Bank of Ghana Governor Issahaku Resigns After One Year

Nashiru Issahaku, the governor of Ghana’s central bank, resigned on Wednesday for personal reasons, after just one year at the helm, Reuters is reporting.

Former President John Mahama appointed Issahaku in April 2016 but Mahama lost an election in December, creating uncertainty over the governor’s position under the new government of President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Akufo-Addo is likely to name a replacement quickly and former bank director of research Ernest Addison, who played a key role in pioneering the bank’s monetary policy, is a contender, senior banking sources said.

Issahaku was at the centre of efforts by authorities to shore up national finances including reducing inflation, public debt and the budget deficit under a three-year $918 million International Monetary Fund programme.

The fiscal problems coupled with a decline in global prices for Ghana’s exports of gold and oil have led to a sharp slowdown in growth in a country that until 2014 had been one of Africa’s leading economies.

Issahaku announced on Monday a 200-basis-point cut in the benchmark interest rate to 23.5 percent, the biggest reduction in a decade.

The decision reflects a fall in inflation to 13.2 percent in February and signs that the government can meet its medium-term inflation target, Issahaku said following a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee.

The bank has also been under pressure over a deal agreed last year to sell a stake in the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems, government sources said.

“We saw it (resignation) coming and it’s not a negative move. At the same time, his short tenure hasn’t been particularly spectacular,” said a leading Ghanaian banker.

Ghana’s central bank is independent and the governor is shielded from arbitrary removal by the government.

Sources; Reuters, The Punch

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