President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to bridge the gap between its monetary policy rate and the lending rates of commercial banks to enhance the rapid growth of the country.
He said it is not right that the central bank’s monetary policy rate stands at 13.5 per cent whilst the commercial banks lend to the private sector at 21 per cent or more.
“Interrogate the issue of high-interest rates in Ghana, and how the problem should be addressed to enhance the competitiveness of the private sector in the country…I believe the Bank of Ghana is best placed to lead this process of reflection and action,” he said.
The President made the call when he swore into office the newly constituted 13-member board of the central bank at the Jubilee House on Friday.
He said the central bank had over the past four years distinguished itself, discharging its duties impeccably, and proving to be a sound banker to the government and safe custodian of the nation’s money.
He lauded the many corporate governance measures put in place to mitigate against future bank failures and “ensure that we have a strong banking sector that can drive the transformation agenda of the government.”
He said the domestic gold purchasing initiative of the BoG is a game-changer that would help transform the country’s domestic gold production value chain.
The President also praised the bank’s leading role in the digitalisation of the economy, saying the recent announcement of the pilot central bank-backed digital currency would deepen financial inclusion and enhance access to credit for small and medium scale enterprise.
He also applauded the bank for its initiative and partnership with the monitory authorities of Singapore and Ghana’s Finance Ministry to develop a network of digital platforms to serve as global public infrastructure to boost the growth of SME’s in the two countries.
“All of these have re-established the Bank of Ghana as an institution of excellence, reflecting in the international recognition of the bank,” President Nana Akufo-Addo said.
The President therefore charged the governing board to leverage the vast experience of members to ensure the formulation of policies necessary for the achievement of the bank’s objectives.
“I am counting on the board, with its diverse experience, talents and skills, to support the agenda of the bank and help formulate policies necessary for the achievement of its objectives. This is a charge I am confident you would keep,” he said.