Journalists urged to deepen people’s understanding on financial issues

BudgetFinancial journalists have been urged to constantly upgrade their knowledge and skills to help them to better educate and inform the ordinary people on financial matters.

They should breakdown and interpret financial concepts and issues to the best understanding of the people to enable them to make informed decisions and choices on their daily financial and banking activities.

Nana Otuo Acheampong, a renowned financial analyst, and Executive Director of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Centre for Executive Education and Research in Kumasi, made the call at the closing of a two-day workshop on the 2013 budget for financial journalists in the Northern Sector in Kumasi.

It was organized by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) with sponsorship from Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness (STAR) Ghana.

The goal was to assist the participants to get deeper insight into the budget targets so as to be able to track the performance of the government relative to the achievement of those targets.

Nana Otuo Acheampong made reference to the current impressive performance of the banking sector in terms of annual profits and said banks were making huge profits and said this had been due to the fact that the system had allowed that.

The banks averagely were paying three per cent on savings deposit and at the same time charging about 36 per cent on loans. Some of them were also purchasing government treasury bills at the rate of 23 per cent.

These, he said, were aiding the banks to make huge profits. He insisted that until the managers of the economy made conscious efforts to bring interest rates down, the banks would continue to reap huge profits to the detriment of the other sectors.

It was therefore important for the journalists to keep themselves updated on the happenings in the financial market so as to efficiently educate and inform the public on where to put their money or take loans for their business operations.

Ms Francisca Ansah of the Ashanti Regional Office of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, mentioned access to credit facilities, bureaucracy in the public sector and the energy crisis as some of the challenges facing the country’s private sector.

She pleaded with the media to highlight issues affecting the smooth operations of the private sector to prompt the government to take appropriate steps to address them.

Source: GNA

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