Bank of Ghana Ex-Deputy Says Finance Chief Asked Him to Go

(Bloomberg) -- A former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana said he resigned last year because he was asked do so by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.

Johnson Asiama, 50, left his post in January 2018 in a move that was prompted by an “uncomfortable” working environment, his lawyer said at the time. His departure marked a complete overhaul of the central bank’s three most senior positions in the first year after the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo came to power.

“I was called and asked to resign from office by the Finance Minister,” Asiama said Thursday in a statement sent by text message. “The reason he gave me that day was that the president wanted to appoint his own person in my place.”

Ofori-Atta and a spokeswoman for the Bank of Ghana declined to comment when contacted by phone.

Akufo-Addo appointed Elsie Awadzi as the central bank’s second deputy governor in February.

Asiama’s decision to disclose the reason for his departure was prompted by accusations from senior officials of the ruling New Patriotic Party that he left due to his involvement in a pyramid selling plan, he said.

The central bank kept its benchmark rate of 17 percent at a 4 1/2-year low in November as inflation remained within the target of 6 percent to 10 percent.

The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will announce its next rate decision on Jan. 28.

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