President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured that “those responsible for the sequence of activities that led to the ‘banking crisis’ will face the full brunt of the law if they are found to have broken the law”.
According to him, “It is not right that the overwhelming majority of ordinary Ghanaians should pay for the actions of a greedy few, without sanction.”
President Akufo-Addo made the statement on Saturday when he delivered a speech at the 80th Anniversary of the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School, Legon.
The President stated that “the so-called ‘banking crisis’”, and the collapse and subsequent consolidation of some indigenous banks have been caused by the cutting of corners, circumvention of the laws, flouting and non-adherence to regulations, apparently with the complicity of senior officials of the Bank of Ghana.
The inefficient and poorly managed banks, as a result, required the robust intervention of the regulatory bodies to prevent contagion in the banking sector.
As a result, under the rigorous leadership of the current Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, the President indicated that a number of prudent measures have been taken to save and sanitize the banking sector.
“To protect the deposits of the seven defunct banks, the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, has had to issue bonds to the tune of some GH¢8 billion in favour of GCB Bank and the new Consolidated Bank, the banks that took over the operations of the seven failed banks,” he said.
The President continued, “This is in addition to liquidity support of some GH¢4.7 billion that had been provided by the Bank of Ghana to these banks over a period before their closure. In effect, GH¢12.7 billion of public funds has been injected into these seven banks, following their malfunction.”
Depositors’ savings, he said, have been safeguarded, job losses have been minimized, and a strong set of indigenous banks is being born.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated his commitment to having two performing indigenous banks in the country than to have seven weak ones, as recent examples of Nigeria, Malaysia and others have shown.
“I have no doubt that, if these measures had not been taken, the banking system would have been seriously compromised, with dire consequences for depositors and their savings. We need urgently a vibrant banking sector that can help mobilize resources to finance our industrial, agricultural and economic transformation,” he added.
This, President Akufo-Addo stressed, is the justification for the measures of the Bank of Ghana.
Powerful Past, Prosperous Present, Prominent Future
President Akufo-Addo, who was speaking on theme of the Anniversary celebration “Powerful Past, Prosperous Present, Prominent Future”, stated that alumni (ƆdadeƐs) of PRESEC, many of whom can be described as Ghana’s “Powerful Past” and “Prosperous Present” of our country, have obtained this status and renown because they had access to education.
Future ƆdadeƐs, he added, who wish to become our nation’s “Prominent Future”, can only become so, if they receive an education.
He indicated that a survey of Ghana’s immediate past reveals that between 2013 and 2016, an average, one hundred thousand (100,000) children, every year, who passed the B.E.C.E., could not take up their places in Senior High, because they could not afford the fees, even though they had the qualifications.
If this situation had persisted for a decade, one million children would have dropped out of school at the level of Junior High School, an unacceptable outcome for any nation in the 21st century.
“It would have been too dangerous for Ghana’s stability, as we would have been building a future of hopelessness for our youth. Such a situation was intolerable, and my party and I were determined to end it. That is why the Free Senior High School policy was introduced,” he added.
The Free SHS policy, in 2017 and 2018, has resulted in 270,000 more students entering Senior High School.