Feasibility study on the National Development Bank completed-Finance Minister

Accra- Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister on Wednesday said the feasibility study for the establishment of the National Development Bank (NDB) has been completed.

The study specifies the rationale, mandate, business model, legal and regulatory framework, ownership, governance and sustainability of the Bank.

He said this when he presented the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament.

Mr Ofori-Atta said government was working with the World Bank and other development partners to capitalize the bank in 2020 for it to commerce operations.

The National Development Bank as envisioned, will refinance credit to industry and agriculture as a wholesale bank; and also provide guarantee instruments to encourage universal banks to lend to these specific sectors of the economy, he said.

He mentioned that, the NDB would be an independent institution with strong corporate governance framework; and would be globally rated to enable it leverage foreign private capital for industrial and agriculture development in the country.

The Finance Minister said, government would provide periodic dedicated funds for intervention in key areas of the economy such as large scale agro processing, housing, through various schemes and funds as needed for economic and social development and jobs.

It is expected that the National Development Bank will provide cheaper and long term funding for the growth and expansion of key companies operating in the agriculture and industry sectors.

Mr. Ofori-Atta added that, the development bank would also lend through specialised banks to key anchor industries at the Metropolitan, Metropolis and District Assemblies level to support the Governments IDIF initiative.

On the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, he said it has provided opportunities for Ghanaian youth to gain access to secondary education and has recorded significant enrolment numbers since its inception.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said the total number of beneficiaries for the two cohorts had almost doubled from about 400,000 students in 2017 to 794,899 students at the end of the 2018/19 academic year, and it was projected to increase to 1,264,071 in 2020.

He noted that, government would continue to invest in the education sector by providing adequate infrastructure, improving appropriate regulatory systems and incessantly building the capacity of teachers across the country to enhance quality human capacity development.

We will fast track the construction of about 962 structures, including classroom blocks, dormitories and auxiliary facilities in secondary schools across the country to ease congestion in our schools.

He said there was a focus on the expansion and upgrading of public tertiary institutions to absorb the high growth in student numbers.

He added that, work had begun on the most comprehensive expansion and retooling exercise undertaken in the country’s history involving technical institutions aimed towards prioritizing technical education.

He mentioned that, the previous government had negotiated a contract with AVIC International Holdings, which was taken over and completely renegotiated to gain greater value for money.

He said the contract was to build state-of-the-art training workshops for 15 institutions and a technical examination unit, equipped with sets of laboratory equipment for Electrical and Electronic laboratory, Mechanical engineering laboratory, Civil engineering laboratory; Automotive repair engineering laboratory and Welding equipment laboratory.

Source: Ghana News Agency