Business News of Wed, 22 Aug 20188

NIB, adb merger plan on course – Ofori-Atta

The merger plan for the Agricultural Development Bank (adb) and the National Investment Bank (NIB) is on course, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, has said.

In the 2018 budget, Mr Ofori-Atta hinted at a possible merger of the two state-owned banks to form the National Development Bank.

He said at a post-budget forum that a merger of the two publicly-owned banks could help create a development-oriented bank that can finance the government's vision of transforming the economy through increased investments in agriculture and industrialisation.

"We could also look at a possible merger between the NIB and adb into the National Development Bank to actually finance development through agriculture and industry," he said at the PwC Post-Budget Forum in Accra last year.

He added that the successful establishment of the new bank would help aid in the realisation of the government's agendum to create a 'Ghana Beyond Aid.'

A merger between NIB and adb would amount to a reunion, given that adb was plugged out of NIB's agricultural department.

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The government, according to sources, is looking at recapitalising the proposed development bank with between GHS 1 billion and GHS2 billion.

The bank will then serve as a source of low-cost and long-term capital to businesses in the agricultural and industrial sector, where investments are mostly long-term and capital-intensive.

Beyond setting up the development bank, the minister said the government was also looking at setting up about "four to five big local banks" that can support economic transformation.

Reiterating the merger on Wednesday, 22 August 2018 at a forum organised by the Danquah Institute on the theme: ‘The Banking Sector Clean Up – Are Depositors Safe?’, Mr Ofori-Atta said the fusion will help government carry out effectively, its Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

“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 agriculture and industrialisation would be taken care of.”

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