President Mills ask banks to reduce credit cost

President John Evans Atta Mills on Tuesday commissioned a new bank in Accra, the Energy Bank Ghana Limited, and called on financial institutions to reduce the cost of credit to stimulate industrial growth.

He pointed out the reduction in the inflation rate and the improvement in the economic environment and urged the banks to reciprocate the favourable economic indicators by reducing the bank charges to small and medium scale enterprises.

President Mills said Government was committed to create jobs and developing the human resource, and urged the banks to throw their weight to making business thrive.

The President said Government would continue to fashion out suitable policies and practices for business to thrive and invited investors to make Ghana a preferred investment destination, with a guaranteed return on investment.

The Energy Bank Ghana Limited, owned largely by the NICON and Global Fleet, of Nigeria, has a shareholders’ fund in excess of GH¢ 60 million, with a composition of a 10 member board, headed Nigerian business tycoon and barrister Jimoh Ibrahim.

President Mills said the decision to establish the bank in Ghana was an expression of the confidence in the Ghanaian economy, and an appreciation of what Government had done for the economy to thrive.

He amused his audience when he said he was at the commissioning because he expected to make some money, and also the colours of the bank; red, blue and yellow represented the colours of his favourite football team, the Accra Hearts of Oak.

President Mills assured financial institutions that Government would continue to create a favourable business climate and called for more investment for guaranteed returns.

He called for a healthy competition among the banks.

Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, Chairman of the Bank, said Ghana under President Mills was not on the list of corrupt countries across the world, adding; “a new leadership under your Presidency is building capacity that is trusted by the populace capable of effecting the much needed transformation.

According to the Chairman, there were 27 Ghanaian banks having over $1 billion shareholders’ fund spreading across all aspects of banking in a population of 25 million people, compared with 23 Nigerian banks with shareholders’ fund of $1.9 billion for 150 million population.

He commended the Bank of Ghana for setting regulations which he called “corrective rather than destructive”.

Barrister Ibrahim described Ghana as the fastest growing economy in the world, and announced that the Energy Bank in Ghana was one of the five banks earmarked to be set up by his group before the end of the second quarter of 2013.

The Chairman said Global Fleet would further invest another $50 million towards building a first class hospital in Ghana.

Source: GNA

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