Business News of Thursday, 22 November 2018
The Professional and Managerial Staff Union (PMSU) of the Agricultural Development Bank (adb) has expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed merger of the bank with the National Investment Bank (NIB).
Chairman of the adb PMSU, James Obeng-Gyan, revealed this at the joint National Executive Council meeting of PMSU and the Union of Commerce, Industry and Finance Workers (UNICOF) over the weekend in Accra.
The meeting was on the theme: “Ensuring Sustainable Growth of ADB: The Role of the Unions.”
Mr. Obeng-Gyan said adb is stronger than NIB in terms of profit.
He said adb has many outstanding facilities worth not less than GHC300 million with Unibank and the Sovereign Bank, which were taken over by government to form the Consolidated Bank.
“We believe that government, by taking over these banks, has the responsibility of both its assets and liabilities and should pay adb its debt to make it stand on its own,” Mr Obeng-Gyan said.
“It would be good for government to come in to support adb with the funds whilst we also chase other customers who have defaulted in our loan facilities.”
He advised government to focus its attention on recapitalising the bank, adding that it would repay money was used for the recapitalisation.
Mr. Obeng-Gyan said the previous management did not run the bank properly, adding, “Under the current management, led by Dr John Kofi Mensah, Managing Director (MD) of the Bank, and with the support of the leadership of the Union and staff, ADB is growing stronger.”
The bank’s core mandate was to support agri-business and agro-processing, he said.
He cautioned government not to ignore the bank’s oversight responsibilities of supporting government’s flagship programmes- Planting for Food and Jobs and Planting for Crops and Exports.
Mr. Obeng-Gyan said shares of the bank were being floated erroneously, while huge amounts of money which could be injected into the bank had been given out as loans.
He said: “Managers who advance those facilities are still at post and show no interest in recovery, and we thought that government will have conducted investigations to know the circumstances under which these facilities were approved.”
“I can confidently confirm that the current MD is doing something about that, and we are hopeful that very soon a lot of these facilities will be recovered, but we are confronted with time as an enemy.”
Mr Obeng-Gyan assured the government that going forward, the adb would become one of the first tier banks in the financial industry.
The Chairman attributed the turbulence in the financial sector to blatant disregard of the Regulator’s rules by many officers.
He said the erring officers and appointees should be uncovered and brought to book.
Mr. Obeng-Gyan claimed adb Unions raised these issues with the previous administration in 2015, but the then Governor of the Bank of Ghana, rather dismissed some staff.
He said the consolidated bank has not been able to acquire a routing number and create accounts, adding that it was still using the account numbers from the defunct banks.
The chairman said: “Any attempt by the government to touch adb will make it unpopular among the farmer folks and the fishing populace. What we need from government is their support to grow the bank.”