National Development Bank set take off in July —Minister of Finance

The National Development Bank (NDB) will begin its operations by end of July this year, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has said.

The Bank, according to him, would provide long term wholesale financing to the private sector through Commercial banks.

The Minister said this at a press briefing on Sunday to address issues that have been raised through the “Fix the country” campaign, saying, “By the end of July, we will have a National Development Bank capitalised with over $500 million that will provide long-term wholesale financing to the private sector through the commercial banks.”

The government in 2017 hinted of the establishment of a National Development Bank to provide innovative and long term financing instruments for specific sectors of the economy, particularly, the agriculture and industrial sectors.

The move, the government noted would empower and grow many businesses in those sectors, making them vibrant and turning them into giant ones.

“The establishment of a National Development Bank under the Ghana Cares Programme is expected to provide support to businesses. As you might have heard, we have already raised US$500 million dollars for this,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors have approved $250 million from the International Development Association (IDA) to support the establishment of the bank.

The $250 million support was expected to increase access to long term finance and boost job creation for about 10,000 enterprises in key sectors including agribusinesses, manufacturing and high value services.

“By offering long-term wholesale financing, credit guarantees, and other services, the Ghana Development Finance project will help increase overall lending to priority sectors and market segments,” the World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Pierre Laporte said.

“The project is aligned with government priorities outlined in the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies and is an integral part of the World Bank Group’s efforts to promote sustainable growth in Ghana,” he added.

On the health of the economy, the minister said the government was putting additional measures in place to ensure that the current challenges confronting it were resolved.

He said the COVID-19 had negatively impacted government’s economic targets but assured that all was being done to provide more relief for Ghanaians.

BY FRANCIS NTOW

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