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Investors with Locked-up Investments to still Picket Finance Ministry Today Wednesday

investors with locked-up funds to still picket Finance Ministry despite announcement by the Minister that he has been instructed to disburse GH¢1.5 billion to victims of the financial sector cleanup exercise.

Investors with locked-up funds are set to return to the streets, picketing the Finance Ministry today, Wednesday. This action, organized by the Convener of the Locked-up Investment Holders Forum, Dr. Adu Anane Antwi, coincides with a forum on financial inclusion being hosted by the Ministry.

Despite Finance Minister Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam’s recent announcement that GH¢1.5 billion will be disbursed to customers of financial institutions affected by the banking sector cleanup, the protesters are determined to continue their weekly demonstrations. They argue that the allocated amount is insufficient to cover the affected customers.

In an interview with The Accra Times, Dr. Anane-Antwi emphasised that the GH¢1.5 billion is inadequate, stating that it would not even cover the customers of one of the affected institution, Blackshield Capital, let alone all impacted financial institutions.

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During a UK Town Hall meeting over the weekend, Finance Minister Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam revealed that President Akufo-Addo instructed the Ministry to disburse GH¢1.5 billion to assist the affected customers. However, concerns have been raised that this sum will not suffice to address the substantial amount of funds still locked up.

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The affected customers fall into two broad categories: those from institutions whose licenses were revoked, such as Blackshield Capital and First Banc Financial Services, categorized as legacy issues in the financial sector, and others from insolvent Specialised Deposit-taking Institutions (SDIs) whose licenses have not yet been revoked, including NDK Financial Services and others.

Checks by The Accra Times indicate that the GH¢1.5 billion is part of a GH¢4 billion provision outlined in the 2024 budget. Of this, GH¢2.3 billion is earmarked for the National Investment Bank, leaving GH¢1.7 billion for distressed SDIs and other legacy issues.

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Dr. Anane-Antwi, a lawyer and former Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, stated that halting their protests now would be premature. He argued that a simple analysis of the funds to be disbursed shows clearly that many will not benefit.

He added that the protests will continue until the government addresses their concerns. Dr. Anane-Antwi also accused the government of lacking transparency, noting that officials have refused to disclose the total amount of locked-up funds and the beneficiaries of the GH¢1.5 billion.

A significant number of members of the Locked-up Investment Holders Forum, including the convener, are pensioners who invested with the defunct NDK Financial Services. Dr. Anane-Antwi pointed out that the locked-up funds of just these pensioners amount to about GH¢500 million, highlighting the inadequacy of the allocated funds.

These investors, who sacrificed and saved their income with the hope of enjoying the fruits of their labour in retirement, are now facing hardship. Many are struggling to afford basic necessities, including medication, due to their advanced age and the financial strain caused by the locked-up funds.

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