Business magnate, Akenten Appiah Menka has called for the reinstatement of the original mandate in the establishment of the National Investment Bank (NIB) and the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) in Ghana.
He says in the long term national interest, the objectives, structures, capitalization and lending interest rates of the two banks need to be revisited to enable them offer more and better assistance programmes for indigenous private entrepreneurs.
According to him, the roles of NIB and ADB in the promotion of industry and agriculture have “shamefully and regrettably been converted to the level of the competitive high street commercial banks to the disadvantage of any favourable investment policies to the private sector in these areas“.
Mr. Appiah Menka lamented when he delivered the 8th Re-Akoto Memorial Lecture in Kumasi.
He is also perturbed at the abandoned state enterprises including the Bolgatanga Meat Factory, the Kumasi Shoe and Jute Factories and the Saltpond Ceramics Factory.
“Perhaps if successive governments since the 1966 coup cannot be prosecuted for the wrongful payments of judgment debts, the court of the Ghanaian public opinion of today can seriously look into the possibilities of charging and convicting them jointly or severally for causing financial loss to the State”, the Senior Lawyer opined.
He has been speaking on “The Law and Private Entrepreneurship Development – the Essential Tool for the Promotion of Multi-Party Democracy; Case Study, Ghana”.
Mr. Appiah Menka cautioned against the unbridled importation and patronage of foreign goods, observing that “Ghana has virtually become the net importer of every product of the world including toothpicks of bamboos”.
He queried if Ghanaians are prepared to suffer some hardships in the promotion of the ‘Buy Made In Ghana’ campaign in the wake of modern day globalization and the regional trade blocks.
He cited China, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia as countries that contained their people to suffer inconveniences for a better long term national interest.
“They blocked up all their importing gates and when eventually they were opened they had no room for imports into their countries but more of their locally produced goods to be very competitive in the export market to the advantage of their national economies”, the industrialist noted.
The Ghanaian situation, he said, should also change.
“Ghanaian shoes and sandals makers brand their finished products as ‘Made in Italy’ otherwise the Ghanaian market will not accept them”, he observed. “How can the Ghanaian be educated to feel proud in the made in Ghana goods?”
Mr. Appiah Menka expects Ghana to follow the Nigerian example of 2004 when the government prohibited 43 group products from being imported into the country.
Nigeria has also reviewed fiscal policies and adopted banking and investment laws and regulations in respect of agriculture and industry for the competitive advantage of the future