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Business News of Thursday, 6 April 2017


NIB debunks 'turmoil' rumours

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The National Investment Bank (NIB) has swiftly reacted to media reports creating the impression that the bank is in turmoil.

In a statement issued yesterday in reaction to a publication in yesterday’s edition of Daily Searchlight, the bank said the allegations were nothing but figments of the imagination of the authors.

“We are compelled to send this rejoinder because we find the allegations slanderous and untrue,” the statement issued by the Corporate Affairs Department pointed out.

On the allegation of irregularities in the award of contract to migrate the bank’s software to Oracle Database Project, it said, “We wish to place on record that the selection of Vendor for the Oracle Database Project was through a Selective Bidding Process which was competitive and transparent.”

According to the statement, three companies took part in the bidding process before a winner was selected.

All the three companies were asked to submit quotations for the project.

Only one company was able to meet the bidding criteria, despite several reminders to the other two companies, according to the bank.

“The remaining two still failed to give quotations for the total project. The quotations of all three companies were then submitted to the Board Sub-Committee on ICT of the Bank for evaluation and selection.”

“The Board Sub-Committee in its wisdom asked that the remaining two companies still needed to quote for the full project.”

“Time, they say, is of essence. The bank needed to migrate from JBase to Oracle so as to be in the position to serve customers better.”

“The Board Sub-Committee then referred the Quotations received to the Board of the Bank to take a decision. The Board was satisfied with the quotations for the entire project scope received from one of the three companies and therefore awarded the contract to the said company.”

The bank indicated that the process was transparent and fair to all the companies. “At no point in the process did any of the companies offer 50% discount on any of the project components for which the bank did not accept, as being alluded to in the publication,” it pointed out.

The bank explained that at no point did the MD/CEO take a unilateral decision to award the project to any company of his choice nor did he fail to disclose the full facts of the proposals to the Board. “This is completely untrue and only an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the MD/CEO of our reputable institution,” it said.

NIB also denied the allegation that the acting head of IT, Solomon Okonkwo, was hired by the current MD when there was no need for that appointment.

Mr Okonkwo was said to have been engaged by the bank in April 2016 on permanent basis to bring on board his knowledge and expertise to enable the bank overcome its ICT challenges, having acted as a consultant, even before John Asamoah, the current MD/CEO took over.

The bank, the statement said, is on progressive path with increase in revenue recorded in the third and fourth quarters of 2016. This, it said, could be proved by the bank’s auditors’ report and financial statements for the 2016 financial year which is being worked on by the auditors of the bank, and their findings would be published in widely circulated newspapers for all to make judgment.

“Therefore, the assertion that CEO, Mr. John Kweku Asamoah is engaged in acts of corruption is not only false, but mischievous and dishonest,” the statement added.

The bank asked the newspaper to retract and apologise to its management.

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