The ongoing financial sector clean-up being undertaken by the government is estimated to cost GH¢14 billion.
This came to light during the fourth regional town hall meeting at Techiman in the Bono East Region under the theme: ‘Accounting For Financial Sector Resolution, Jobs And Agriculture’’.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah disclosed that government would use the amount to repay over one million depositors whose savings were locked up in the affected financial institutions.
Giving reasons for the banking sector clean-up, the Deputy Chief Manager of the Banking Supervision Department of Bank of Ghana, Mustapha Sarbeng, said some the financial institutions granted huge unrecoverable loans and engaged in excessive high risk undertakings coupled with poor corporate governance in the face of low capital.
As a result, he pointed out that these banks were rendered insolvent, a situation necessitating government’s intervention through the Central Bank’s revocation of their licences and the reorganisation of some of them, including the Ghana Commercial Bank takeover of the GT Bank and Capital Bank.
Continuing, he said it also became necessary for Bank of Ghana to consolidate five banks, including Royal Bank, Beige Capital Bank, Royal Bank, Premium Bank, amongst others.
According to the BOG official who spoke on behalf of the Governor of BOG, Dr. Ernest Addison, so far licenses of 420 financial institutions, including 347 micro-finances have been revoked.
In order to protect depositors’ monies and to ensure effective banking in future, he said government would launch a deposit protection corporation this month, upon which depositors can fall on in the event of a financial service sector deficiency.
When he took his turn to address the gathering, the Minister of Employment & Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, said the unemployment rate has reduced from 11.9 per cent in 2015 to 7.1 per cent in 2019.
He indicated that the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ alone has accounted for about 1.5m jobs across the country.
Continuing, he said the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), together with his ministry, would soon roll out a proficiency test for artisans and also create a directory to sharpen their skills and ensure easy access for their services, adding that gainful employment is not only about having jobs in the formal sector.
Other speakers at the forum highlighted various projects and programmes being implemented by the government to better the lot of Ghanaians and to give them hope for the future.