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Resolve high interest rate concerns – Akufo-Addo urges new BoG board 

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Resolve high interest rate concerns – Akufo-Addo urges new BoG board

President Nana Akufo-Addo has charged the new board of the Bank of Ghana to interrogate the issue of high interest rates in the country.

According to the President, a low interest rate for businesses in the country is critical for ensuring that Ghanaian businesses become and stay competitive.
The President made the remarks at the swearing ceremony of the new board of the Central Bank last Friday.

Membership of the board

The Governing Board of the Bank of Ghana is responsible for formulating policies for the achievement of the Bank’s objectives.
The new Board is chaired by Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana.
The members include Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi, Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr. Charles Kofi Adu Boahen, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance.
The other members are Dr. Kwame Owusu-Nyantekyi, Dr. Samuel Nii-Noi Ashong, Mr. Jude Kofi Bucknor, Mr. Joseph Blignam Alhassan, Mr. Andrew Adinorte Boye-Doe, Mrs. Comfort Ocran, Dr. Regina Adutwum, Ms. Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh and Professor Eric Osei Assibey.
While congratulating the new board, President Akufo-Addo bemoaned the gap between the Central Bank’s Monetary policy rate and average interest rates of commercial banks.
“Let me use this occasion to urge the Bank to interrogate the issue of high interest rates in Ghana, and how the problem should be addressed to enhance the competitiveness of the private sector. It is surely not right that the Central Bank’s MPR stands at 13.5% while the commercial banks lend to the private sector at rates of 21% and above.”

“This is a gap we have to bridge if we are to realize the vision of a Ghana whose economy is globally competitive. I believe the Bank of Ghana is best placed to lead this process of reflection and action,” he added.
The Monetary Policy Rate has dropped from 14.5% to 13.5% in the past 12 months, while the average lending rate has dropped from 21.95% to 20.61% within the same period, a development that has created disquiet among different business associations.
The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr. Joseph Obeng had earlier accused banks in the country of running a cartel arrangement that keeps interest rates high despite reductions in the monetary policy rate.
According to him, the lack of responsiveness of banks, when it comes to reacting to changes in the policy rate, leaves much to be desired.
“As a matter of fact, if the policy rate can go down even further, it will be great. The most important thing, however, is for the banks to be responsive. I would say that the gap between the policy rate and interest rates is still high. The current system is a rip-off. I’m beginning to be convinced there is some kind of cartel arrangement between the banks because this shouldn’t be happening in a competitive environment.”
“So we will call on the Bank of Ghana or the government to find a way to introduce a base cap or make some compelling arrangements that will make the banks come along,” he added.

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Government To Reduce Proposed 1.75% E-Levy – Ofori-Atta

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Government to reduce proposed 1.75% E-Levy, says Ofori-Atta

The Finance Minister says the government has considered the concerns of Ghanaians on the E-Levy and is ready to reduce it accordingly

Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister says the government in consultation with the various telecommunication companies will scale back the proposed 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions in the country.
The minister who was making his final submission before Parliament [30 November 2021] to address some concerns raised by Ghanaians after the presentation of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government said the move is to manage the impact of the policy on citizens.
“We have considered the issue of the 1.75% E-Levy in which Mr Speaker, we’re in discussions with the telcos and to scale back and moderate the impact of the 1.75% E-Levy so that in the end, the impact on the citizenry will be manageable,” he stated.
The Minority in an earlier statement indicated that the “government should suspend the E-Levy and properly engaged stakeholders to agree on a reasonable policy. How can mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances be charged 1.75%? The policy is retrogressive, not pro-poor and does not support the much-touted digitalisation agenda and cash lite economy that we all yearn for.”

Aker Energy deal

The Minority’s statement also urged the government to properly reconstruct the wording relating to Aker Energy and also involving the GNPC acquisition of stake from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum.
In response, the finance minister assured the House that the committee assigned to discuss the Aker Energy and its related issues will address them as per the demands of the Minority.
“Mr Speaker, there was an issue about Aker Energy which we agreed in our statement that we will correct the language appropriately during committee meetings and that, we commit to doing,” he added.

Withdrawal of Agyapa

The Minority in their demands and in connection with the Agyapa deal also indicated that it will not support any collateralisation of the country’s revenues particularly mineral resources.
But Ofori-Atta again, addressing Parliament on Friday explained that “there was another request which has to do with Agyapa and we agreed that consultations are not finished. Attorney General is still working on that and any such issue will also be brought to Parliament. Mr Speaker, in fact, the estimate does not include any revenue from that transaction,” he said.

Asaase Radio 99.5

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Accomplished Diaspora Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Chairs GIPC BOARD

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Accomplished Diaspora Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Chairs GIPC BOARD

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Executive Chairman of KGL Group, Mr. Alex Apau Dadey, has been conferred the board chairman of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, GIPC. This comes off after he was in January 2018, appointed onto the Governing Board of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) by the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in recognition of his contribution towards the promotion of investment in Ghana.

