Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has hinted that the government is working to bring down the cost of mortgage and lending, as it is too high for people to afford.
He said the country’s economy was far too informal and that was what had caused the situation, and for which reason the government was going to formalise the economy based on three pillars to help bring down the cost of mortgage and lending.
Those pillars, he said, were a national identification system where every Ghanaian would be assigned a unique ID number which would apply to national health insurance, driver’s licence and other sectors, a digital address system and the interoperability of the country’s payment systems.
Dr Bawumia was interacting with members of the Chartered Institute of Banking (CIB) who called on him at the Flagstaff House to congratulate him on his successful election and to strengthen ties with the government.
The visit was also to enable the institute to discuss matters relating to banking and finance education in Ghana, with the government.
Limited mortgage industry
Dr Bawumia noted that while the mortgage industry in the country was a growing one, it was still too limited. “If you look at Ghana in terms of mortgage to income ratios, we are very expensive. We are the highest in the world,” he said.
“It tells you that there is a lot more to be done because mortgage interest rates are way too high for people to afford, so usually it is people who are abroad who tend to do that because it is not affordable,” he said.
The vision of the government, he said, was to grow the economy to make Ghana very business and banking friendly.
Dr Bawumia said he backed the decision of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB) to develop specialised courses within the banking sector as part of efforts to elevate the banking industry to bring it at par with world-class practices.
He noted that the norm in the country had been the production of bankers who were trained in generic banking and that had led to a shortage of professional bankers with unique areas of specialisation.
“The nature of financial services and banking is a global thing, so you have to be world class so that we can maintain our competitive edge as an industry and as a country. So I am very excited about the idea that you would get people to specialise in specific areas,” he said.
The President of CIB, Rev. Mrs Patricia Sappor, said the institute would roll out a banking professional qualification programme from next year.
She said the CIB was also collaborating with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to provide capacity building for microfinance institutions in view of the recent unpleasant happenings in that sector.
She hinted that the institute had far-advanced plans to build a world-class centre for banking and finance education in the country.
The delegation also used the occasion to invite the Vice-President to CIB’s annual conference in November, as the Special Guest of Honour.