Pension funds were not given to Fortiz – BoG insists

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) insists no money from the Central Bank was given to private equity firm, Fortiz, in the acquisition of Merchant bank.

The Minority alleged that the pension funds of public sector workers were given to Fortiz to buy the then distressed Merchant Bank.

The government debunked these claims, insisting that the money was intact and being kept at the BoG.

Speaking on behalf of the BoG, the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Henry Kofi Wampah also debunked the allegations.

He said: “As far as I am aware, we didn’t give anything to Fortiz and Fortiz cannot take any money directly from us.”

According to him, the tier two pensions account belongs to the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) which has the sole authority to give instructions on how the funds in the account can be utilized.

“So Fortiz cannot walk into the Bank of Ghana and say give me money to go and invest in another bank,” he intimated.

Meanwhile, Dr Wampah has confirmed that monies accrued in the tier two pensions account at the BoG currently stands at Ghc 1.6 billion.

“As at last week when these issues came up, I checked and was given a printout. The total holdings are about Ghc 1.6 billion; that is those in investments,” he said.

He disclosed that the NPRA has three accounts at the Central Bank where proceeds from the tier two pensions are deposited and kept.

The BoG Governor added that there is also an amount of Ghc11 million cash in the three accounts.

“But they don’t allow the monies to sit in the account for long because of obvious reasons. They want to earn interests.”

The bank, he said, then invests the funds based on the directive from the Authority.

“We invest them in instruments; mainly government instruments, treasury bills and so on,” Dr. Wampah explained.

The government and some 12 labour unions are battling it out in the law courts over the management and payment of the tier two pension funds of public sector workers.

The workers, a few weeks ago, embarked on an indefinite strike to force the government to change managers of the fund and also pay the monies into their own registered schemes.

A court order secured by government forced the workers to resume work but negotiations have stalled.

The two parties have since gone back to the court to get the issues resolved.

They are also demanding an audit into the NPRA’s account at the BoG to ascertain the exact amount which has accrued in the account.

source : citifmonline.com