President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured the public that those responsible for the activities that led to the banking crisis in the country would face the law if they are found culpable.
According to him, it is not proper that the overwhelming majority of ordinary Ghanaians would pay for the actions of a greedy few, without any sanction.
President Akufo-Addo made this known when he delivered a speech at the 80thAnniversary of the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (PRESEC) in Legon on Saturday.
He bemoaned that the banking crisis, and the collapse and subsequent consolidation of some indigenous banks in the country were caused by the cutting of corners, circumvention of the laws, flouting and non-adherence to regulations, with the apparent complicity of officials of the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
“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,” he said.
The President continued, “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.”
The President reiterated his commitment to Ghana having two performing indigenous banks than seven weak ones, adding that following BoG’s recent intervention, savings had been safeguarded, job losses minimised, and a stronger set of indigenous banks ‘reborn’.
“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 added.
Powerful Past, Prosperous Present, Prominent Future
President Akufo-Addo, who was speaking on theme: ‘Powerful Past, Prosperous Present, Prominent Future’, noted that alumni (ƆdadeƐs) of PRESEC, many of whom can be described as ‘Ghana’s Powerful Past and Prosperous Present’, have obtained this status and are renowned because they had access to education.
He said a survey of Ghana’s immediate past had revealed that between 2013 and 2016, an average of 100,000 children, who passed the B.E.C.E. each year, could not take up their places in Senior High Schools because they could not afford school fees.
To him, if this situation had persisted for a decade, one million children would have dropped out of school after Junior High School, something he described as unacceptable for any nation in the 21st century.
“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 added.
Reports say the Free SHS policy has resulted in 270,000 more students entering Senior High School in 2017 and 2018 alone.