Akim Oda, Jan 31, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo, the acting Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, has assured financial institutions that the government would continue to improve macro-economic management and orient its policy towards creating a level playing field for providers of financial services and investment.
He urged the banks to continue to help by lowering and eliminating "avoidable transaction cost" to the business community, increase credit to industry and expand and deepen financial services delivery, especially to the rural economy through continued emotive and cost effective payment system.
Mr Osafo Marfo, who is also the MP for Oda, said this in an address read on his behalf at the inauguration of the Akim Oda branch of the National Investment Bank (NIB) on Friday.
He commended the NIB for its decision to open more branches in the regions and said for the Eastern Region "it is a plus in the sense that this will bring the government plans of opening the region up a step closer".
The government, he said, had planned some specific projects such as wood and waste processing facilities to link with the region's timber resources.
Mr Osafo Marfo stressed the need for the banking community to open up more branches in the regions to create the necessary environment for the setting up of industries so vital for the development of the rural economy as well as boosting the government's efforts to improve access and depth of banking services.
''Opening branches in the rural areas would go a long way in supporting government and the central bank's aim of mopping up excess cash in the system and also create more avenues for the banking community to channel the fund into productive activities of the rural areas and regional economies.''
Mr Daniel Charles Gyimah, the Managing Director of NIB, assured that when the Oda branch begins operations, the bank would offer enormous new financial and economy opportunities in the financial market that would deliver long term benefits for the construction, timber and agro processing industries.
He said the bank would transform the other local industries such as rubber processing "so that Akim Oda we grow to the benefit of Ghana". Dr Charles Jebuni, the NIB Board Chairman, said the bank was exploring the possibility of introducing electronics products for their customers.
Mr Gustarv Narh Dometey, the Acting Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, urged the bank to ensure that their programmes and activities were tailored to reduce poverty and enrich the quality of life of the people.