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ADB Pays GH 5.6 Million As Rent   
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The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) is in the midst of a storm over the payment of a GH¢5.6 million six-month rent advance, which is about a monthly rent of GH¢1 million, including furnishing, for an office space at the new Accra Financial Centre (AFC).

The bank is paying $37 per square metre and it is currently occupying over 7,000 square metres of space at the new centre.

It has also paid a lease deposit of GH¢7,518,640 to the AFC for the occupation of the building.

This means that the money will not generate any interest income, since it will not be used to trade but will sit idle with the AFC until ADB moves out of the centre. 

Meanwhile, documents available to the Daily Graphic show that the bank paid GH¢1,590,299.55 to Bespoke Furniture Limited, representing 70 per cent advance payment, for the purchase of furniture for the new head office.

The bank is also embroiled in a string of controversies linked to excessive payments for participation in an international forum and a media facilitation fee that has sparked outrage among its workers. 

But the Managing Director, Mr Stephen Kpordzih, has justified those payments.

Public offer
The saga is resonating across the bank’s branches in the country and threatening to scamper the highly publicised initial public offer (IPO) aimed at listing the bank on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). 

Swift paper trails sighted by the Daily Graphic show that in January this year, the bank paid 100,000 pounds sterling to the Millennium Leadership Forum to participate in an agro-processing world compliance forum which has twice been postponed.

 This is aside from the media facilitation fee of GH¢100,000 to Spectra Innovations for a news conference at the bank’s new head office in Accra which the workers describe as wasteful expenditure at a time the pro-agriculture bank had a loan to deposit ratio of 85 per cent  and constantly borrowing on the interbank market.

The bank has also extended a GH¢400,000 credit facility to a board member, Mr Mauris Abisa Seidu, with a one-year moratorium, when management had placed a freeze on new loans for both existing and old customers, including staff. 

Official residence
The workers also accuse the managing director of abandoning his official residence and staying in his own house and charging the bank a monthly rent allowance of $4,000.

Mr Kpordzih’s bonus and salary package and the selling of the bank’s assets on the cheap are part of a flurry of allegations the workers tendered against him, justifying calls for his removal.

The bank was to offload a little over 100 million shares, representing 75 per cent ownership of the bank, to raise about GH¢300 million through an IPO.

But the IPO has been tugged more with public controversy than public offering.

The workers also cite a Bank of Ghana report that expressed concern over the granting of a 13-month moratorium for interest payment to a company, with no documented reasons. 

This, they say, is contrary to good lending practices and Section 4.7(ii) of the bank’s credit policy which disallows such practices.
Source: Daily Graphic

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