Support govt’s education transformation agenda
The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has urged bankers to support efforts of the government to transform the image and structure of education to fast-track the development of the country.
He suggested that banks deliberately channel their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds towards the provision of modern educational facilities and teaching and learning materials to move the sector from the 19th century to the 21st century method of doing things.
At the launch of the 60th anniversary celebration of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB) in Accra Tuesday, the minister said the government needed the support of bankers and other relevant partners to implement the transformation agenda it had embarked upon.
“A number of banks have supported construction of schools over the years, but as we move our schools to the 21st century under the leadership of the President, we urge banks to step up their CSR support.
The anniversary which was on the theme: “Redefining professionalism in banking through ethics,” was to enable the institute to take stock of its contribution towards the development of the banking industry in the country.
The anniversary logo and cloth were also unveiled, as well as a new Chartered Banker for Excellence Leadership (CBEL) initiative for capacity-building.
In attendance at the launch were the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison; a former Minister of Finance, Kwabena Duffuor; the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB), John Awuah; the President of CIB, Benjamin Amenumey, and the CEO of CIB, Robert Dzato.
Dr Adutwum further said that by supporting the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the country would produce transformational leaders who would accelerate the growth of the nation.
“It would also enable the government to build a skilled workforce that would support the country’s industrialisation drive.
“There are distinguished bankers who were engineers before entering into the banking industry, and so engineering skills are also needed in the banking sector,” the minister added.
Dr Addison, who commended CIB for promoting professionalism in the banking sector in the country, said the 2022 audited financial statement of banks reflected a challenging operating environment.
He said most banks reported significant mark to market valuation losses in their holdings of government bonds, while other losses were due to loans and rising operating cost.
Dr Addison said the industry in general posted losses of GH¢8 billion in 2022, as compared to a profit of GH¢7.4 billion in 2021.
“The main profitability indicators such as return on assets and equity all turned negative in 2022 because of the industry’s position.
“However, banking data for the first half of 2023 reflected some improved performance. This comes after a consensus reached among industry stakeholders on the treatment of losses and the timely introduction of regulatory interventions,” he said.
For his part, the President of CIB, Mr Amenumey, described the history of the institute as remarkable and said it involved sacrifices, challenges and achievements over the past six decades.
“Today as we chronicle the key achievements of the institute, let us appreciate the founding fathers, past presidents, governing council members and staff for their sense of duty and commitment which has brought us this far,” he said.
The president also said that the anniversary celebration would enable the CIB to chart a new path towards becoming the most relevant institute of excellence for professional banking education in Africa.