The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has cautioned media houses in Ghana not to sensationalize sensitive news items because the country’s foreign counterparts are monitoring activities within the nation.
The central bank made this known when its officials appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to clarify outstanding issues relating to the Auditor General’s report covering foreign exchange receipts.
It came up at the sitting that some $600 million was alleged to be missing from the accounts of the bank’s foreign reserves.
The ‘missing’ money came up at a recent PAC sitting when the BoG appeared before it, but explanations given by the head of treasury at the bank, Yaw Abalo, did not satisfy committee members.
The PAC therefore insisted that the Governor himself or any of his deputies must appear before the committee to properly answer questions on how those monies were expended.
At Thursday’s sitting, the Second Deputy Governor of the BoG, Millison Narh explained that it was recently discovered that there was a deficit in the receipts and payments made in 2012.
“This means that we had paid more than we received which translates into 1.3 billion against the 1.1million that we received.”
He stated that the central bank is not hiding any information or any deals since some balances within the reserves do not constitute a receipt of payment.
“Something like gold is not a receipt of payment. We just re-value it so you see the reserves going up not on the basis of a net payment receipt, but on the basis of revaluation of the gold balances that we hold.”
Mr. Narh further pointed out that Ghana’s economy is open to the external market which has stakeholders “monitoring everything that we say in this country.”
According to him, it is imperative for the media to be circumspect in their reportage because “everything that is reported is picked up by the international bodies so we have to be careful with the reportage in order to preserve the image and integrity of this country.”
Meanwhile, the Ranking Member of the Committee, Ibrahim Dey has denied that the PAC on no occassion made it known that the money in question was missing.
He said: “I want to make it very clear that there’s no where the PAC said that 600 million dollars was missing from the Bank of Ghana.”