The Bank of Ghana (BOG) has, for the past weeks, come under heavy backlash after its Annual Report and Financial Statements revealed that it recorded a loss of ¢60.8 billion in 2022. The report attributed the loss to a decline in the Group’s net worth position due to the impact of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) and the impairment of some assets.
In a related discussion on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana, the National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi, made several claims regarding the Bank of Ghana’s support to the government and the amount the government accrued as revenue in 2020 and 2021.
“Richard should be shutting down what Sammy Gyamfi was saying if he thought it was factually inaccurate, but usually Richard was just laughing”.
The video has garnered over 60,000 views on both handles.
In the video, Sammy Gyamfi claimed that the Bank of Ghana 2020 and 2021 printed 35 and 45 billion cedis to support the government. He added that the country’s accrued revenue in 2020 and 2021 was GH₵55 and GH₵76 billion, respectively. He added that the law bars the Bank of Ghana from the government’s finance above a 5% threshold of the total revenue of the past year.
“Yes, you are the Bank of Ghana, and when the government goes into a crisis, you can advance overdrafts and short-term loans for the government, but the law says don’t do more than 5%. In 2020, the total revenue was GH₵55 billion, 5% of that is 2.8 billion, yet in 2021, the Bank of Ghana printed 35 billion for the government of Ghana. In 2021, total revenue will be GH₵76 billion. The 5% of that was 6.8 billion cedis, but they printed GH₵45 billion,” Mr Gyamfi claimed.
There are three claims to verify from Sammy Gyamfi’s statement.
Claim 1: There is a law that says the Bank of Ghana can’t support the government’s finance above a 5% threshold of the total revenue of the past year.
Verdict: True. Section 30 of the Bank of Ghana (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 612) and Section 2 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (2018) stipulate that the central bank can’t finance the government above a 5% threshold of the total revenue of its past year.
“The total loans, advances, purchases of treasury bills and other securities made under subsection (1) shall not at any time exceed 5% of the total revenue of the previous fiscal year.”
Section 2 clause of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (2018), which was passed in 2018 to ensure macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability, also stipulates that “the overall fiscal balance on a cash basis for a particular year shall not exceed a deficit of 5% per cent of the Gross Domestic Product for that year.”
These rules forbid the Finance Minister from borrowing to spend beyond a threshold that will push Ghana’s fiscal deficit to over 5% of GDP.
However, in 2020, parliament approved the suspension of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (2018), which in force also regarded as null Section 30 of the Bank of Ghana (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 612).
Verdict: True. Data from the Bank of Ghana confirms government claims of GH₵35 and GH₵45 billion, respectively.
The Bank of Ghana (BOG) supported the government with GH₵35 and GH₵45 billion in 2021 and 2022, respectively. This can be sighted in a press statement issued by the BOG in response to claims by the Member of Bolgatanga Central Isaac Adongo that the “central bank ‘illegally’ financed the government to the tune of 70 billion cedis” on November 8, 2022.
In (page 2) of the statement, the Bank of Ghana revealed that as of December 2021, it had given the government $34.8 billion, which is $35 billion.
Again in a press release issued by the Bank of Ghana on February 9, 2023, in response to a claim by the former Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, the Bank of Ghana revealed that it had financed the government with 44.5 billion cedis. This is corroborated in news reports by citinewsroom and ghaniantimes.com.
Claim 3: Government revenue was GH₵55 billion and GH₵76 billion in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Verdict: Mostly false. Even though the government’s total revenue was 55 billion in 2020, it was not 76 billion in 2021. Data from the Bank of Ghana and the Ministry of Finance quotes 70 and 72 billion cedis, respectively.
What was the total revenue of the Government of Ghana in 2020 and 2021?
Government revenue refers to the total amount of money that is generated from various sources, such as taxes, social contributions, grants receivable, and interest on investments made by the government.
DUBAWA based its view on data from records of the Bank of Ghana and the Ministry of Finance. Data from the central bank revealed that the government accrued 55 billion cedis in 2020 and 70 billion cedis in 2021.
On page 206 of the 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, the government amassed 55 billion cedis in revenue. Similarly, on page 229 of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, it is stipulated that the government accrued 72 billion cedis in 2021.
|TOTAL REVENUE (2020-2021)||Bank of Ghana||Ministry of Finance|
|2020||55 billion||55 billion|
|2021||70 billion||72 billion|
The government of Ghana had indeed received 35 and 45 billion cedis from the Bank of Ghana. It is, however, false that the government of Ghana accrued 76 billion cedis in revenue for the year 2021.