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.