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Agric Workers Union kicks against adb, NIB merger

The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) has said any merger of the National Investment Bank and adb (Agriculture Development Bank) may not necessarily resolve the problems of the respective banks.

In a Citi News interview, General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh said “we have seen mergers in recent times and we are very sceptical about it.”

To argue his point, he noted the merger of banks that were taken over during the banking crisis.

“All those workers within that bank are in limbo now, even when there is a takeover; there are still problems. The Capital Bank and UT Bank that has been taken over by GCB, the workers are still limbo.”

Mr. Kareweh also said the fate of farmers was being left to chance.

“We would not like our fate to be gambled with by the merger because we don’t know the outcome of this merger… The merger is not necessarily a panacea; it is not necessarily a solution to either actual or perceived challenges.” he said

Recent developments

Suggestions are that proposed merger between adb and NIB may not come off following a recapitalization plan outlined by adb.

This comes with about three weeks to the deadline for the banks to meet the Bank of Ghana’s minimum capital requirement.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta had noted plans to establish a National Development Bank with the merger.

As at September this year, adb’s Stated Capital stood at GHc275,000,000.

This means that the bank needs about GHc125,000,000 to meet the new capital level.

This is expected to be brought in by major shareholders; Bank of Ghana and the Government of Ghana.

But everything will be put forward for approval by all shareholders at an Annual General Meeting scheduled to come off later this month.

If successful, adb is expected to be better-placed to offer financial assistance not only to players within the agriculture space but perhaps other key sectors of the economy.

The shareholders of adb are; Financial Investment Trust -60.50%; Government of Ghana – 32.30% and Retail investors and adb staff – 7.20%.