economist 

Cecilia Dapaah

Economist and Cleric Samuel Worlanyo Mensah has observed that the hoarding of different currencies by former Minister Cecelia Abena Dapaah is an indication of lack of trust in the nation’s banking system. 

“It shows that even government functionaries don’t have faith and trust in the banking system,” he said.

The comment of Rev Dr Mensah comes at the back of an application from the Office of the Special Prosecutor to freeze accounts of Madam Dapaah, a former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, in its bid to conduct investigations into suspected corruption-related offences.  

The OSP reportedly, earlier found $590,000 and GH¢2,730,000 in the home of the former Minister during a search on July 24, 2023.  

The investigations followed news reports that two house helps, 18-year-old Patience Botwe and 30-year-old Sarah Agyei, along with three others were facing charges following their alleged involvement in the theft of $1 million, €300,000, and millions of Ghana cedis being the monies and personal effects of Cecilia Dapaah and her husband, between the months of July and October 2022. 

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) Accra, Rev Dr Mensah, observed that the former Minister might even have more than what was discovered. 

He said even though the law did not specify the quantum of money that could be kept at home, the alleged act of the Minister was risky and not good for her personal safety. 

He said the alleged hoarding of currencies by the Minister might not be an isolated case as some other Ministers and State functionaries might also be in the practice. 

Such acts, he said, could contribute to artificial shortage of foreign currencies, further depreciation of the local currency, and affect the purchasing power the ordinary citizen and ultimate high inflation. 

“With such huge amounts of monies in one Minister’s custody, what will be with other Ministers and state functionaries?” the cleric cum economist queried. 

He wondered how the current restructuring of the financial sector would succeed in the post Covid-19 era if the banks lacked the needed liquidity to spawn businesses. 

Furthermore, the hoarding currencies could trigger a high cost of living and reduce the standard of living.  

“As a country, we’re not safe,” Rev Dr Mensah lamented. 

He wondered how independent the OSP would be in investigating the scandal and suggested that Parliament should rather have set a bipartisan investigation into the issue. 

Rev Dr Mensah called for the adequate resourcing of bodies as OSP, the Economic and Organised Crime Office, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the Attorney General’s Department. 

He said the Whistleblowers Act must be made more workable and the Assets Declaration made more relevant and enforced. 

The former Minister is disputing the amounts quoted on prosecution charge sheets to have been stolen in all, saying they are inconsistent with what she reported to the police. 

Meanwhile, the Minister has resigned and has since been arrested by the special prosecutor for corruption and corruption-related offences. 

Source: GNA

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