The move by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to part away with 40% of ADB shares and launch an Initial Public Offer (IPO) without Parliamentary approval is enough reason to kick out the ADB Managing Director and the Board of Governors, a labour consultant suggests.

Mr.-Stephen-Kpordzih-MDAccording to the labour consultant, it is time the management of the bank is brought to order instead of being allowed to manipulate the operations of the bank anyhow.

As a public firm, Article 181 of the 1992 constitution demands that ADB seek parliamentary consent before it enters into any agreement with foreign investors as well as any intention to raise more capital for its operations.

On May 15, 2015 ADB signed a deal with Norwegian Investment Fund For Developing Countries (NorFund)for 15% of equity shares in the bank. It signed another agreement with Atlas Mara Limited for 25% stake on June 4, 2015, and on July 3 2015 the bank launched its IPO.

However, the three transactions of the bank, have not received Parliamentary approval yet the bank owned by the Bank of Ghana (48%) and the Ministry of Finance (52%) went ahead with these transactions.

The analyst says it is a victory for both Ghana and the ADB workers that the Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance workers (UNICOF) secured an order for interim injunction against ADB?s IPO and the agreements reached with the two foreign investors for equity stakes in the bank.

On July 10, 2015, the Financial and Labour Division of the High Court, Accra granted a 10-day
interim injunction for the stoppage of the ADB IPO. The injunction also means that the bank cannot go on with the agreement withNorFundand Atlas Mara.

The analyst, who asked for anonymity, urged the ADB workers to be glad with the manner the union is handling issues on their behalf.

The ADB management in May said they were thinking of shares option for the workers but nothing like that happened.

He contends that how can the ADB management have gone on with an IPO as well as sign agreements with two foreign investors without the input of the workers and that the workers fate was not considered when these transactions were being undertaken.

An earlier attempt by the workers to have the IPO stopped through a sit down strike was contested as illegal by ADB management. Aside that, government and the bank of Ghana as well as some labour organizations encouraged the ADB management to go ahead with the IPO.

The analyst who pays critical attention to Ghana?s labour front says it is surprising that the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) came out in the wake of the impasse in May to show support for the share floatation for the reason that it will generate capital for the bank without thinking of the implication on workers who GFL claims to stand for.

According to the analyst, he is positive that the statement from GFL and other bodies like the Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association, IMANI Ghana and the Ghana Union of Traders Association in support of the IPO going ahead earlier in May was only an agenda by management to pull wool over the eyes of the public.

Apart from the IPO, the ADB workers also requested for the removal of the ADB MD and the board which were all ignored by the government and Bank of Ghana.

The labour analyst urged the ADB staff to be fully supportive of the current turn of events achieved by UNICOF and that it is time the MD and the board stopped taking the workers and the general public for granted.

Other observers spoken to say the agreement with Norfund and Atlas Mara are clearly some of the latest examples of the financial impropriety that ADB Managing Director and the bank?s board delights in that the ADB workers raised red flags against some months ago.

One other observer familiar with the happenings in ADB called on the ADB workers to be in high spirit due to the success of the suit action and that he is optimistic that the union will once more traverse the current impasse of the ADB HR Department holding back of their GHC 4,400.00 union membership dues to UNICOF.

BY
Amewuga Ablordeppey

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