By Frank Amponsah
270,000 more students have had the opportunity to enter Senior High School in 2017 and 2018 academic year as result of the introduction of the double-track enrolment system under the Free Senior High School system.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said it would have been too dangerous for Ghana’s stability if the over one hundred thousand (100,000) children, every year, who passed the B.E.C.E., were unable to take up places in Senior High, because they could not afford the fees, even though they had the qualifications.
He said, “It would have been too dangerous for Ghana’s stability, as we would have been building a future of hopelessness for our youth. Such a situation was intolerable, and my party and I were determined to end it. That is why the Free Senior High School policy was introduced.”
President Akufo-Addo was speaking on Saturday, 15th September, 2018, at the 80th Anniversary of the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School, Legon.
According to him the country would have been building a future of hopelessness for the youth should government failed to intervene and implement policies tgat will ensure easy access to SHS.
“Such a situation was intolerable, and my party and I were determined to end it. That is why the Free Senior High School policy was introduced,” he added.
He said, if this situation had persisted for a decade, one million children would have dropped out of school at the level of Junior High School, an unacceptable outcome for any nation in the 21st century.
Commenting on the collapse of some seven banks in the country, President Akufo-Addo has assured that “those responsible for the sequence of activities that led to the ‘banking crisis’ will face the full brunt of the law if they are found to have broken the law”.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “It is not right that the overwhelming majority of ordinary Ghanaians should pay for the actions of a greedy few, without sanction.”
The President stated that “the so-called ‘banking crisis’”, and the collapse and subsequent consolidation of some indigenous banks have been caused by the cutting of corners, circumvention of the laws, flouting and non-adherence to regulations, apparently with the complicity of senior officials of the Bank of Ghana.
The inefficient and poorly managed banks, as a result, required the robust intervention of the regulatory bodies to prevent the infection of the banking sector with these acts.
As a result, under the rigorous leadership of the current Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, the President indicated that a number of prudent measures have been taken to save and sanitise the banking sector.
He averred that “To protect the deposits of the seven defunct banks, the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, has had to issue bonds to the tune of some GH¢8 billion in favour of GCB Bank and the new Consolidated Bank, the banks that took over the operations of the seven failed banks.”
He said: “This is in addition to liquidity support of some GH¢4.7 billion that had been provided by the Bank of Ghana to these banks over a period before their closure. In effect, GH¢12.7 billion of public funds has been injected into these seven banks, following their malfunction.”
Depositors’ savings, he said, have been safeguarded, job losses have been minimised, and a strong set of indigenous banks is being born.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated his commitment to having two performing indigenous banks in the country than to have seven weak ones, as recent examples of Nigeria, Malaysia and others have shown.
“I have no doubt that, if these measures had not been taken, the banking system would have been seriously compromised, with dire consequences for depositors and their savings. We need urgently a vibrant banking sector that can help mobilise resources to finance our industrial, agricultural and economic transformation,” he added.
This, President Akufo-Addo stressed, is the justification for the measures of the Bank of Ghana.