Tuesday, 05 December

How can you kill NIB, too? Minority to gov't

Isaac Adongo

The Minority in Parliament has urged the government to restructure the ailing National Investment Bank (NIB) to avert the potential risk of its liquidation.

There have been reports indicating the possibility of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) acquiring NIB, a bank currently burdened with liabilities exceeding GHS2 billion.

During a press conference held on Thursday, 28 September 2023, Mr Isaac Adongo, the Ranking Member of Parliament's Finance Committee, expressed concerns about the potential consequences of allowing a systematically important institution like NIB to collapse.

Mr Adongo stressed the existence of a viable alternative to address NIB's predicament, proposing that the government should restructure NIB's balance sheet by converting all NIB debts owed to the government into equity. 

He pointed out that the government had already allocated significant resources to NIB in the form of bonds and debt commitments, which could be channeled toward recapitalisation through the issuance of shares.

"We said that the government should just restructure the balance sheet of NIB to swap all the NIB debts that it owes the government and give the government equity but the government says it doesn’t have money to capitalise the bank but it has given GHS500 million bonds to NIB and it has given GHS800 million debt to NIB; the two will give you GHS1.2 billion", urging: "Commit to say that is your commitment to recapitalisation so we issue shares for you".

He raised questions about the government's decision to consider the liquidation of NIB, hinting at potential hidden motives behind such a move. 

"How on earth can you kill such a bank, ladies and gentlemen? Unless there is an ulterior motive, they should come to the minority, we will give them a group of people to work for free, with a clear mandate, no interference and NIB will be the most viable bank, the most well-capitalised bank and the most liquid bank, it is clear that is not about the interest of NIB", Mr Adongo said.

He further suggested that the government seek assistance from the Minority, offering a team of experts willing to work independently and without interference to rejuvenate NIB.

The Minority has emphasised that their support for the approval of the $250 million World Bank facility for the financial stability fund hinges on the condition that struggling state banks receive priority attention in the allocation of these funds

Source: Classfmonline.com