Thank you, Mr Speaker. I beg to second the Motion. I think it is important that all of us understand what it is we are doing. I think the Hon Chairman of the Committee has already indicated that before us there are two requests; one is for the issuance of a sovereign guarantee, and two, is for the waiver of fees pertaining to the guarantee.
Mr Speaker, but it is very important that we give a historical analysis of how we got here. Mr Speaker, you would recall that between 2015 and 2017, the Bank of Ghana undertook an Asset Quality Review (AQR). The first time it was done in 2015, at least, about nine banks were found wanting in most of the areas. They were given an opportunity to do the right thing up to 2016. Some of them were able to do it, but some were not.
Mr Speaker, let me give some dates so that we are clear as to what happened. In August 2017, we would recall the Bank of Ghana revoked the licences of two of the insolvent banks; UT Bank and Uni-Bank. Which were both Ghanaian-owned.
In September 2017, the Bank of Ghana introduced the new minimum capital requirement based on an analysis of the works that they had done. This new requirement was expected to be GH¢400 million.
Mr Speaker, in March 2018, the Bank of Ghana appointed KPMG as an administrator over Uni-Bank Ghana Limited. In April 2018, the Bank of Ghana appointed an advisor to Sovereign Bank Limited to advise the bank's management et cetera.
Mr Speaker, in August 2018, the Bank of Ghana granted a banking licence to the
Consolidated Bank (CB), which was set up by the Government of Ghana. CB has Royal Bank, Uni-Bank, Beige Bank, Construction Bank and Sovereign Bank.
Mr Speaker, finally, in 2019, the Bank of Ghana revoked the licences of two more banks; Heritage and Premium Banks.
Mr Speaker, the question is, at the end of all these exercises, what happened? At the end of it, this is what we ended up with; sixteen banks were left -- Access Bank, foreign; Bank of Africa, foreign; Barclays Bank, foreign; Cal Bank, Ghana; Consolidated Bank, Ghana; ECOBANK, Pan-African; Fidelity Bank, Ghana; GCB, Ghana; GT Bank; Republic Bank; Societé -Generale; Stanbic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, UBA and Zenith Bank which are all foreign.
Mr Speaker, out of the sixteen banks that were left, only four were Ghanaian banks; 25 per cent. In addition, First National Bank was allowed to merge with GHL Bank and the Energy Bank was allowed to merge with First Atlantic, which is also foreign. The only bank allowed to merge with Bangue Saharienne Pour Investment (BSLIC) Ghana Limited -- part of it is owned by a Ghanaian.
So the Government is trying to say that it is not acceptable in Ghana to have a majority of banks being foreign-owned. I do not know anywhere in this world where we could see this phenomenon. Mr Speaker, the Government is taking steps to ensure that more of our Ghanaian- owned banks get capitalised properly, so that they could compete.
Mr Speaker, the issuance of this sovereign guarantee is to— these five entities -- Agriculture Development Bank (ADB), OmniBank Ghana Limited, Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), Prudential Bank, and National Investment
Bank (NIB). Mr Speaker, it would interest you to know the shareholdings of these banks. OmniBank Ghana Limited -- BSIC Group 56 per cent; Mr Joseph Siaw Agyapong, 43 per cent; and Ms Cynthia Agyapong, 1 per cent; clearly, everybody knows that Joseph Siaw Agyapong is Ghanaian. Mr Speaker, UMB, 95 per cent is owned by Fortiz, a Private Equity Fund. The Question is, who is behind Fortiz Private Equity Fund?
It is important that we know that -- Fortiz Private Equity Fund, according to official records, has Mrs Salomey and Mr Botchway as shareholders. I am sure my Hon Colleagues here know who they are. They know they are Ghanaians -- [Laughter].
Mr Speaker, if we look at Prudential Bank and we go down the list, all the names are Ghanaians; starting from Frank Owusu, J. S. Addo, Kwesi Atuah, M. K. Omaboe, et al. They are all Ghanaians.
The other two -- ADB, as a strategic bank, majority is owned by the Government -- it is about 93 per cent owned by the Bank of Ghana and the Government of Ghana. NIB is about 95 per cent owned by Bank of Ghana and the Government of Ghana.
Mr Speaker, if we allow these two strategic banks to fail, it is not in our interest. Let me repeat, all these are Ghanaian and Government-owned strategic banks. The issue was raised that how come Government did not issue the guarantee to the banks. If they had been managed well, they would have raised the capitalisation and we would not be where we are. It does not make sense to then go and give the guarantees to these banks
for that purpose. That is why the Government is going through a private firm and Special Purpose Vehicle.
I heard one of my Hon good Friends on the other Side say that GAT is not known by Parliament. I want to remind my people that the last two Government guarantees that I remember went to the Investment Group of Eurojets the Egyptian group and some private person for STX. All those guarantees were issued by persons in the previous Government.
Mr Speaker, as I speak, I am aware that the one for STX is still floating somewhere — [Laughter] —— and the guarantee has not been arrested yet, so we should be waiting for it. All those people are private individuals, not the banks. Investment Group Investo Capital is a private Egyptian person and the STX sponsor was a private Ghanaian individual. So, when we say that we do not know GAT that it is a private person --
Our Hon Colleagues wanted to know when GAT was registered. I have in my hand and can tender it in, a certificate of incorporation of GAT, and their regulations, also duly legally registered as a Special Purpose Vehicle in Ghana. Government has made an arrangement to have NTHC as the nominal shareholders to back the sponsors.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the committee told us that this is a strategic investment that in five years, they would exit. The hope is that the Special Purpose Vehicle, GAT, which is managed by very credible persons, one of them a good friend of mine, Albert Essien, who used to head EcoBank but is now retired -- He has been called back to do his national service to help. We ought to be careful when we start speaking against these matters, as to the object of what is being done.