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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cautioned Ghanaians against investing in financial schemes which promise them unrealistic returns on investment.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cautioned Ghanaians against investing in financial schemes which promise them unrealistic returns on investment.

The warning follows the recent alleged duping of many people through investments in what has become known as “the Menzgold scam”.

According to the President, Ghanaians should be in a position to read between the lines as to which returns on investment are considered normal within an economy. “When people come and offer returns that are extraordinary … I am pleading with you to be on your guard,” he said.

President Nana Akufo-Addo sounded this caution when he met officers, men and women of the Ghana Armed Forces at an all-ranks durbar at Burma Camp, Accra.

One of the officers had pleaded with him to intervene in the Menzgold saga, saying he and many of his colleagues had investments amounting to thousands of cedis locked up in the self-styled gold dealership.

Bare truth

The President said although people are generally eager to look for ways to invest and make fast money, there can be no substitute for hard work, creativity and innovation.

“Yes, my goodness, I would like 10 to 15 per cent on my small money every month, but it is not realistic.
“So, the plea I am making is, whenever you hear of schemes that say they are going to give you money that is extraordinary in its returns, you have to be careful about patronising them,” he said.

He reminded the soldiers that all around the world schemes which promise unrealistic returns on investments have invariably turned out to be highly “fraudulent and suspicious”.

“It’s harsh what I am saying, because somebody has put a lot of their savings in a scheme that has gone awry … But it is important to recognise that the person who comes with a seductive song that ‘I can give you this and that’ which is not normal, which is out of the way, that person almost certainly is singing to you a song that would get you into trouble, if you listen carefully,” he said.

The President said with the creation of the Financial Stability Council, all regulators in the financial sector will be brought together. This will ensure that all financial organisations have the authorisation and permits they need to operate.

Hope for clients

Taking his turn, Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance, disclosed that about GHC200 million of clients’ outstanding funds are locked up in Menzgold Ghana Ltd.

He urged anxious clients of the embattled firm to exercise restraint. The government will soon constitute a committee to liquidate the assets and property of the firm to repay them, Mr Ofori-Atta said.

The Finance Minister described the situation as unfortunate. He remarked that it is not only members of the Ghana Armed Forces who have been affected; so were some employees of the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Ghana.

Extra caution

The Minister admonished Ghanaians to examine themselves critically when considering any kind of investment that promises unrealistic profit margins, especially in the case of any company that has no licence to operate.

Mr Ofori-Atta insisted that the government will not provide any stand-in for those whose funds are locked in Menzgold.

He noted that the government has already spent over GHC11 billion on the banking recapitalisation exercise, and said it would therefore be financially imprudent to cough up more to bail out Menzgold clients.