Business News of Thursday, 14 March 2013
Source: Graphic Business
The Managing Director of Access Bank (Ghana) Limited, Mr Dolapo Ogundimu, has called for support from all quarters for small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) to enable them to lead in the country’s development effort.
He has subsequently urged the private sector, which is dominated by SMEs, to equally provide bold and visionary leadership built on strong governance culture, professionalism, sound ethical practices and a continuous quest to excel in innovation and quality service.
Mr Ogundimu made the remarks at the Ghana Economic Forum in Accra, which featured captains of industry, corporate leaders, policy makers, academia and a cross section of the Ghanaian society. The forum was organised by the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) newspaper, with headline sponsorship from Access Bank.
The managing director said even though political leadership was important for economic prosperity of any nation, proactive and responsible leadership from the private sector, which employed about 90 per cent of the economically active population in Ghana, was a greater catalyst in achieving economic prosperity for all Ghanaians.
“The recent spate of technological changes, global competition, the deregulation of markets, and the changing demographics of the work-force are good reasons for entrepreneurs in Ghana to develop sustainable business practices with long-term perspectives in mind,” he stressed.
His call comes in at a time when financial service providers are being accused of not advancing loans quickly enough at affordable interest rates to SMEs. But the financial institutions have on the contrary argued that SMEs have failed to keep proper books, are not transparent enough and many times, misapply the loans they come for.
Mr Ogundimu cited the banking sector as one of the few industries with a leadership that had achieved phenomenal transformation with significant contribution to the job market and remained a key productive sector of the economy.
Exemplary leadership by private sector players would, therefore, bring pressure to bear on political and public sector leaders, institutions, and civil society and force the kind of responsible and sustainable leadership the country desired to attain economic prosperity, he explained.
Mr Ogundimu, therefore, urged private sector leaders to rise up to the challenge through innovate programmes to promote entrepreneurial growth and economic prosperity.
Access Bank (Ghana) has over the past three years invested in excess of $276 million in key sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
The bank recently financed landmark projects for the Volta River Authority, the electricity Company of Ghana, the Tema Oil Refinery and the National Health Insurance Authority, as well as many private companies in the manufacturing and trade sectors, in line with its commitment to be an agent for socio-economic development.