The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), has called on the Government to speed up with its industrialisation policy and the commitment of building industrial parks to expand the industrial activities of the country.
Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso I, President of the GNCCI said implementing the policy of building industrial parks, when well implemented, would inure to the benefits of Ghanaians and cause a reduction in the unemployment rate through creation of adequate job opportunities.
Nana Dankawoso I was speaking at the 42nd Annual General Meeting of the Chamber on Tuesday in Accra, which also saw the unanimously re-election of all the current National Officers.
The President, who had been retained, called on the government to create incentives for other sectors of the economy to expand in order to curtail unemployment spill overs that would result from the job losses of recent crisis in the financial sector.
He commended the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and other relevant institutions for taking bold steps to prevent what would have potentially been a major crisis in the financial sector of the economy, of which the private sector would have been a major victim.
Nana Dankawoso I urged the Central Bank to take measures that would ensure speedy, efficient and effective regulatory interventions to prevent such occurrences in the near future.
He said most of the challenges business had faced in recent times had been driven by the recent depreciation of the Ghana Cedi against major currencies coupled with the fuel price hikes and the unresponsiveness of the lending rate to the reduced monetary policy.
Nana Dankawoso I said in as much as the Chamber was calling on the government to play its role in job creation in the country, GNCCI had tried its best to make significant contribution towards complementing government’s efforts in that regard.
Mr Ahomka Lindsay, a Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry said, the role of the Chamber towards the growth of the economy, could not be underestimated and nopted that the government was committed to playing its role in developing the country.
He said the government would not relent on its mandate but would continuously create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive because government desired to see a wealthy citizenry.
Mr Lindsay said with regards to government’s programme of ‘One district One factory’, it would be delivered by 2020 as 50 businesses had started the journey.
He said government was also committed to modernising the National Bureau of Small Scale Industry to ensure that some challenges to the sector were resolved.
Dr Benjamin Amoah, Advisor to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, said the activities of the 5,000 members of the Chamber were significant to the economy of Ghana.
He said the Bank had instituted a policy to develop a sound and strong financial system to support inclusive growth, adding that, the Bank was aware of the expectation of industrialists of working within a stable macro-economic environment and ‘that is the direction the Central is heading’.
Dr Amoah, who spoke on behalf of the Dr Ernest Addison, the Governor of BOG, said ‘As a Bank, we have been pursuing prudent policies together with the fiscal authorities and other stakeholders to create the much needed enabling environment to support growth and there is evidence to show that we are achieving this objective.’
He said the Cedi’s strong performance against major international currencies in the first quarter of this year, weakened in the subsequent quarters as the currency came under pressure due to factors such as continuous monetary policy normalisation and strengthening of the US Dollar, among others.
He said the country’s Banking system was becoming stronger with capital adequacy ratio reported at 19.1 per cent as at end of August significantly against the prudential requirement of 10 per cent, adding that non-performing loans of the sector continues to ease.
At the end of the 42nd AGM, all National Officers of the Chamber were unanimously re-elected and sworn in office.
They were Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso I, as the President, Mr Clement Osei-Amoako, the first Vice President, Mrs Victoria M.E. Hajar, the second Vice President and Mr Harry Ebenezer Mensah, the National Treasurer.