The president of Ghana Bankers Association, Alhassan Andani has cautioned that until the fundamentals of Ghana’s economy are strengthened, the cedi will continue to depreciate in value.
Mr. Andani who is also the Managing Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana argued that the continuous dependency on imports at the expense of exports will continue to put enormous pressure on the local currency.
The cedi has performed poorly against major currencies since the beginning of the year, losing about 6 percent of its value to the Dollar.
In an interview with Starr Business during the re-launch of Stanbic Executive Banking proposition Mr. Andani urged government to change its focus in order to save the local currency.
“What we are not doing right is that we are not generating enough dollars, enough foreign exchange that we need. We’ve got to focus our attention on producing goods and services for export,” he said.
He continued that “we have this insatiable desire for imports but nobody is focusing on the exports sector and sometimes when there is pressure on the currency, everybody then turns to government and it shocks me when people in government respond because they don’t produce US dollars, it is the populace who produce US dollars, it is the enterprises which produce exports so we should avert our attention to those producing the US dollars or exports of goods and services and encourage lot more people to do that.”
Mr. Andani further stated the noise about the depreciation of the local currency will not help in finding a solution to the problem. He believes the answer lies in increasing local production to offset the “insatiable” demand for foreign exchange for imports.
“Sometimes we all think that we can talk down the rate or we can talk up the rate. As for the demand for foreign exchange, it’s virtually insatiable. Our food is exported, our clothing is imported, our cars, our fuel, our medicines. Doesn’t it frighten us?” he queried.
Stanbic Bank has revamped its Executive Banking proposition with the introduction of new packages such as an educational plan, a hospital cash cover and retrenchment cover.
Speaking at the launch of the repackaged product, Head of Personnel and Business Banking at Stanbic Bank Nana Dwemoh Benneh said the revamping of the product is in response to the needs of customers.
“This is yet another opportunity to prove to our customers our responsiveness to their needs. As a bank we believe a real banking experience goes beyond just deposits and withdrawals; for us it is about enriching lives…taking to heart the customer’s comfort and giving back to them what is just right for the betterment of their lives and Stanbic Bank is committed to doing just that,” he said.