Mr. Alex Apau Dadey has over 30 years’ experience working across multiple industries and sectors such as Fintech, Logistics, Agric, Property Development and Commerce around the globe, with major focus of his practice in the United Kingdom and Ghana.

As part of his responsibilities as Board Chair, he will be responsible for leading the Board and focusing on strategic matters, play a pivotal role in overseeing the Centre’s business as well as setting high governance standards.

Most recently, Alex Dadey established the KGL Group – a wholly owned Ghanaian group, consisting of six subsidiaries operating in several jurisdictions and multiple sectors including Fintech, Logistics, Agric, Property Development and Commerce, where he serves as Executive Chairman.

Underpinning Alex’s three-decade track record of success is his commitment to building an inclusive financial environment that provides high-value partnerships for small business to thrive and succeed across Ghana.

Mr. Alex Apau Dadey is married with 3 beautiful kids, a proud product of Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, and holds a BSc. (Admin) degree from the University of Ghana Business School, Legon.

Alex’s formative career began in the United Kingdom in 1986 where he progressively moved up the ranks from Export Sales Supervisor to Export Sales Director at the Gordon Richman Textiles Limited overseeing key accounts in ten countries spread across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

In 2001, Alex set up a joint venture – Qualitexx Limited, with DCD Finance Group PLC., based in the city of London. As Executive Director, he was instrumental in developing the company’s trade finance and venture capital businesses across the globe. This included providing financing for several local Ghanaian businesses through the DCD Finance Group. Since then, Alex has become renowned as a strong advocate for the inclusion of the Ghanaian diaspora in the political and socio-economic transformation of Ghana.

He functions in various c-suite capacities and serves on boards of multiple institutions including Ecom Agro Industrial, Premier Textiles Group in the United Kingdom, Birchfield Investments Limited in Jersey, Channel Islands and Dubai, KGL Capital (UK) Limited and Dominion Direct (UK) Limited to name a few.

He is credited with initiating the Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit in 2017 and the Ghana Investment and Opportunities Summit UK in 2018, both of which are now held biennially.

Among his many achievements, the ones that stand out are.

*Excellence in Organizational Leadership*, 2017, awarded by the Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit Committee for the successful Execution of the Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit.

*Diaspora African Forum Excellence Award*, 2017, awarded at the Ghana Diaspora Summit for his prominent role in ensuring a successful summit.

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Take Advantage Of Ghana’s Business-Friendly Climate  – President Akufo-Addo To Norwegian Business Community 

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Take Advantage Of Ghana’s Business-Friendly Climate  – President Akufo-Addo To Norwegian Business Community

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged the business community from Norway to take advantage of the business-friendly climate currently existing in Ghana, and invest in the country.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “We will continue to create and maintain the conducive investment environment that not only guarantees the safety of investments, but good returns as well. We will continue to protect legitimate investments, and preserve the atmosphere of peace, stability and security that has been an important contributor to the increasing presence of Norwegian businesses in Ghana.”

Speaking at the Ghana-Norway Business Forum, held on Friday, 26th November 2021, at the Kempinski Hotel, the President stated his government has, over the last four (4) years, done a lot of work in correcting the fundamentals of the economy which were all pointing in the wrong direction when he took office in 2017.

“We have, over the period, put in place measures needed to reduce the cost of doing business, improve the business environment, and made the Ghanaian economy not only one of the most business-friendly economies in Africa, but also one of the fastest growing economies in the world between 2017 and 2020, averaging annual GDP growth rates of 7% for those years, up from the 3.4% GDP growth rate we inherited from the previous government in 2016,” he said.

With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on economies the world over, President Akufo-Addo reassured that Government is “working to grow the economy at a much faster rate this year, which will enhance the prospects of a win-win environment for both private sector and country; an environment where companies do not just survive, but actually thrive.”

The major programme driving the revival and revitalization of the Ghanaian economy, he said, is the one hundred-billion-cedi (GH¢100 billion) Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ Programme, whose main elements include supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into commercial farming; building the country’s light manufacturing sector; developing engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy industries; amongst others.

“It continues to be an exciting time to be in Ghana, and to do business in the country. Already, global car manufacturing giants, Toyota and Nissan of Japan, Sinotruk of China, have established assembly plants in the country, as first steps towards the production of vehicles in Ghana,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “Twitter is establishing its African Headquarters in Ghana, and Google’s first African Artificial Intelligence Centre is located in Ghana. We are privileged to play host to the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which represents, currently, a market of some 1.2 billion people, spread over fifty-four (54) countries, with a combined GDP of $3 trillion. Trading in the emerging single market began on 1st January this year”.

With Ghana witnessing a significant rise in interest from Norwegian investors, in several sectors of the economy, including agriculture, building and construction, general trading, manufacturing, oil and gas, and tourism, President Akufo-Addo commended some of his government’s flagship policies to them.

“Government is also embarking on an aggressive public private partnership programme to attract investment in the development of both our road and railway infrastructure. We are hopeful that, with solid private sector participation, we can develop a modern railway network with strong production centre linkages and with the potential to connect us to our neighbours,” he said.

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