Banks in the country have been urged by the Association of Ghana Industries to emulate the gesture of Republic Bank Ghana by also implementing measures to support local businesses in the wake of the global pandemic (COVID-19)
This comes at the back of Republic Bank Ghana offering Loan Repayment Deferment for its customers and staff for a period of six months as part of measures to mitigate the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on businesses in the country.
In an interview with the CEO of AGI, Mr Seth Twum Akwaboah on Citi FM, he said the decision by the bank will go a long way to advance the liquidity of companies especially those providing essential services in this critical moment of the country.
“Under the circumstance, we encourage anything that anybody, any company, any private institution can do to help; mindful of the fact that there is a limit to which the institution can also do so because they must also operate and also feed their staff. So, I know there will be limitations here, but I welcome that idea that Republic Bank has come out with, and if the other banks can do same or similar with other qualities that will help the situation,” he said.
“The essence is to really improve on the liquidity of the company, let’s give them the necessary support so they can produce and flood the market. The system is also for survival, so if there are loans arrangements made for this company, why not give them access or bigger loans to do the work that they have to do, we should all do so,” he added.
Currently, Ghana has recorded 152 cases with 5 deaths and 2 recoveries. This has affected a lot of companies and economic activities, coupled with a partial lock-down in some parts of the country which commences on Monday, March 30.
Akufo-Addo’ GH¢1bn stimulus for businesses
Already, President Akufo-Addo, as part of his government’s effort to eradicate the economic impact of the coronavirus on businesses announced that all households and Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s) will be benefitting from a one billion cedis stimulus package.
Efforts by Bank of Ghana
The Bank of Ghana in its efforts has also directed all financial institutions operating in the country to take adhere to the directive by BoG as well as put in measures to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus in their place of work.
In a statement, the Central Bank asked all the institutions to ensure that all Banking Halls, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Counting Machines and other relevant equipment are sanitized on a regular basis.
“The Bank of Ghana has been following the news and developments of the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Not only has the life-threatening nature and rapid transmission of this disease been felt globally, it’s a significant impact on the global economy is also being felt, especially in advance economies. Central Banks in these jurisdictions have taken measures to mitigate the negative impact of the Pandemic,” the Bank of Ghana has stated.
Additionally, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in effect has reduced the policy rate to 14.5% to give relief to businesses within the country.