The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), has urged banks in the country to emulate the gesture of Republic Bank Ghana, by implementing measures that will support local businesses in the wake of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
This follows Republic Bank Ghana’s gesture of offering a Loan Repayment Deferment for its customers and staff for a period of six months, in its quest to mitigate the economic impact of the novel Coronavirus pandemic on businesses and staff in the country.
In an interview with Citi Business News, the CEO of AGI, Mr. Seth Twum Akwaboah, said such gestures by the banks will go a long way to improve the liquidity of companies especially those providing essential services during this period.
“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.
Nana Addo announces GHS1bn stimulus for businesses
Meanwhile, as part of measures to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic to sustain businesses, President Akufo-Addo announced that all households and small to medium scale enterprises are to benefit from a stimulus package of one billion Ghana cedis.
Banks take steps to mitigate spread
The Bank of Ghana has already directed all financial institutions operating in the country to take adequate steps to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
It’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) also reduced the policy rate to 14.5% to give relief to businesses.
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 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.”