NIB to focus on promoting industrialisation – Finance Minister

By
Benjamin Adamafio Commey, GNA

Accra, Nov. 13 – The
government is putting in place strategies to make the state-owned National
Investment Bank (NIB) a specialised and an industrialisation – driven bank
to facilitate national development, Mr Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister of Finance,
has said.

He said over the
past months, the Government had worked to strengthen the management, ensured
regulatory compliance and beefed up the financial reporting framework of the
Bank to enable it to participate more effectively under the Ghana Amalgamated
Trust (GAT) programme.

Mr Ofori Atta said
this when he presented the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to
Parliament, on Wednesday.

In an effort to
address the liquidity challenges, the Government, he said, in October this year
entered in to a swap arrangement with NIB regarding its Nestle shares, thus
giving it GH¢500 million of new liquidity.

“The final
assessment of the bank, however, showed a much wider capital shortfall of GH¢
2.2 billion as at the end of 2018, which it will need to raise to enable it to
meet the new Bank of Ghana (BoG) minimum capital requirement,” he said.

Under the GAT
initiative, the Bank had also developed a new strategy that would transform it
into a specialised bank.

“Going forward, NIB
shall focus on promoting industrialisation by deploying the right products and
services to finance industry across the country and in line with national
development priorities”.

The Minister,
therefore, requested Parliament to approve an amount of GHS 2.2 billion Put
Call Option Agreement (PCOA), from government to GAT to enable it to raise the
required funding for the Bank through preference shares.

That, he said, would
replace the Government Guarantee to GAT that was previously approved by
Parliament. 

Touching on the
progress made by the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (CBG), the Finance
Minister said the Government had given it the green light to undertake the
necessary regulatory process with the Bank of Ghana that would make it a
universal bank.

He said this had
been necessitated by the progress it had made since assuming the assets of the
seven defunct local banks in August 2018.

The Bank has been
able to pay depositors whose monies were locked up with these institutions and
also maintained most of them as its clients.

These, the Finance
said, attested to the hard work of the BoG, the Receiver and all stakeholders
in the banking sector clean-up process in ensuring that the resolution of the
crisis was as smooth as possible.

“We are confident
that over the next months, the financial sector, which is now on a sounder
footing, will expand considerably and new jobs will be created,” he said.

GNA

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