Absa Bank Ghana has donated an amount of GHS1 million to Ghana’s COVID-19 Fund to help in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
The donation, which is in response to President Akufo-Addo’s announcement of the creation of a COVID-19 Fund is towards the procurement of test kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support increased testing and the protection of front line health workers.
The amount was presented at a Ministry of Information Press briefing on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and was received by the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, and the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu on behalf of government.
Presenting the cheque on behalf of the Board and Management of Absa Ghana, Marketing and Corporate Relations Director, Nana Essilfuah Boison, said, “I am here on behalf of the Board and Management of ABSA Bank Ghana. We have been very concerned as a bank about the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all affected because we are all in the same ecosystem. So, based on this, we want to make our contribution of one million Ghana Cedis to the CVOVID-19 National Trust Fund that the President has set,” she said.
Additionally, Absa Bank is also offering a repayment moratorium of up to six months to all personal and business customers who have been affected by COVID-19.
The bank has also reduced its lending rate by 2% on qualifying Personal, SME as well as loans to other impacted industries.
These measures take effect from 1st April, 2020, and will be implemented across loans due in April 2020, subject to the necessary arrangements with the bank.
Last week, as a way of supporting customers, the bank waived charges on interbank instant transfers on its digital channels, and also made mobile money transfers of up to GHS100 daily free.
The bank, also in a statement, stated that in the face of the challenges customers are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was only right that the bank offered some relief to help customers remain in business.
Speaking on the support from the bank, the Managing Director, Abena Osei-Poku, said, “We have been closely monitoring developments and the growing concerns on COVID-19 in Ghana and the rest of the world, as well as reports from government and health institutions. This pandemic is nothing we have seen before and is very alarming, to say the least. As a caring bank, it is important for us to support our customers who keep us in business.”
“While doing that, we are also aware of the efforts the government is making to bring the situation of COVID-19 under control in Ghana. We, therefore, found it dutiful to support the government towards the purchase of test kits to help curb the spread of the virus and PPEs for the protection of our front line health workers.”
It further stated that it will keep monitoring the developments on COVID-19 and make decisions that will be in the best interest of customers and employees.
“Our primary focus is on serving our customers in a safe environment while maintaining the health and well-being of our employees, their families and the general public. We have ensured that our customers will have access to secure and convenient service during this period through our digital channels, cash accepting ATMs and our Relationship Managers,’’ noted Mrs. Osei-Poku.
As part of the precautionary measures taken by the bank against COVID-19, it has temporarily reduced its branch operations, and encouraged customers to stay at home and use its digital channels for their banking transactions.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah expressed gratitude, saying, “On behalf of the government of Ghana, the relief fund and its Board of Trustees, we thank you for your very significant contribution. We assure you that it will be used for the purpose as announced.”
Cases in Ghana
Currently, Ghana has recorded 195 cases with 5 deaths and 3 recoveries.
The Greater Accra Region has 174 of these cases, the Northern Region has 10, the Ashanti Region has nine, the Upper West Region has one and the Eastern Region also has one known case of the virus.
One hundred of the cases have been from the state’s general surveillance.