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Minister Urges Investors To Acquire ADB Shares

Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has suggested that the Bank of Ghana may be willing to offload its shares in Agricultural Development (ADB) to a strategic investor.

At a meeting with the Makegroup of South Korea, Mr Iddrisu said the Government of Ghana and the Bank of Ghana owned shares in ADB, and therefore advised the South Koreans to bid for those shares.

“I am aware that the Bank of Ghana owns significant shares in the ADB and I am also aware that it is willing to dispose of those shares and so I will advise you (Makegroup) to bid for those when you meet the President for the kind of concept that you have,” the minister suggested.

In November last year, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Henry Kofi Wampah, announced that the central bank would offload its shares in ADB through a public floatation for Ghanaians to purchase.

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The governor explained that as a central bank, the BoG was not supposed to have shares in any bank, and therefore it would take steps to offload its 42 per cent shares in ADB.

The move to offload the BoG shares in the ADB follows criticism by financial analysts who question the central bank’s ownership of banks it regulates.

And the minister is upbeat the shares owned by the BoG could be offloaded to an investor.

Responding to the delegation’s plans to localise Korean-manufactured goods and technology to supply to the sub-region, Mr Iddrisu said the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) required expansion to become a world-class institute that delivered skills to the youth.

“We can partner with your organisation to make the NVTI an important world-class centre that delivers quality training to the youth,” the minister said.

Mr Iddrisu said there were plans to set up industry-affiliated schools in line with the ministry’s focus to complement the activities of the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) to create jobs for the youth through skills training.

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He said the youth training institutes under the ministry needed to be given modern tools and equipment to enhance their skills.

He said those tools would help provide trainees with vital skills to enhance job creation and contribute to national development.

He said Ghana had a stable democracy which was good for investment and, therefore, looked forward to collaborating with the company.

The South Korean business group is exploring opportunities in the country to set up an assembly plant for some Korean-manufactured products.

Mr James Juhee Han, Chairman of Makegroup, said his company’s five-year development plan included the setting up of an industry-affiliate school in Ghana that would give skills training to high school graduates.

He added that with the acquisition of skills the youth could support their communities and families.

Mr Han, who is also the leader of the delegation, said the group intended to establish a professional specialised school complex that would manufacture vehicles, computers and also go into different agricultural businesses, including animal husbandry.

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Some of the manufactured products the group wants to localise include Korean mobile phones, computers and other ICT-based goods that will eventually be supplied to the sub-region.

“We want to start from Accra and produce Korean-manufactured goods that we will eventually distribute to other African countries using Ghana as a base,” Mr Kim said through an interpreter.

“We also want to use this assembly plant to also train the youth in ICT and reduce the unemployment situation in the country,” he added.