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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed concern about the high interest rates being charged by the commercial banks in the country.


President Akufo-Addo said with the restoration of fiscal discipline, with fiscal consolidation taking hold and for Government to have met, for the first time since 2006, its fiscal deficit target, there was immense opportunities to bring prosperity to Ghana.


In spite of all these impressive economic indicators, the president said, banks’ lending rates still remained high, averaging between 31.7% and 29.3% within the same period.


He said the gap between the decline in inflation and the lending rates charged by the private sector needed to be bridged.


President Akufo-Addo, therefore, urged the banks to complement the efforts of government and its vision of creating a more stable macro-economic framework by bringing down lending rates.


The President, who was speaking at the commissioning of a 60 million dollar iconic Ecobank Head office in Accra, indicated that he and all Ghanaians were also in a hurry to see an improvement in the quality of life.


Thus, he said, to give an impetus to the private sector in Ghana, a strong commitment from a leading bank such as Ecobank to reduce lending rates would be a very good signal to others.


He explained that a reduction in lending rates would be the way to grow the private sector and enable it to create jobs and with all the other linkages, to grow into an enhancement of our general prosperity.


President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance that a positive response to the appeal for the reduction of interest rates would promote an improved banking culture that ensured that people paid back their loans.


The President congratulated the promoters, management and Board of Directors of Ecobank for the impressive achievements chalked over the years, adding that even though Ecobank was a major pan-African bank, the Ghanaian entity was the most profitable within the pan-African context.


The President noted that an improved and disciplined macro-economy was essential for expanding the economy and, thereby, creating jobs, which, he said, had been his mantra since he assumed office as President.


He said in view of the mismanagement of the economy in the recent past, he was determined to chart a new course to prosperity, anchored on a creation of business-friendly environment and a strong private sector.


In his remarks, Dr Ernest Kwamina Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, called on the business community to take advantage of the improved macro-economic framework to deepen and facilitate government’s agenda of a Ghana beyond Aid.


In a statement, Mr Dan Sackey, Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana, commended Government for the digitization of the economy, noting that the digitization and the financial inclusion agenda pursued by Government would deepen the economic development of the country.


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)