The Founder and Board Chairman of the GN Bank, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has underscored the need for Ghanaians to patronise made-in-Ghana products.
Engaging in an educative television programme dubbed: ‘Made in Here’, where for the past six weeks he has been discussing why it is necessary for Ghanaians to patronise made-in-Ghana products, Dr Nduom, who is also a Founder Member of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), is of the opinion that no nation can develop and lift its people out of poverty without enacting appropriate laws that protect and encourage local companies to grow.
‘’When you get to the United States of America (USA) for instance, they have laws that protect their local companies in order to protect and also create jobs for their people. This is what I’m asking for the good people of Ghana from their government.
Let’s patronise made-in-Ghana products and services. The government should reserve some contracts for local businesses to grow their capacity because that’s the only way we can grow our economy,” he asserted.
He, therefore, wants the government and the people of Ghana to, as a matter of urgency, lend support to local companies, just as it is done in many other jurisdictions, where the state offers protection for companies operating in sensitive sectors of the economy to ward off undue competition that has the potential of threatening the existence of such local businesses.
History of GN Bank
Tracing back the history of the GN Bank and detailing how the founders worked to make it what it is today, he said the bank, which has the widest footprints in Ghana, has presence in other countries in Africa, as well as in the USA.
The business mogul also recounted how he had to wait for nine years in order to be granted a licence to start a savings and loans company called First National Savings and Loans.
The GN Bank has in the last four years grown to become the bank with the most footprints of over 300 branches across the country.
‘The idea of securing a universal banking licence began on May, 20 1997 when my wife and I, together with Mr Mike Eghan, Mr Wilson Tei and Mr Von Ballmoos, then directors of Provident Insurance Company Ltd, decided to partner to bid for a licence for a savings and loans company by applying to the Bank of Ghana.
After waiting for so long to receive approval, the National Insurance Commission decided that Provident Insurance didn’t have enough assets to partner Coconut Grove Hotel as the owners of a non-bank financial institution,’’ he recalled.
Stress and long wait
Dr Nduom noted that “it was not until 2006 that we were given the licence to begin First National Savings and Loans, so you can imagine the stress and the long wait to finally land this after nine years of waiting.
Now look at the number of employees the GN Bank has.
Imagine Ghana with 10, 20 or 50 of other GN Banks.
That would mean that these banks can actually finance government of Ghana projects so that we will not have to go to the Bretton Woods institutions for punitive guidelines as to how to grow our economy”.
GN Bank – The People’s Bank, which began as a savings and loans company in 2006, got its universal banking licence in 2014 after three years of applying to the regulator, the Bank of Ghana.