Isaac Adongo, Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central and Member of the Finance Committee
Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central and Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Isaac Adongo has dared Dr. Robert Owusu-Gyekyi, an economist and banker to a public debate following the latter’s counter open letter to the legislator.
Mr. Adongo had in the letter accused the Governor of Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Ernest Addison of concealing economic data in order to “deceive investors and players in Ghana’s financial markets”.
While claiming that he was ignored by Dr. Addison when he requested some information to assist him with his work on the banking sector in 2018, Adongo mentioned that BoG had adopted some ‘uncouth’ ways of adding up figures from Ghana’s Petroleum Holding Funds to bloat the Net International Reserves of the nation.
Adongo further bemoaned the increasingly diminishing credibility and confidence in BoG, citing some ‘worrying issues’ bedeviling the Central Bank. These included concealment and manipulation of Net International Reserves and Manipulative Policy rate cuts and Policy Distortions.
He cautioned that the “continuous manipulation of the Policy Rate that is not consistent with the fundamentals of the economy and concealing of critical economic data will further worsen the credibility crisis of BoG and derail any efforts at attracting badly needed investments into the country.”
His lengthy letter, however, attracted a response from Dr. Owusu-Gyekyi who described the lawmaker as an “ignorant” person who sounded “rude” in his presentation.
The economist also questioned Adongo’s decision to script an open letter instead of exhausting the procedures at his disposal as a representative of a constituency.
He said: “You should know that there are standard processes and procedures for demanding information or clarification from the central bank, that is, if the locus is there at all. Clearly, this does not include writing open and rude letters to the Governor and publishing it widely on social media.”
“Monetary Policy Rate decisions are made by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana. To refresh your memory, that is, if there is anything to refresh at all, Ghana was one of the first sub-Saharan African country, other than South Africa, to set up an MPC process and also introduce the Inflation Targeting framework under the NPP regime; and the credibility of the framework was well established long before you found your way into parliament.
“The MPC publishes details of its review of the economy and the reasons for its policy decision. I will encourage you to start reading them. It will help in correcting your distorted view of developments in the economy.”
In a sharp rebuttal, Adongo in another piece titled, ‘Is Bank of Ghana responding to me through a faceless Owusu-Gyeki?’ dared the economist to a debate on the issues insisting that Owusu-Gyeki is rather distorting facts.
This, he says, “will not only satisfy the public’s curiosity about who you [Gyeki] truly are (that is if you indeed exist), it will help that same public to properly judge who among us understands the issues raised and is, therefore, not relying on textbook and third parties but using practical knowledge to discuss issues as critical and sensitive as those contained in my letter.”