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5min300

The management of Ghana Exim Bank has debunked a publication in The Herald which suggested that an amount of GH¢33 million had gone missing at the bank.

The bank has labelled the publication an untruth, saying it lacks basis and only aims at malice towards its Chief Executive Officer and the bank.

The Herald publication focused on the Ghana Exim Bank and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, based on a report of the Auditor-General on special audits carried out on selected state institutions in the year 2018, which raised issues on various transactions at the two institutions.

Below is the full rejoinder by the bank.

RE: GHS 33 MILLION MISSING AT GHANA EXIM BANK

The attention of the Management of GHANA EXIM BANK has been drawn to a front page publication with the above banner headline in THE HERALD which also featured the picture of our Chief Executive Officer.

Management deem the publication as malicious, mischievous and misleading and has no factual basis and it is only intended to bring the hard won reputation of our Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lawrence Agyisam and the Bank into disrepute.

And in view of the fallacious nature of the reportage, we wish to rebut the content and set the records straight and hereby state the following;

That;

  • No GHS 33 Million is or has been missing from the accounts of the GHANA EXIM BANK between the stated period of the said audit carried out at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority by the Auditor General Dept;
  • In your said report, you stated among others that, ” GEPA received a total of GHS32,949,957.57 from GHANA EXIM BANK as its 10% share of its share of the 0.75% Import Levy” and that GEPA was not provided with any evidence such as transactions report or funds release advise from the GHANA EXIM BANK or the Controller General of the Ghana Revenue Authority”; so how could monies transferred from the account of Ghana Exim Bank and duly receipted by Ghana Export Promotion Authority be classified as missing monies and therefore attract such a prominent front page banner headline?
  • In view of the obvious interest that your paper seemed to have shown in the Audit Report, and your subsequent wide publication of it, management would have expected that such a responsible media house could have cross-checked with the Bank to verify the veracity or otherwise of the Report before going to the Press but unfortunately, this basic ethic of the journalistic profession was not adhered to.
  • The Bank has documentary evidence of the said transaction and is ready to submit same for authentication and verification by any State Regulatory Institution mandated to do so.
  • As a statutory public institution, we strictly operate and are guided by the tenets of the Public Financial Management Act 20016, (Act 921) and the Bank’s Finance and Accounting Manual which enjoins us to prudently protect and use of public funds;
  • We want to reiterate that the Bank operates an open-door policy with its cherished stakeholders, including the media, and would want to use this medium to urge the general public especially the media, to always endeavor to seek clarification(s) on any issue (s) concerning the operation of the Bank.
  • For the information of the general public, per the Ghana Export -Import Bank Act 2016, Act (911), the Ministry of Finance is the supervisory Ministry of the Bank and not the Ministry of Trade and Industry as wrongly stated in the report.
  • Being a responsible public institution and in view of the malicious and distorted reportage on the subject matter by your paper, we demand that you publish this rejoinder and give it the same prominence as the main story.
  • We hope our right to rejoinder will be respected.

Source: Graphic Online


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7min380

The Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL) is still struggling to find its feet, one year after the government injected GH₵17 million into the company to resuscitate it.

Currently, the company only produces for institutions on demand and struggles to keep workers at all its departments.

For instance, the Weaving and the Spinning departments, which were closed down in May 2018 due to the high cost of production and other challenges, are still not operational.

Although the Engineering and the Printing departments are functional, the workers there report to work as and when there are materials for production.

In the midst of the challenges, the management of the company has rolled out a production strategy to make the 609 workers stay at home, with only a handful of them to be called to work anytime there is an order for production.

Workers at the Wax Printing Section of the Spinning and Dyeing Department have been at home for the past six weeks due to inactivity at their section.

During a visit by the Daily Graphic to the company in Akosombo in the Asuogyaman District in the Eastern Region last Tuesday, it was gathered that the situation had deteriorated and created anxiety among the workers.

There was little activity, as only a handful of workers were seen on the premises.

Only workers of the Printing and the Dyeing departments had been recalled from home to work for the week.

Some of the workers, who pleaded anonymity, said the management could not keep all of them due to the high cost of production and only recalled a few workers to work when it received orders from institutions.

A text message purported to be from the Printing and Wax Manager recalling those workers read: “There will be full production only at the following sections for this week, starting from Tuesday, June 25, 2019: rotary printing, after treatment, finishing, engraving, bleaching and eight cistern. Kindly take note.”

Other concerns

The workers said the picture that had been painted to the public that all was well at the company was not the case because there had been little production, especially in the past three months.

“We started production in November 2018 and we all thought things had changed. But things deteriorated again after February this year. As of now, our bonus of about 200 per cent of our monthly salary that was supposed to have been paid in 2018 is still outstanding. The routine reward for long service to the company has also been suspended for a year now,” one of the workers said.

