Veto Bank Lending Rates, BoG Told

The Bank of Ghana has been urged to use its wide-ranging powers to lower bank lending rates to cushion the local business community against the consequences of the cedi’s tumble.

“A low lending rate is the key to our survival in this environment. With all the cedi issues and taxes suffocating local businesses, if the bank rates keep soaring then many will be forced to close shop since patriotism won’t be enough to save them,” Mr. Roger Klogo, Chief Executive of Tanink Ghana Limited, opined.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema, he called on government to extensively consult the business community before implementing major fiscal and economic programmes.

“I would be very happy to see businessmen and women given the platform to tell their stories born out of practical experiences which are mostly gathered in the field. Finding the right mix of pragmatic and academic ideas would help us out of our economic problems.”

He called on government to take stories and perceptions of corruption very seriously, since they can drive away potential investors whose resources are needed to move the economy forward.

Mr. Klogo called for the introduction of offshore banking in Ghana to help local businesses access cheaper loans.

According to him, the argument that criminals would use such banking system to launder money is weak because there are rules involved in such enterprises and most of the big players in global finance and investment circles use such platforms to spread their earnings — which ultimately help local businesses.

The Tanink boss appealed to government to also draw-up and follow a petroleum adjustment timetable so that businesses and the ordinary Ghanaian can plan their expenditure pattern.