Vice President of IMANI Ghana, Kofi Bentil has indicated that it is time tax payers took on government for “wasting” their monies on compensation to persons who lost their investment in ponzi schemes.
He was unequivocal that it is not the responsibility of government, be it legal or moral, to go to the aid of “greedy and ignorant” investors defrauded by ponzi scheme operators.
Kofi Bentil was speaking on MG Economic Dialogue series at TV3’s Executive Theatre on Thursday themed, “Investment in the Face of Ponzi Schemes: How Do we Clean the Mess?”
“In certain situations I’m aware [government] paid some money… One of these days, somebody should sue them for wasting our money,” the IMANI Ghana Vice President remarked.
He advised the public to be mindful of the kind of investment schemes they subscribe to due to the “collateral” damage on the entire country.
He observed that some of the people who fall into the traps of ponzi scheme operators are stark illiterate, semi illiterate or literates who “switch off the brain” at a time they need to put it to use.
Kofi Bentil, who is also a legal practitioner, admonished regulators to be a “little more preemptive when they see a few signs” and compel the operators to confirm that they have licences to operate.
“Regulation loses its essence if it is not preemptive”, he noted, because “we live in an environment where people are greedy and ignorant whilst others switch off their brains,” thereby visiting collateral economic damage on the citizenry.
“It is therefore better to err on the side of caution,” he advised the regulators.
He was equally not happy with politicians who “fan” issue of ponzi scheme to make political gains out of it.
Other speakers at the well attended dialogue included private legal practitioner and managing partner at Bentsi-Enchil, Letsa and Ankomah, Ace Annan Ankomah; deputy Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission,Paul Ababio; and the Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, Alhassan Andani, who put the issues of ponzi schemes in perspective and proffer solutions to it.