Borrowing Cost Decline Excites Gov’t
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed delight at the gradual decline in the cost of borrowing and the increase in the banks’ credit to the private sector in Ghana.
Giving an overview of his administration’s performance over the past six months in Accra, the President emphasised: “We are encouraged by the gradual decline in the cost of borrowing and the increase in banks’ credit to the private sector by nearly 6 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to a decline of about 7 percent in the same period in 2016.”
He, however, indicated that more needs to be done “to bring down the cost of borrowing to enable businesses to have access to the much-needed credit.”
“The Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) of the Bank of Ghana has been cut from 25.5 percent to 22.5 percent in the first half of the year. Inflation has gone down from 15.4 percent in December 2016 to 12.1 percent in June 2017, i.e. a period of six months, the lowest in four years. The benchmark 91-day Treasury bill (T-bill) rate was 22.8 percent in January last year, and has narrowed to 11.9 percent in June 2017, the lowest in five years.”
“We have also introduced a number of innovative interim packages to help, particularly, new entrepreneurs. I do not need to repeat that the greatest challenge we face is the creation of jobs.”
“It is my hope and expectation that these statistics will soon translate into tangible benefits in the lives of Ghanaians.”
Commenting on the energy situation in the country presently, he said the situation had improved quite a bit.
“We are not yet where we should be, particularly with regard to the cost of energy. This is a great threat to the operations of business and the cost of living in the country. The Minister for Finance, in collaboration with the Minister for Energy, is at an advanced stage of floating the $2.5 billion Energy Bond to retire the $2.4 billion debt overhang on the energy sector. This development will attract more investment into the sector and reduce the cost of energy.”
He therefore expressed the belief that supply and distribution had improved, adding that “we are working to bring costs down and make energy supply generally more reliable.”
By Samuel Boadi