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Akufo-Addo's address gives hope - Lecturer

BY: Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor

A lecturer at the Kumasi Technical University (KsTU) and expert in Finance and Economics, Dr Joseph Yensu, has praised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for using the 2021 State of the Nation Address (SONA) to call for unity.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, Dr Yensu said he was particularly impressed with the President's call for Ghanaians to work together for the progress of the country.

He said one of the good news in the SONA was the revised capital requirement for the financial sector.

Capital requirement

According to him, the downward capital requirement, which has been the cry of many of the banks, would ensure that some local banks would be able to remain in business and not have the practice where only international banks would be operating in the country..

Dr Yensu, who is also a former Director of the Kumasi campus of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), said President Akufo-Addo gave a very positive SONA..

He said there was the need to encourage and support the local banks to operate and not leave everything to the foreigners..

That notwithstanding, Dr Yensu said there would be need for the central bank to monitor the system and ensure that the banks were adhering to the rules and regulations of the sector to sustain the confidence in the banking industry.

LGBTQI

He, however, said the President missed the opportunity to state the country's stand on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) discussion to “state clearly Ghana's position on the issue and bring a finality to the discussion.”.

Again, he said even though the President aligned programmes to be undertaken by the government such as the Agenda 111, “he failed to tell us where we are going to get the resource to execute such an agenda.”

Support for SMEs

He said President Akufo-Addo touched on the support extended to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) during the COVID-19 pandemic and that even though the effort was laudable, there was no mechanism to ensure the beneficiaries used the support for the intended purpose..

According to him, there were people who benefited from the support but were not into any business and he believed that if such interventions were not properly structured and monitored, “the government will continue to throw away money under the guise of extending support to the SME as such money will never be retrieved. In all, it was a good address which gives hope to the people”, he stated.