The Managing Director of Consolidated Bank Ghana Ltd. (CBG), Daniel Wilson Addo, has stated that his outfit is committed to deepening collaborations with Development Bank Ghana (DBG) to facilitate and strengthen long-term credit flow to drive economic growth among Ghanaian businesses.
Commenting on the importance of the partnership, Mr. Addo said, “DBG has a big audacious goal to address very key challenges within the business community. We all know the importance of SME support to Ghana’s economy, and CBG is delighted to be associated with DBG because of our commitment to see SMEs thrive in Ghana.”
“To add to our tall list of SME support activities, we partnered with DBG to train 160 SMEs on the Foundational Financial Literacy Course as part of an SME Financial Empowerment program. We at CBG look forward to deepening our relationship with DBG to on-lend to Ghanaian businesses in targeted industries such as agribusiness, manufacturing, ICT, and high-value services as the catalytic sectors of the economy identified by DBG”, he noted.
In his keynote address at the DBG-University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) Development Finance Series MoU Signing and Roundtable Meeting held at the University of Ghana, Mr. Addo also encouraged the Development Bank of Ghana (DBG) to stay focused as an enabler for businesses in Ghana and as a long-term capital provider in the market.
According to him, though, DBG is not required to maximise profit, the institution must work to remain financially sustainable with less reliance on capital injection from the government and ensure funds advanced to the Participating Financial Institutions are repaid when due in order to help DBG recycle capital.
“By the very nature of National Development Banks (NDBs), they are not required to be profit maximisers. However, to effectively discharge their mandates and limit the recourse to scarce public funds, they must be financially sustainable. In a 2021 research report, Fitch estimated that one-third of 84 African NDBs posted losses in 2019 and the trend continues”.
“Whilst NDBs are not profit-driven, consistently posting losses raises the need for continuous capital injection from a government that already has very little fiscal space to operate. This then opens the institution to government interference. To counteract this, DBG will have to manage its funding costs, operate at high levels of efficiency, and as much as possible employ funding structures that minimize credit losses”, he advised.
He added that it was also necessary for CBG to carefully identify the sectors where it could make the most impact and focus its lending and advocacy efforts appropriately.
Since CBG’s inception, the bank has granted over GHS 1.5 billion to the SME sector, provided an SME Center dedicated for advisory services, introduced a program dubbed the CBG Adesua Series, partnered with Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) to disburse concessionary loans totaling GHS 154 billion to 34,000 SMEs; German International Cooperation (GIZ) to train 500 artisans; and GIRSAL in supporting the agricultural sector.