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Ghana goes after former Finance Minister over bank collapse, industry crisis

Ghana comes for Kwabena Duffuor on the role in the activities that led to the collapse of one of its biggest local lenders.

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Ghana goes after former Finance Minister over bank collapse, industry crisis

Ghana is coming after its former Finance Minister, Kwabena Duffuor, for his role in the activities that led to the collapse of one of Ghana’s biggest local lenders. The West African nation’s banking industry had suffered a banking crisis due to financial mismanagement.

The banking crisis had led to several job losses and also cost the Ghanaian government financial loss during the period. As the government began to crack down on individuals, Duffuor was identified as one of the perpetrators of the crisis that rocked its banking industry.

Poor governance and weak regulatory oversight were some of the factors that caused the bank crisis in the country. In other to prevent the total collapse of the banking industry, the Central Bank of Ghana intervened in August 2017. The government was able to secure the savings of about 4.6 million depositors and protect jobs at bankrupt banks. It also gave bailouts of 12.5 billion cedis to several second-tier lenders.

What did Duffuor do? He was said to have received 663.3 million cedis ($122 million) “knowing it had been obtained by means of a criminal offense.” This led to allegations of theft and money laundering levelled against him at the Accra High Court.

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(READ MORE: Convicted former UBS Group stock trader now plans to redefine Ghana’s mortgage industry) 

Duffuor, who served as finance chief of Ghana from 2009 to 2013, is the founder of Unibank Ghana Ltd, the bank where shareholders and related parties allegedly took 5.3 billion cedis in loans and other withdrawals without following due process. This led to the declaration of bankruptcy, a Bloomberg report disclosed.

The former governor of the Bank of Ghana from 1997 to 2001, however, denied the allegations against him.

Duffuor is not alone in the net: Aside from Duffuor, seven other individuals were named in the filing Wednesday. A former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, Johnson Asiama, was also mentioned in the court filings. Asiama was said to have ignored due procedure when he granted a facility for the benefit of Unibank through another lender.

The decision by Asiama reportedly cost Ghana financial loss to the tune of 150 million cedis. He has also been accused of granting another lender, UT Bank, – which lost its banking license in 2017 – liquidity without due procedure as well.

Asiama was the deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana until 2018, resigning almost two years after his tenure began. He was said to have resigned “because the work environment has become uncomfortable.

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Olusoji Omole

    February 8, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    I hope they will still get. The question is why do they have to wait until the bank collapsed.

  2. Olusoji Omole

    February 8, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    I hope they will still get him. And that is if he is within reach. The question is why do they have to wait until the bank collapsed.

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Tech News

Facebook to open Lagos office in 2021

When the social media giant comes to Nigeria, it will be its second office on the African continent.

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Facebook set to award $3 million in Community Accelerator program, Facebook to invest $100 million in media houses as coronavirus crashes their revenue, Facebook to expand Coronavirus Information Centre to Nigeria, 16 other African countries

Social Media giant, Facebook announced it would open an office in Lagos in 2021, its second office in the continent and the first in Africa to house software engineers.

This was announced by Facebook Program Manager, Chimdindu Aneke on social media. “We are opening a Facebook office in Lagos, Nigeria later in 2021,” he said.

He added that the office would be the first in Africa by Facebook for the purpose of engineering and “building for the future of Africa and beyond”.

Media aide to the Presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi quoted Facebook saying, “As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.”

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In 2019, Facebook’s biggest market in Africa was Nigeria with 33 million monthly active users.

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Business

Nigeria among countries to be worst hit by food crisis globally

Nigeria, others were listed as countries with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.

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7 million Nigerians to experience food shortage

Nigeria has emerged as one of the countries to be most hit by food crisis across the globe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic which had worsened the already bad situation.

This disclosure is contained in a report by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The report from the FAO also shows that the Democratic Republic of Congo is emerging as the country with the world’s largest food crisis in terms of absolute numbers, with Burkina Faso listed as the country with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.

The food crisis is made worse in Nigeria by the longstanding religious and ethnic conflicts and even organized crimes by some bandits, which has greatly affected farmers working on their farmlands.

In addition to these, the farmers were already contending with the issue of flooding or drought, which has negatively been impacting on the agricultural sector in a period the country is desperate and very desirous of economic diversification. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a surge in food prices as can be seen in the reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in a country that imports over 10% of its food supply.

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With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, which is regarded as the world’s most food-insecure continent. This is made worse as importers of food items struggle to gain access to dollars for their imports due to scarcity of foreign exchange which is triggered by the crash of oil prices and low foreign inflow.

This is expected to be exacerbated by the recent order by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria, to stop the allocation of foreign exchange to importers of food items.

The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, warned in April, “We are heading toward famine and starvation.”

The FAO report which states that Congo has about 21.8 million people that are acutely food insecure, also points out that Burkina Faso has witnessed an almost 300% uptick in the overall number of people experiencing acute hunger since the start of 2020.

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Around the World

US government to ban WeChat and TikTok from app stores

Chinese-owned social media apps are facing a ban in the US over national security concerns.

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Reasons why a record number of people are giving up their US citizenship, US approves chloroquine as treatment for coronavirus COVID-19, Nigeria U.S. Donald Trump-oil prices

The United States government says it will ban the services of Chinese tech giants, WeChat and TikTok, from online mobile application stores in the U.S. It also plans to prohibit any funds transfer/payment services through the WeChat mobile application.

This was announced by the U.S Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, in a statement on Friday, following President Donald Trump’s Executive Orders (E.O.) 13942 and E.O. 13943, on the 6th of August.

“In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States,” said Wilbur Ross.

He added that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has proven it has the means and the motive to use Chinese tech apps, to threaten America’s national security foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S.

He said the following transactions will be prohibited from September 20th for WeChat and November 12th for TikTok

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  • Any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates, through an online mobile application store in the U.S.
  • Any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application, for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.

Mr. Ross said that with the Executive Order, the US government has taken a ‘significant action’ in fighting China’s malicious personal data breach on American citizens, and also promote democratic rule-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.

The U.S government announced that further prohibitive measures, relating to both companies may be announced in the future.

“Should the U.S. Government determine that WeChat’s or TikTok’s illicit behavior is being replicated by another app somehow outside the scope of these executive orders, the President has the authority to consider whether additional orders may be appropriate to address such activities.”

President Trump has given until November 12, to resolve the TikTok security concerns of the US. He added that the prohibitions may be lifted, if they are addressed.

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