Issues adb MD’s tenure extended amidst workers’ protest

The tenure of the embattled Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank (adb), Stephen Kpordzih has been extended for three years.

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adb Managing Director, Stephen Kpordzih play

adb Managing Director, Stephen Kpordzih

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The tenure of the embattled Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank (adb), Stephen Kpordzih has been extended for three years.

This is according to a letter of re-appointment signed by board chairman, Nana Soglo Alloh IV, addressed to Mr. Kpordzih and copied to President John Mahama and the Finance Minister.

The letter cited by Citi News and confirmed by sources close to the board stated “the board has decided to re-appoint you as managing director of the Agricultural Development Bank limited with effect from 1st August 2015, “the same date the MD’s tenure expires.

It further stated that “the period of appointment is three years and will be upon the existing terms and conditions which is however subject to negotiations and review at a later date”.

This will certainly come as a blow to workers who have agitating for the removal of Mr. Kpordzih and the dissolution of the board of the bank for alleged financial malfeasance and conflict of interest.

It will be recalled that the adb staff union led by the Union of Commerce, Industry and Finance workers (UNICOF) embarked on a sit down strike to protest the alleged renewal of the MD’s contract describing it as an action in bad faith, since Mr. Kpordzih was being investigated by the Bank of Ghana for financial malfeasance.

But Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrissu rubbished the claim that the MD’s contract had been renewed.

Speaking in an earlier interview with Citi News when the workers embarked on their strike, Haruna Iddrissu said: “I should think that the workers and union have not held my trust and the trust of government, we met yesterday and we agreed to meet on Tuesday, nowhere and at no point did they say that they will embark on this strike, therefore I’m equally surprised and naturally disappointed, and even more worried that they are attributing their action to have been premised by a purported letter extending the contract of the MD by three years, which action thye  conceive of as action by government acting in bad faith”.

He therefore challenged the workers to produce the said the letter warranting and extending that contract saying that “neither the minister of finance, nor the board nor higher authority is aware of any such contract renewal”

Minister Haruna Iddrissu just last week postponed to Monday August 22, 2015, a planned press conference to make, according to him “a major statement on the management of the bank”. Ahead of the statement however Citi News understands that the board chairman will hold a crunch meeting with President Mahama over the developments at the bank.

Adb and government sued over IPO

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for the New Juaben South Constituency Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah has filed a suit at the Supreme Court insisting the Bank’s initial Public Offer (IPO) should first be approved by parliament.

The MP is therefore invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to compel the Bank to seek parliamentary approval before it proceeds with the planned public offer. Government which is majority shareholder of the bank, last month ordered the bank to put the IPO on hold after agitations from workers of the bank over the move, even though it insists the IPO does not require parliamentary approval.

But in an interview with Citi News, the Member of Parliament’s finance committee believes the Attorney General’s interpretation of the relevant provisions of the constitution is faulty hence his decision.

“We cannot entrust such a decision only in the hands of the nine or eleven members who sit on the board of adb, this is a big business transaction and it is only proper that parliament scrutinize it, why is anybody afraid of coming to parliament, now ADB hides under the attorney general’s letter which says you don’t require parliamentary approval, we cannot continue to rule this country with such impunity, so let’s go to court, attorney has it interpretation of the law, we disagree, the Supreme Court will speak”  he explained.



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