Story by: Bright Ntramah
President Akufo-Addo has urged the Bank of Ghana, BOG to interrogate the issue of high interest rate, and how the issue can be addressed to enhance competitiveness with the private sector.
He wondered why BOG lends to commercial banks at a rate of 13.5percent, while the Commercial Banks lend to the private sector at rates above 21%.
President Akufo-Addo made the call when he swore into office a 12-Member Board of the Bank of Ghana. He called for an all-hands-on deck approach to dealing with the socio-economic challenges occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bright Ntramah reports that the Board is chaired by the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison. Other members are Dr. Maxwell Opoku Afari, Elsie Addo Awadzi, Charles Adu Boahen, Dr. Kwame Owusu Nyantekyi, Dr. Samuel Nii Noi Ashong, Jude Kofi Bucknor, Joseph Alhassan, Andrew Adinorte Boye- Doe, Angela Kyeremanteng -Jimoh, Mrs. Comfort Ocran, and Dr. Regina Ohene Darko Adutwum.
President Akufo-Addo expressed appreciation to the Central Bank for the stellar work offered to the nation. He said over the last four years the bank has distinguished itself to the admiration of Ghanaians and discharged its duties accordingly.
President Akufo Addo said the bank has proven to be a sound banker to the government, ‘’a safe custodian of the country’s money and a dependent lender of last resort to the banking sector’’.
While admitting the banking sector crisis was the most difficult problem inherited by his government, the President commended the BOG under its then new leadership for taking radical measures in preventing the entire banking sector from collapse.
President Akufo Addo was encouraged by the corporate governance system put in place by the Central Bank to mitigate future bank failures.
He commended the bank for the recent introduction of domestic gold purchasing programme,
‘’which has opened up the entire value chain with the imminent completion of a gold refinery’’.
President Akufo-Addo tasked the bank to bridge the gap between its policy rate and lending rates in providing services.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison thanked President Akufo Addo for the confidence reposed in them, assuring him that the issues of high interest rate will be ”investigated’’.