Vice President Kwesi Amissah Arthur has made a strong case for a reduction in the cost of doing business in the country.
Mr. Amissah Arthur says the high interest rate regime has deepened the challenge for most businesses especially SMEs, to access credit and expand.
According to him, the situation has also contributed to the growing unemployment rate in Ghana.
The Former Governor made the remarks when he inaugurated a new Board for the Bank of Ghana.
“Talking to people in the economy in the country, there two significant problems that they face; high interest rates and access to credit especially for SMEs… we hope that the new board will have a major responsibility to bring down banks’ base rates and interest rates in order to ease the cost of doing business especially for SMEs,” he stated.
According to Mr. Amissah Arthur, the BoG Amended Act has increased the independence of the Bank of Ghana and the Board must work with an equal increase in its mandate from three to four years.
The Former Governor of the central bank further intimated that government’s target of reducing the high unemployment rate in the country could be achieved via value addition.
“Job creation remains the government’s priority; the infrastructure has been provided to a very large extent and the jobs cannot be created in the offices, they will rather be created in an economy where value is added to products before exporting,” he added.
For his part, a member of the newly inaugurated Board, Dr. Augustine Fritz Gokel challenged his colleagues to work to protect the interest of the marginalized and reduce their vulnerability to exploitation in the financial sector.
“The marginalization of people of some of the players in the financial sector, the board will have to consider these for purposes of financial inclusion policies that will deepen financial saving mobilization; deepen the credit management process so that the marginalized and poor do not become susceptible to the exorbitant interest rates that are charged in the microfinance sector,” Dr. Gokel stated.
The 12-member board has the Governor of the BoG, Dr Abdul – Nashiru Issahaku, as its Executive Chairman, with a Deputy Governor of the BoG, Mr Millison Narh ; a Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson.
Other members are: Professor Kwabena Asamani Anaman , Mr. Augustine F Gokel , Mrs. Emma Akua Bulley, Dr Kojo Owusu Agyeman , Dr Kwame Ampofo Kusi , Mr Godfrey Morgan Mwindaare and Dr SR Euginia Ampofu.