ICU welcomes Govt decision to recapitalise NIB
The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU-Ghana) has welcomed the government’s decision to recapitalise the National Investment Bank (NIB).
To the union, the action by the government was a clear demonstration of saving an institution whose role in the financial industry over the years could not be taken for granted.
The ICU-Ghana leadership stated this as part of its response to the 2024 Budget, presented to Parliament last Wednesday.
Addressing the press in Accra last Wednesday, the General Secretary of the ICU-Ghana, Morgan Ayawine, also urged government to give serious attention to helping other distressed state-owned enterprises such as Neoplan, PBC Ltd and Aluworks.
“We recall ICU-Ghana presented a petition to the government in 2018 and repeated it in September 2023, resulting in a meeting with the Minister of Finance just before the 2024 budget was read.
“This has resulted in the government’s decision to recapitalise the NIB to play its traditional role of financing industry in the country for economic growth and development,” the ICU General Secretary stated.
He said the NIB had suffered the brunt of the financial sector challenge and that the recapitalisation of the bank as part of moves to resuscitate the “financial sector is a welcome news”.
Presenting the 2024 Budget to parliament, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, said the government had set aside GH¢4 billion to recapitalise NIB and other institutions.
“Mr Speaker, in addition, a provision of GH¢4 billion has been made in the 2024 Budget to address National Investment Bank (NIB), distressed SDIs, and other outstanding legacy challenges in the financial sector,” he said.
Speaking in the company of his two deputies, Emmanuel Benimah (Deputy General Secretary in charge of Operations) and Samuel Ananga (Deputy General Secretary in Charge of Administration and Finance), theICU General Secretary said there was the need for the government to formulate a deliberate policy that would stand the test of time to deal with the unemployment situation in the country.
Mr Ayawine said the unemployment situation in the country was a serious matter, hence the need for the government to take concrete steps to address it.
For him, the Nkunim Budget should not only seek to address the concerns of the minority in the country, but cover all Ghanaians, especially the working people.
“But when you come to look at the tax reliefs and you would notice that these tax reliefs are just there and they look quite good and quite impressive and people become when they hear that there have been tax reliefs as contained in the budget. But let us ask ourselves which areas were covered as far as the tax reliefs are concerned?,” he asked.
Mr Ayawine noted that one tax the ICU had been asking for its abolition was the overtime tax but unfortunately nothing was said about it.
He said that was an important area that reflected in the pockets of workers and thereby reiterated the union’s call for the government to do something about it since it was an old age nuisance tax.
On the tax on electric vehicles, he asked how many of such vehicles were in the country to benefit from the relief.
“Electric vehicles are things that are being contemplated on. How many electric vehicles do we have in the country?,” he asked.