Former workers of the banks that collapsed during the banking sector clean-up exercise undertaken by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) are now better off after receiving their severance packages, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Charles Adu Boahen, has said.He explained that although the banking sector looked rosy before the clean-up exercise, a lot of the workers were actually suffering because they had gone months without being paid salaries.
Now, they have been paid their severance packages after the receiver had made available GH¢150 million to pay them, he said.
He revealed that the payment is ongoing.
Mr Adu Boahen further stated that the deposits of over 4.6 million Ghanaians were saved following the decision to comb through the banking sector.
If this had not been done, he said, Ghana would have been chaotic by now in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
“With the people who have been laid off the receiver has made available about GH¢150million to pay severance to these people which is ongoing, so they are getting paid.
“It took a while for the money to be made available so there was quite a little grappling. But now everybody is getting paid but it is a negotiated severance package that is being given.
“So in fact some of them are better of than they were when they were working because some of them hadn’t been paid for six months. In fact even the depositors will go and sit there and they will not even get their money when they go and withdraw it, they weren’t being paid salaries.
“Even though it looked rosy there was a lot of suffering within the sector. So we have actually made it a lot better,” he stressed.
“What is even more important is the savings of these same salaried workers that were in these banks. We have saved over 4.6 million depositors, we have saved over 12,000 jobs.
“If you put it into that contest the cost benefit analysis has been immense to the average Ghanaian on the street. So yes we have lost some jobs but the severance packages are being paid.
“By cleaning up the banks, we have put them on the path to be able to play the role that they are destined to play that is to provide credit to the private sector for us to grow .
“In fact because of this coronavirus we had to look to the banks to help us to give some moratoriums to some of these companies and hospitality industry.
“The banks came up with a package of GH¢7 billion including new loans, deferment of loan repayments, reduced credit or restructured credit just to support the private sector, the pharmaceuticals companies, the manufacturing companies, the hospitality and schools. They could only have done that because they are now stronger, better capitalized,” he said on the Majority Cause Progamme on Joy FM, Thursday, September 17.