History of NIB
The history of the Bank can be traced to the end of the Second World War (WWII). Agitations from the indigenes against foreign imports led to a general boycott by the local population led by Association of West African Merchants (AWAM). The colonial administration decided to establish an entity that would facilitate the involvement of private indigenous persons in business. The Gold Coast Industrial Development Corporation (GCIDC) was therefore established in 1952 with budgetary appropriations to enable it provide financial support to the indigenes for the establishment of their own businesses.
The Gold Coast Industrial Development Corporation (GCIDC), encouraged entrepreneurship among the indigenes in the areas of furniture making and baking. This intervention helped to develop the skills of the local carpenters and bakers in the use of mechanized saw mills and electric bakeries. In addition, GCIDC also upgraded the skills of people who were using manual labour in washing to mechanized laundry since the Gold Coast intelligentsias had to send their suits to the United Kingdom to be laundered.
Purpose and Role
After independence, the GCIDC became known as the Ghana Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) with the Government of Ghana as the controlling body. The government transformed the GIDC into the National Investment Bank (NIB) by an act of Parliament (Act 163). The NIB was incorporated as an autonomous joint state-private institution on March 22, 1963. It was established primarily to promote and strengthen rapid industrialization in all sectors of the Ghanaian economy. NIB was therefore the first development bank in Ghana.
The Act also paved the way for NIB to set up joint ventures because the Ghanaian manufacturers or the private sector did not have the required funding for start-ups. NIB on the other hand could lend to enterprises and put in equity. NIB set up over 100 joint enterprises including some of the defunct regional development corporations. Most of the major existing industries including Nestle Ghana Limited, Novotel (now Accra City Hotel), Kabel Metal (now Nexans Kabelmetal), Aluworks benefited from equity participation or funding.
Development of Competitor Banks
NIB’s support to the agro-processing industry, in 1965, the Agricultural Department of NIB was transformed into the Agricultural Development Bank. As a result of its expanding services to the corporate sector, NIB saw the need for a specialized banking and set up a Merchant Bank to concentrate on trade finance. The now defunct Merchant Bank was a joint venture with NIB.
Transition to Commercial Banking
Although the Bank did not take deposits, there were annual appropriations from the National Budget to run the NIB.
In 1975, following the enactment of NRCD 316, NIB obtained the mandate to start taking deposits only from the companies that it had financed, but not from the general public. This was to ensure that the Bank adhered to its core mandate of providing development finance for industries. However, by 1980 NIB was offering commercial banking in order to complement its development banking services as a result of the problems associated with raising term-capital.
The Bank initially borrowed from agencies such as the World Bank, IFC and EU. But in the 1980’s the economic situation in Ghana was not conducive to access external credit. To address the situation, local deposits were mobilized to fund industries.
NIB did not lose sight of its core mandate of development banking and though the Bank had taken steps towards commercial banking, its primary objective was to continue to support local industry.
NIB Now !
Currently, 70% of the Bank’s portfolio is made up of loans to the Ghanaian private sector. NIB is a major lender to the Manufacturing, Building and Construction and Agro-processing sectors as well as the service industry.
NIB now operates as a Universal Bank focusing on development/commercial banking activities. The Bank has undergone management, institutional and financial restructuring, which has strengthened the organization and now, has 49 Branches and 3 Agencies nationwide.
NIB has in the past participated in foreign lines of credit, which were administered by the Bank of Ghana to meet Term Loan and Working Capital needs of the Bank’s customers.