The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), the biggest lender in the agricultural sub-sector of the Ghanaian economy is undergoing a major transformational drive aimed at positioning the bank among the top performers in the country's competitive banking sector by 2012.
To this end, the bank has opened four new Branches at Yendi, Savelugu, Walewale and Navrongo in the Northern and Upper East regions respectively. This underlines the new direction aimed at repositioning ADB appropriately within the national economy. This makes eleven (11) of the bank branches spread in the Northern, Upper East and West Regions and adds to make seventy-five (75) of the bank's networked branches nationwide.
The emphasis of the new branch expansion programme, especially in Northern Ghana, reflects the development focus of ADB on agriculture and, thereby, its presence in agriculturally-active communities in the various corridors with vast agricultural potentials.
With a new Strategic Plan, business model, and organizational structure designed to reposition ADB as a highly efficient agricultural policy-led financial institution, the huge scope of agricultural production in Northern Ghana should necessarily receive a more heightened focus, as ADB bids to transform the primary agricultural sector and agro-related and allied sectors, and promote socioeconomic development in Ghana.
The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority is poised to open up Northern Ghana for investment in various sectors. One of its core strategies will be growth in several sub-sectors of agriculture. ADB is therefore positioning itself to play an enhanced role in the growth strategy of SADA.
At separate ceremonies in Yendi, Savelugu, Walewale and Navrongo, Board Chairman of ADB, Alhaji Ibrahim Adam emphasized the need for the branch expansion saying it would help to enhance access to credit facilities and other banking services at the disposal of all classes of customers and patrons.
According to him, ADB is backing this expansion with the needed investment in technology to ensure that customer convenience is maximized. In this connection, ADB is on the verge of moving on to an improved IT platform to support decision making, and improve delivery of services to the customers.
"You have seen notices about the upgrading programme. The upgrade will considerably improve upon our processes, reduce turn-around time for customers, and generally ensure efficient delivery of customer services."
He hinted that in the face of the growing demand for agricultural credit, ADB - the biggest lender to the agricultural sector for several years - has actually increased its appetite for agricultural financing by increasing both the share of agric in the total loan portfolio and the quantum of the agric loan portfolio.
Mr. Stephen Kpordzih, Managing Director of ADB also reiterated that, further to the increased spread, reach, accessibility and visibility of ADB in the three Regions, the widening of the branch network would facilitate the deepening of agricultural financing in the area.
''ADB's presence in the area therefore means a greater boost for agribusiness, namely, transportation, storage, preservation, warehousing, input distribution, marketing, among others."
He said ADB would devote a lot more resources to tap the potentials of the three Regions. This position is informed by the fact that our limited branch network in this strategic food basket of the country has restricted the impact of the bank. These four new branch locations are a testimony of our commitment to expand our reach to our valued clients in this area. The affable Manager equipped.
Mr. Sulley Adam, Executive Head of Retail at the ADB used the occasion to introduce four products of the bank; the Mmofra Account, Pension Plus Account, Student Save Account and the Payday Plus Account-all industry benchmarks.