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Banking consultant, SIGA boss justify NIB MD appointment

Banking consultant Dr. Richmond Atuahene and Director-General (DG) of the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA), John Boadu, have dismissed calls for the removal of Mr. Tweneboah Kodua Fokuo as Managing Director of the National Investment Bank (NIB), stating that the demands lacks merit.
Mr. Fokuo officially assumed office as MD on Monday, May 13, 2024.
He succeeds Mr Samuel Sarpong, who led the bank since 2019.
The calls for Mr. Fokuo’s removal have been primarily spearheaded by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament.
The minority has given the government until Friday to revoke Mr. Fokuo’s appointment, arguing that his dual role as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Candidate for Manso Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region would divide his attention, thus making him unsuitable to head the struggling bank.
However, Dr. Atuahene rejected these arguments, emphasizing that Fokuo’s approval by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) indicates that he met all the necessary criteria set by the regulator for the position.
He pointed out that the corporate governance and fit-and-proper directives issued by BoG in 2019 outlined specific conditions that must be met to be appointed as MD or CEO of a bank.
The banking consultant listed the criteria to include financial integrity, reputation, academic or professional qualifications, experience, conflict of interest, and time commitment.
Dr. Atuahene noted that if the BoG deemed Mr. Fokuo fit and approved his appointment, then the opposition’s arguments against his appointment lacks merit.
He explained that Mr. Fokuo’s qualifications and experience are aligned with the BoG’s stringent requirements, and thus, his appointment should not be questioned.
On his part, Mr. Boadu argued that the concerns raised by the NDC Minority were unfounded; highlighting that it is not uncommon for legislators to simultaneously hold positions as heads of government institutions.
He argued that these arguments were out of place since some legislators double as heads of government institutions.
Mr. Fokuo took over as MD at a pivotal time when the bank is poised to receive its capitalization.
His appointment has been met with anticipation and support, particularly from the bank’s staff, who are confident in his ability to steer NIB toward a prosperous future.
Mr. Fokuo joined NIB in 2019, at a time when the bank was embarking on a significant transformation journey requiring the full implementation of an Enterprise Risk Model (ERM).
His expertise in risk management has been crucial in this transformation.
Mr. Fokuo has been instrumental in executing the ERM model and introducing best practices in governance, which have created a controlled environment necessary for sound banking operations.
Under his leadership, NIB has achieved considerable progress in enhancing its operational resilience and applying standard guidelines for rigor and efficiency.
His efforts have been key in revamping the bank’s operations, ensuring they are resilient and aligned with industry standards.

Brief Profile of Mr. Fokuo
Mr. Fokuo brings over 15 years of experience in bank risk management to his role as MD. Prior to joining NIB, he served as the Head of Credit Risk at First National Bank, a subsidiary of the FirstRand Bank Group of South Africa.
From 2008 to 2016, he worked with Barclays Bank Ghana (now ABSA), where he ascended to the position of Senior Risk Control Manager and Country Risk Champion.
In addition to his extensive banking experience, Mr. Fokuo holds significant positions in other organizations.
He is the current Board Chairman of Nexans Ghana Limited and a board member at State Housing Company Limited.

Academic credentials
His academic credentials are equally impressive. He holds a BSc in Natural Resources Management from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), an MBA in Finance from the University of Wales, UK, and an Advanced Commercial Risk Certificate from the IFS School of Finance, UK.
Mr. Fokuo’s appointment as MD is expected to chart a new and improved direction for NIB. His leadership and expertise are anticipated to drive the bank’s continued growth and stability, positioning it as a robust player in Ghana’s banking sector.

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