The Member of Parliament for Assin Central Constituency, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, has reiterated the call for banks to reduce interest rates to enable local businesses expand their operations.
That, he said, would also create more employment, stimulate spending and enable businesses compete favourably.
Mr Agyapong was speaking at the 10th edition of Tema Excellence Awards programme organised by the Tema Excellence Award Foundation here at the weekend.
He described the 30 per cent rate of interest offered by banks to local businesses as a rip off which made it impossible for them to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts whose banks charged them interest rates of between three and five per cent (India) and nine and 10 per cent (in Nigeria), among others.
Mr Agyapong said Ghanaians were capable of harnessing the country’s natural resources and therefore urged government to support them.
The awards, aimed at honouring individuals who have excelled in their fields of endeavour and contributed to the development of Tema, saw a total of 12 personalities receiving plaques and citations.
They were Kennedy Agyapong, who was recognised for his courage and resourcefulness, Nii Bortey Klan I, Chief of Klagon; Member of Parliament of Tema East, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover; George Sedney Abugri, formally of Graphic Communications Group and Mrs Margaret Nsiah Asamoah, immediate past Tema Metropolitan Director of Education.
Others were Mr Bismark Brown, a media practitioner; Mrs Barbara A Asamoah, proprietress of Santa Barbara School and Dr Kwabena Opoku Adusei, former Medical Director of Tema General Hospital.
The rest were Col. (rtd) Paul Agyei Brewu; Apostle Robert Ayikuma Laryea; Nana Dua Boafo I, Executive Director of Veterans Association of Ghana and Dr Benson K. Asare, a retired teacher.
Mr Agyapong advised businessmen to be honest and work hard to achieve success, whilst he expressed worry that prime locations for businesses in Tema were occupied by foreign companies, making local businesses play second fiddle to them.
He was concerned about the lack of maintenance of structures in the harbour city which made Tema look a pale shadow of itself.
The Chief Executive Officer of Tema Excellence Award Foundation, Akwasi Poku Bosompem, said the foundation since its establishment 10 years ago had honoured 250 distinguished personalities to encourage recipients to continue their good works and inspire the youth to follow their good example.
FROM GODFRED BLAY GIBBAH, TEMA