A former Chief Executive Officer of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST), Kwame Awuah-Darko, has revealed that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has the record of growing indigenous banks.
He has, therefore, assured that if the NDC wins this year’s elections, local participation in the banking sector will flourish.
He noted that at the moment the difficulties in doing business in Ghana cannot be attributed to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, rather poor government decisions.
Speaking to journalists on the NDC manifesto for this year’s elections, Mr Awuah-Darko said “our manifesto talks about the banking crisis which has affected the Ghanaian banks within the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) space that lends to Ghanaians”.
“So if you were a Ghanaian businessman or woman before compared to being a Ghanaian businessman or woman today, there’s a huge difference in terms of your opportunity to access capital and you can see that in the drop in volume of the business activities at the ports.
“And it started way back in 2018, it is not a function of COVID-19.
“The small Ghanaian middle class we had played with the indigenous Ghanaian banking sector because the multinational banks lend to foreigners and not Ghanaians though obviously it is Ghanaian deposits they used to lend to foreign companies.
“That’s one of the features of the economy. Because apart from your capital, the deposits is what you use to do business. So you have a situation today where NDC have recognized that Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), Savings and Loans (SLs), indigenous banks have been pushed out of the system. And therefore the average Ghanaian is struggling to access capital.”
Speaking on the regional banks, he said: “First of all to have a development bank, you need to have regulation for that. In their manifesto, they’re pursing the normal universal banking approach. But if you want to have a development financial institution.. you have to get the Bank of Ghana focused on a different style of regulation.
“The NDC set up the EXIM bank that was supposed to finance export oriented activities. But if you go back into our history, what we’re saying is not a new thing. The NDC has done it before. An example is ORADEP and REDICAP, at the time we didn’t have many Ghanaian that were entrepreneurial and so government decided to focus on development on the regional specific bases.
“However, if you want to focus on how to build this country, you have to focus on how to build regional development financial institutions.”