By Our Reporter
The Professional and Managerial Staff Union (PMSU) of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) says it opposes the proposed merger of the Bank with the National Investment Bank (NIB).
The PMSU said the ADB was strong and had the muscle and all the human resource capital it required to stand alone and to run the Bank to make profit and ensure sustainability.
Mr. James Obeng-Gyan, the Chairman of the ADB PMSU, revealed this at the ADB PMSU/Local Union of the Union of Commerce, Industry and Finance Workers (UNICOF) Joint National Executive Council Meeting at the weekend in Accra.
The meeting was on the theme: “Ensuring Sustainable Growth of ADB: The Role of the Unions.”
Mr. Obeng-Gyan said looking at the balances of the two institutions, the ADB was much stronger than the NIB in terms of profit.
He said the ADB had lots of outstanding facilities valued at not less than GHC 300 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 that the Government comes in to support ADB with this funds whilst we also chase other customers who have defaulted in our loan facilities.”
He advised government to focus its attention on recapitalising the ADB by resourcing it financially to perform to the expected heights adding that it will repay whichever money that was used for the recapitalisation.
Mr. Obeng-Gyan said the previous leadership did not manage 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.”
ADB’s core mandate was to support agri-business and agro-processing, he said, and cautioned government not lose sight of the ADB oversight responsibilities of supporting government’s flagship programme; Planting for Food and Jobs, and the Planting for Crops and Exports.
Mr Obeng-Gyan said shares of the Bank were being floated erroneously, whilst so much loan facilities, which could be injected to help the Bank, were given out.
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 circumstance at 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 into 2019, the ADB would become one of the first tier in the financial industry, and the Bank’s brand alone was enough to show that it was growing stronger.
Mr Obeng-Gyan said the financial sector per blatant disregard of the Regulator’s rule by the past administration was in turbulence and that many officers including appointees from the regulator were complicit.
This he said the officers and appointee should be uncovered and and brought to book.
Mr Obeng-Gyan said, the ADB Unions raised these issues with the previous administration in 2015, but the then Governor of the Bank of Ghana returned the issues with the reward of the dismissals of some staffs.
He said the consolidated bank have not been able to acquire a routing number and to create accounts and were still using the existed 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 stronger.”