The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU-Ghana) has welcomed the government’s decision to recapitalize the National Investment Bank (NIB).
To the Union, this action by the government demonstrates the saving of an institution whose role in the financial industry over the years cannot be taken for granted.
Mr. Morgan Ayawine, the General Secretary of ICU-Ghana, made the commendation as part of its response to the 2024 Budget, presented to Parliament by the Minister of Finance on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
The government has made a provision of GH¢4 billion to address the liquidity issues of NIB and other distressed Special Deposit-taking Institutions (SDIs) in the country.
The amount, announced in the 2024 budget, is also expected to take care of some outstanding legacy challenges in the financial sector. This forms a critical component of the three-year International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme.
Under the IMF programme, the Bank of Ghana has committed to completing the remaining tasks from the financial sector cleanup. These tasks include addressing the insolvency of NIB as well as the long-standing under-capitalization of several SDIs. He urged the government to give serious attention to helping other distressed State-Owned Enterprises like Neoplan, Produce Buying Company Limited, and Aluworks to improve their operations and contribute to the economy.
He said the Union presented a petition to the government in 2018 and repeated it in September 2023, resulting in a meeting with the Minister of Finance just before the 2024 budget.
He expressed the belief that the recapitalization would give the NIB a new lease of life to continue its mandate of financing industries in the country for economic development and progress.
He said NIB and other distressed SOEs had contributed immensely to the development of the country, and the government should not take their contribution for granted. Hence, there is a need to support them to recapitalize.
“If these enterprises are supported, they will continue to help the government implement its policies on the unemployment situation in the country,” he added.
The General-Secretary said the unemployment situation in the country had become dire, indicating that the 2024 budget should not only serve a few people but rather benefit all.
Other executives with the General-Secretary are Mr. Emmanuel Benimah, Deputy General Secretary in charge of Operations, and Mr. Samuel Ananga, Deputy General Secretary in Charge of Administration and Finance.