THE Minority has called on government to recapitalise the National Investment Bank (NIB) and abort any idea of selling it to the Agriculture Development Bank (ADB).
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) caucus noted that the poor state of the NIB was self-inflicted as a result of government’s failure to repay loans it guaranteed for contractors who took loans from the bank, to undertake development projects despite certificates being raised by the contractors.
The Minority said if the government had honoured its over GH¢1 billion financial obligation to the contractors, the money would have been used to capitalise the bank during the 2017/2018 banking sector clean-up exercise.
“We are looking at NIB and adb coming together. I think we are still on that course to do that because at the core of that, we will then be creating that capacity to look at this whole industrialisation in an organised and structured way of a strong institution that does that, so that Agric and industrialisation would be taken care of,” the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, said in 2018.
However, at a press conference at Parliament, in Accra, yesterday, Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, and MP for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo, said the NIB was suffering from capitalisation deficit of GH¢2.4 billion.
He said a casual review of the bank’s balance sheet shows that a restructuring of the balance sheet could generate in excess of GH¢2.75 billion to wipe off the GH¢2.4 billion and leave a free shareholders fund and equity of about GH¢350 million towards recapitalisation and a total cash injection of GH¢2.8 billion.
“It is, therefore, puzzling that anybody sitting on this gold mine will attempt to give it out to somebody for peanut,” Mr Adongo stated.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG), Mr Adongo argued has been complicit in providing its regulatory forbearance to bring the NIB to its knees, and now it is in an “unethical and opportunistic” position to acquire the bank using the ADB.
He said: “ADB is owned by the state through BoG, 64 per cent, Government of Ghana 21 per cent and Ghana Amalgamated Trust 11 per cent making it a total of 96 per cent with the remaining four per cent owned by residual retail investors.
“The same state owns NIB. As shareholders of NIB you are being asked to bring more money to recapitalise your bank, but you say you don’t have money to recapitalise it, but you turn around to tell one of your banks, ADB, to come and buy your other bank NIB. Effectively, you are the one using your own money to buy a bank that you already own anyway.
“So, you collect your own money as consideration for sale of your own bank to yourself and wake up the next morning pretending you no longer own the bank. This needless complexity is a senseless smokescreen for thievery by Government and BoG acting together.”