The management of Ghana Exim Bank has debunked a publication in The Herald which suggested that an amount of GH¢33 million had gone missing at the bank.
The bank has labelled the publication an untruth, saying it lacks basis and only aims at malice towards its Chief Executive Officer and the bank.
The Herald publication focused on the Ghana Exim Bank and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, based on a report of the Auditor-General on special audits carried out on selected state institutions in the year 2018, which raised issues on various transactions at the two institutions.
Below is the full rejoinder by the bank.
RE: GHS 33 MILLION MISSING AT GHANA EXIM BANK
The attention of the Management of GHANA EXIM BANK has been drawn to a front-page publication with the above banner headline in THE HERALD which also featured the picture of our Chief Executive Officer.
Management deem the publication as malicious, mischievous and misleading and has no factual basis and it is only intended to bring the hard-won reputation of our Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lawrence Agyisam and the Bank into disrepute.
And in view of the fallacious nature of the reportage, we wish to rebut the content and set the records straight and hereby state the following;
No GHS 33 Million is or has been missing from the accounts of the GHANA EXIM BANK between the stated period of the said audit carried out at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority by the Auditor General Dept;
In your said report, you stated amongst others that, " GEPA received a total of GHS32,949,957.57 from GHANA EXIM BANK as its 10% share of its share of the 0.75% Import Levy" and that GEPA was not provided with any evidence such as transactions report or funds release advice from the GHANA EXIM BANK or the Controller General of the Ghana Revenue Authority"; so how could monies transferred from the account of Ghana Exim Bank and duly receipted by Ghana Export Promotion Authority be classified as missing monies and therefore attract such a prominent front-page banner headline?
In view of the obvious interest that your paper seemed to have shown in the Audit Report, and your subsequent wide publication of it, management would have expected that such a responsible media house could have cross-checked with the Bank to verify the veracity or otherwise of the Report before going to the Press but unfortunately, this basic ethic of the journalistic profession was not adhered to.
The Bank has documentary evidence of the said transaction and is ready to submit same for authentication and verification by any State Regulatory Institution mandated to do so.
As a statutory public institution, we strictly operate and are guided by the tenets of the Public Financial Management Act 20016, (Act 921) and the Bank's Finance and Accounting Manual which enjoins us to prudently protect and use of public funds;
We want to reiterate that the Bank operates an open-door policy with its cherished stakeholders, including the media, and would want to use this medium to urge the general public especially the media, to always endeavour to seek clarification(s) on any issue (s) concerning the operation of the Bank.
For the information of the general public, per the Ghana Export-Import Bank Act 2016, Act (911), the Ministry of Finance is the supervisory Ministry of the Bank and not the Ministry of Trade and Industry as wrongly stated in the report.
Being a responsible public institution and in view of the malicious and distorted reportage on the subject matter by your paper, we demand that you publish this rejoinder and give it the same prominence as the main story.
We hope our right to rejoinder will be respected.