President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Ghanaians to allow the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to handle the issue of distressed local commercial banks professionally without any political interference.
He said it was crucial for the central bank to be given the free hand to restore sanity and confidence in the banking and the financial sectors.
Speaking at the third Ghana Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) Summit in Accra Monday, the President said recent events on the banking scene in the country had been a cause of concern for him and all other Ghanaians.
He said he believed that the BoG was tightening its regulatory and oversight facilities for banks, especially in the areas of lending and other risk endeavours.
“I want to urge all of us to allow the regulator, which is the Bank of Ghana, to deal with these matters and restore sanity and confidence.
“It is in our interest that all financial matters are dealt with without any political interference. We cannot afford instability in our banking and our financial sectors,” he said.
The summit is the biggest gathering of corporate leaders in Ghana. It offers the platform for CEOs, corporate executives, business leaders, policy makers and government representatives to interface and interact on pertinent business issues, opportunities and challenges and contribute to shaping government policy to enhance business competitiveness.
The two-day summit, organised by the CEO Network Ghana, is on the theme: “Leadership, innovation and investment for business and economic transformation”.
Last year, the BoG took over UT Bank Ltd and Capital Bank Ltd. It, consequently, approved a purchase and assumption transaction with GCB Bank that transferred all deposits and selected assets of UT Bank and Capital Bank to GCB Bank.
And, this year, the central bank announced that it had appointed the audit firm, KPMG, as administrator for uniBank.
President Akufo-Addo said the viability of the banking and the financial sectors was critical in any nation’s quest for rapid economic development.
He said a nation’s economic fortune was often as good as its banking system and the confidence in its monitoring environment.
He said any loss of confidence in the banks “is bound to have a ripple effect on the stability of the economy as a whole”.
Nonetheless, he said, it was important that the regulator recognised that a banking sector dominated by foreign banks did not go well in the Ghana beyond aid agenda.
“That it is essential that indigenous banks will survive in any meaningful reform,” he said, and expressed the confidence that the BoG was capable of ensuring the survival of local banks.
President Akufo-Addo said the economy was doing well, with a reduction in interest and lending rates, stability of the cedi and other areas.
He said indications were that Ghana would be the fastest-growing economy in the world this year.
He said the government was poised to developing an economy that would create sustainable jobs for the youth entering the job market every year.
He, therefore, urged the private sector to partner the government in the One-district, One-factory initiative.
President Akufo-Addo said the Ghana beyond aid agenda was not a mere slogan and that the government was committed to implementing it.
The CEO of the CEO Network Ghana, Mr Ernest De-Graft Egyir, said the expected growth of the country would not materialise if the private sector was not enabled to drive the growth.
An international speaker and CEO expert, Mr Roger Harrop, charged business executives to make use of modern technology to grow their businesses.