Former CEO of Ecobank Group, Arnold Ekpe has said that the move by the Central Bank to increase the minimum capital requirement will enable banks to finance big-ticket transactions of the government.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) in September this year revised upwards the minimum capital requirement for banks from 120 million cedis to 400 million cedis, as part of efforts to sanitize the banking industry.
Speaking at an Executive Program in Multinational Management organized by Djondo Fellowship, Mr. Ekpe said the recapitalized banks will be able to support government projects.
“Only big banks can finance development in this country, small banks can’t do that. For example, many of you don’t know that ten years ago, for Ghana to raise credit to finance oil imports into Ghana, the minister had to go round talking to so many banks and every time, it was just a lot to deal with,” he recalled.
He added that Ecobank’s presence in Ghana enabled the country to finance its first oil shipment.
“When I was in Ecobank we financed the first oil shipment by an African bank to the government of Ghana and he didn’t have to leave Accra, we came to see him,” he said.
Mr. Ekpe stated that it is important for some banks to merge to expand their capital base.
“If you have four big banks, every single project up to a hundred million dollars can be financed by the banks, it’s painful because people don’t like losing their banks but it is important that it is done,” he stressed.
About Djondo Fellowship
It is a management fellowship for Africa’s most companies set up to support African companies to profitably expand beyond their domestic economies and become multinational champions of African integration.
It is operated through a combination of management training, mentoring and technical support.
By: Anita Arthur/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana