President urges new BoG board to address policy and lending rates gap

President urges new BoG board to address policy and lending rates gap
New Governing Board of the Bank of Ghana being sworn in by the President

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has formally sworn in a reconstituted 12-member governing board of the Bank of Ghana, tasking them to address the huge gap between lending and policy rates.

Departing from convention, as the task has historically been performed by the minister of finance, the President commended the apex bank’s leadership for its role in the transformation agenda of government, as well as steering the financial sector through its most turbulent period in recent history.

Whilst commending the bank’s leadership for its impressive handling of inflation and digitalisation, as well as introducing initiatives such as the domestic gold purchasing programme, he re-echoed concerns over the appreciable variance between BoG’s policy rate and lending rates by commercial banks.

“I want to use this opportunity to bring into focus a matter of importance for the rapid growth of our economy, that is to urge the bank to interrogate the issue of high-interest rates in Ghana and how the problem should be addressed to enhance the competitiveness of the private sector. It is surely not right that the central bank’s monetary policy rate stands at 13.5 percent, while commercial banks lend to the private sector at rates of 21 percent and above,” he said.

On his part, Governor of the Bank, Dr. Ernest Addison, who is the Board Chair, thanked President Akufo -Addo for the confidence reposed in his team. He added that the reconstituted board will not shirk in its responsibilities, expressing confidence that it is capable of delivering whilst pledging to continue to support government’s development agenda by pursuing prudent monetary policies to consolidate the gains over the last four years.

On the suitability of the Board for the task, he said: “given the rich and diverse background of the team on the board, there is no doubt in my mind that, together, we can build on the solid foundation laid by our predecessors and take this institution to even greater heights.”

Members of the Board include the First Deputy Governor, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari; the Second Deputy Governor, Elsie Addo Awadzi; and the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Charles Kofi Adu Boahen.

The rest are an economist and former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Samuel Nii-Noi Ashong; investment banker, Jude Kofi Bucknor; a former Director of Finance at BoG, Joseph Blignam Alhassan; and business executive, Andrew Adinorte Boye-Doe.

Making up the Board are Regional General Manager of IBM Africa in charge of North, East, and West Africa, Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh; a leadership expert and author, Comfort Ocran; and a former Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission, Dr. Regina Ohene-Darko Adutwum.

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