The outgoing President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) James Asare-Adjei has disclosed that, the Association has established an Industrial Development Fund (IDF) in place of the bank it initially projected.
According to Mr. Asare-Adjei, the association in reviewing progress on establishing a bank, rather took decision to start with an Industrial Development Fund and later transform it into a bank.
The Industrial bank when granted the license will be the 36th bank in the Ghanaian banking industry.
The President who is ending his four-year term, in an interview with thebftonline.com at the sidelines of the opening of the 57th Annual General Meeting disclosed that, the Industrial Development Fund has been established, with offices secured and seed fund in-place for the smooth take-off.
“The idea of establishing a bank for the association was first mooted during the tenure of my predecessor, Nana Owusu Afari. Every effort was made to have the bank established; we subsequently engaged a consultant to help with the preparation of the necessary documentation, which was duly sent to the Bank of Ghana. A decision was however taken to rather start with an Industrial Development Fund, and so far, a lot of progress has been made in this direction.”
Mr. Asare-Adjei who will not disclose the seed amount being used to establish the fund said, the AGI currently was waiting for final approval, from one of the regulator’s, the Securities and Exchange Commission, so the fund can kick start its operations.
The move to establish a bank was ignited by the challenge faced by businesses in accessing credit and the high interest rates on lending.
Access to credit has consistently been listed as the number-one challenge hindering the growth of businesses in the country, particularly those in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) bracket according to AGI business barometer reports.
Many credit institutions and banks have tagged SMEs as high-risk ventures to invest in, and as a result have introduced rigorous processes and procedures to follow when giving out credit to such businesses – that is, in places where funds are available.
This has become a major disincentive to several businesses that are mostly unable to meet these stringent requirements.
AGI believed this phenomenon will be a thing of the past with the inception of its own bank.
Commenting on his term of office, Mr. Asare-Adjei said, “during my tenure, we also undertook a major facelift of the AGI Secretariat. This development has improved the working environment for Staff and the Executives, and the Members of the Association and also enhanced the image of the Association as we receive high profile dignitaries to our offices.”
“However, our meager resources could not cover all the logistics needed such as vehicles for the smooth running of our secretariat and regional offices and urge all of you to support,” he added.
As part of the 57th AGM, the members of the Association will be electing its new executives to lead the charge for the next four years.
There are two main contenders for the position of Presidency, they are the current Vice President (Large Companies) and CEO of Danadama Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi and Mrs Leticia Osafo-Addo who is the current National Treasure and the Managing Director of Samba Foods Ltd.
For the Vice President position in charge of Large Scale companies Mr. Charles Darku, the Managing Director of Tullow Ghana Limited is contesting unopposed among others.