Government is providing the framework to improve the efficiency of Ghana’s financial sector to enable it play an effective role in promoting economic growth, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
He said an effective and efficient financial system was a prerequisite for the transformation of Ghana’s economy to a modernised and industrialised one focused on value addition.
President Akufo-Addo said this when the representatives of the Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Companies (GHASALC) called on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra.
The call was to introduce the Association to the President and apprise him of its challenges and also find ways the GHASALC could fit into government’s plans and policies for the country’s socio-economic advancement.
GHASALC is an association of savings and loans companies registered under the laws of Ghana and also licensed by the Bank of Ghana.
It aims at offering a platform for the enhancement of microfinance practice in savings and loans companies to ensure their sustainability and growth and ensure the ultimate development of their customers and the national economy in general.
The President lauded the group for its crucial role in deepening the financial sector’s participation in the country’s economic growth.
He took notice of their concerns, the most important being the Bank of Ghana’s intended increase of the minimum capital requirement for savings and loans companies from GH¢7 million to GH¢15 million.
The Association said if that happened, their businesses would not be sustainable.
President Akufo-Addo, however, assured the GHASALC that government would look into that concern, because “whatever is to be done to strengthen their capacity is very important for the success of the economy.”
He harped on the potential of the sector to greatly influence growth in the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises and urged the Association to leverage the One District-One Factory Policy to fund productive investments that would spur growth for both the sector and the country.
Mr Kofi Ampofo Agyepong, the Chairman of GHASALC, on behalf of the Association, commended the President for the strides his administration had made in its first year of governance.
He said the Association, like any other financial entity, was poised to render its quota to the development of the country.
However, government should give the sector the needed support to enable it to play its part effectively in the economic development of the nation.
The Association, he said, would key into the One District One Factory Programme to help the policy to succeed “because once the economy grows more business our business opportunities also expand,” Mr Agyapong said.
He said the GHASALC was also looking at any other economic management role it could play to boost the economic agenda of government.
Mr Agyapong pleaded with the President to address speedily the issues that were diminishing the returns of their businesses, which are indigenously owned.
GHASALC also urged President Akufo-Addo to intervene to enable it to get back part of their commissions on money remittances from abroad in foreign currencies.
The Association, collectively, employs more than 11,000 Ghanaians directly, and has 641 branches across the country, serving some 3.2 million customers with a capital portfolio of about GH¢7.7 billion.