Banking sector crisis Culprits will face the law – President

President Akufo-Addo cutting the 80th anniversary cake

President Akufo-Addo cutting the 80th anniversary cake

Anyone found to have sidestepped the country’s laws, leading to the crises in the banking sector will be made to face the full brunt of the law, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said.

 

The President said the government would prosecute anyone responsible for the sequence of activities that led to the crises without any favour, if they were found to have broken the law.

 

“It is not right that the overwhelming majority of ordinary Ghanaians should pay for the actions of a greedy few, without sanction” he said

 

President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the 80th anniversary of the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School at Legon in Accra.

 

He said the collapse and subsequent consolidation of some indigenous banks were caused by infractions such as cutting of corners, circumvention of laws, to flouting and non-adherence to regulations, sometimes with the complicity of senior officials of the Bank of Ghana.

 

Under the rigorous leadership of the current Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison, the President said a number of prudent measures had been taken to save and sanitise 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.”

 

“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,” he said

 

As a result of the BoG’s intervention, he said depositors’ savings had been safeguarded, job losses had been minimised, and a strong set of indigenous banks were being born.

 

According to the President, it would be in the interest of the country to have two performing indigenous banks than to have seven weak ones, and cited Nigeria and Malaysia as examples of countries that took similar interventions to save their banking industries.

 

“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 mobilise resources to finance our industrial, agricultural and economic transformation,” he said.

 

President Akufo-Addo touched on the Free Senior HIgh School policy introduced by his administration with the aim to increase high school enrolment and urged the public to support the government to make the policy a success.

 

He said statistics indicated that between 2013 and 2016, an average of 100,000 children who passed the B.E.C.E every year could not take up their places in Senior High because they could not afford the fees, even though they had the qualifications.

 

If that 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, the President observed.

 

“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 said.

The Free SHS policy, in 2017 and 2018, has seen SHS enrolment increase by 270,000 more students.

 BY YAW KYEI

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