By Cecil Mensah
THE Managing Director (MD) of Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Mr Steven Kpodzih, has corrected the misconception that the head office building of the bank on the independence avenue has been sold for ten million Dollars.
According to him, the Board and management took an earlier decision to sell the property to a Ghanaian after advertising it in the various newspapers, but could not find a buyer for the property.
“As it stand now the building remains the property of the bank as the board has not taken any decision on the sale of the building ,so the claims by the some workers of the bank that the building had been sold is entirely wrong, ‘’he explained.
Mr Kpodzih, corrected this misconception peddled by some disgruntled workers of the bank in the media at a press conference in Accra.
He said, the decision to move the bank’s headquarters to the new Accra Financial Centre (AFC) was to house all the scattered management offices under one roof, hence the decision of the bank to be the anchor tenant of the building.
He said, the bank made savings renting the over seven thousand square metre space at a cost of thirty –five Dollars per a square metre.
He noted on the open market, land lords are charging forty –five Dollars for a square metre of space, so the bank made gains renting from West Port Properties, the owners of the property, since the rent came with fittings and furnishings.
He said, the bank would not be worried about buying Diesel to power generators as the rent comes with the use of the generator.
He said it was a good business decision for the bank to use its land, which was hitherto used as a car park near the Cedi House in the Central Business Districts (CBS) as equity in the construction of the AFC.
He said the bank used the land as equity to acquire ten percent shares in the contract between the bank and West Port Properties from South Africa.
He noted as part of the contract West Port Properties was to do the construction of the building, so the bank did not spent a dime on the construction of the office complex.
He maintained the ADB would have spent a whooping three million Dollars renovating the old head office which is unable to house all the management staff of the bank.
He stressed the bank did not spent a dime in the construction of the AFC building except the use of the land as equity.
‘So, it is not true the bank expended huge sums of Dollars on the construction of the building only to rent it from the owners” he said
He said the furnishings in the old office would be donated to charity as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the bank.
On the Initial Public Offer (IPO), Mr Kpodzih said in October 2014, the bank received a letter from the Chief Director of Ministry of Finance; Major (RTD) M.S Tara headlined “Public Listing of Agricultural Development Bank –Re Parliamentary Approval”.
The letter reads “As you may recall, we requested the Ministry of Justice and Attorney –General’s Department to advise us on whether a parliamentary approval would be required in addition to the Cabinet approval to enable us proceed with the necessary further public listing processes.
We have accordingly received letter no. A55/SF. 2V.13 dated October 20, 2014(copy attached for ease of reference) in that regard.
The Ministry for Justice and Attorney General’s Department has explicitly indicated that a parliamentary approval would not be required for listing of the bank on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).
We trust that this advice, we can now proceed with the necessary further action.
He said the shareholders of the bank have taken the decision to sell their shares in the bank and not management and board.
He noted Bank of Ghana (BoG) owns forty-eight percent of shares and the Government of Ghana owns fifty-one percent of shares in the bank, the listing on GSE is a decision of the shareholders of the bank.
He said the bank lacks capital to invest, last year the bank had to sell some of its assets across the country to open twenty two more branches.