CEO’s response

When contacted on the issues, the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ATL, Mr Kofi Boateng, said the management of the company was putting in place prudent mechanisms to make the factory profitable.

“The company was almost dead but last year we received GH₵17 million from the government, through Prudential Bank Limited, at a subsidised interest rate to revamp its operations.

“When the money came, we had to do repairs of equipment, buy new machinery and put in place other systems that will help us step up production. A factory that was almost dead will take a bit of time to come back to winning ways, but we are on course,” he said.

Mr Boateng said so far this year production had been about 500,000 yards, noting that “the target is to do five million yards by the end of the year”.

He said that was possible because the company had secured a contract to produce two million yards of fabrics for students of the free senior high school system.

Touching on the closure of the Weaving and the Dyeing departments, he explained that the move was strategic because it was cheaper to import materials than to produce them locally.

“Producing the materials locally is more expensive and we were in a situation where we had to cut cost to be able to make judicious use of the money to be able to repay the loan and remain in business. The workers of those departments were spread across other departments,” he said.

He added that the ATL decided to produce only on demand because of the high exchange and interest rates.

“Looking at these two factors, it is not good to use your money to produce when there is no market, and especially when you borrowed and have to repay and also keep workers,” he said.

Background

On Wednesday, June 19, 2019, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, told Parliament that the ATL was not in a situation that could be described as facing the risk of total collapse.

He gave the assurance in response to a parliamentary question standing in the name of Mr Thomas Ampem Nyarko, the MP for Asuogyaman, who sought to know whether the Ministry of Trade had “any plans for saving the ATL from total collapse”.

Mr Kyerematen explained that a Cabinet decision in June 2018 that granted approval for the ministry to take over and revamp the operations of the company under a transitional arrangement, while searching for a strategic investor to turn around the fortunes of the company, was yielding positive results.

He added that the arrangement led to the injection of GHc17 million into the company’s operations by the Prudential Bank Limited at a subsidised interest rate, in addition to the implementation of a comprehensive stimulus package.

He added that the ATL was also benefiting from a three-year exemption from Value Added Tax (VAT), import duty waiver, concession on raw materials import and deferred VAT payments on imports to improve its cash flow situation.

Source: graphiconline.com


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4min400

The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has contributed GHC100 million towards the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative.

In a speech read by Mr Alhassan Yakubu-Tali, Deputy Managing Director of the Bank, on behalf of Dr John Kofi Mensah, Managing Director, he explained that the fund has been committed in the form of credit facilities and working capital loans to enable agro-inputs to get to beneficiary farmers under the programme.

“Since the launch of the initiative in 2017, the Bank has assisted hard-working farmers who participated in the programme to expand their operations to transit into successful commercial farmers by providing the necessary support needed,” he added.

Speaking at the launch of the “Rearing for Food and Jobs” Programme in Wa, Dr Mensah said aside supporting its sister programmes, Planting for food and jobs and the Planting for Export and Rural Development, the bank has played an active role in the implementation by financing fertilizer and seed suppliers under the programme to be disbursed to farmers.

‘’We provided a platform free of charge to collect 50% down payment from farmers to enable them access seeds and fertilizers and also provided the same platform for the collection of the remaining 50% input cost after harvesting,’’ he emphasised.

On the Rearing for Food and Jobs programme, Dr Mensah, lauded the initiative, saying it is intended to boost the production of meat in the country, change the mindset of citizens and rekindle interest in the rearing of livestock on a large scale as a way of creating jobs and ensuring self-sufficiency in the area of meat production.

“The initiative came after the success story of the novel Planting for Food and Jobs programme which has led to the creation of thousands of jobs, increased Food Production in the country and has also made it possible for us to even export to some of our neighbouring countries,” he added.

As a Bank with the core mandate to provide financial intermediation for the development and modernization of Ghana’s agricultural sector, Dr Mensah said the Bank plays a strategic role in ensuring that the initiative is also successful just like the Planting for Food and Jobs and the Planting for Export and Rural Development initiatives.

Dr Mensah disclosed that the Bank was in discussions to finance the Modernized Cattle Farming Industry Project (MCFIP), a private cattle farming initiative being undertaken in the Afram Plains with the aim of improving cattle farming in the country.

The project, which he said when fully implemented would reduce Ghana’s budget for meat and dairy importation, adding that, it would provide thousands of jobs as the project would be replicated in other regions and also avert the perennial tension and conflicts between Fulanis and indigenes.

Dr Mensah reinforced the Bank’s unflinching support by partnering the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to successfully implement the objectives of these policies.

Source: myjoyonline.com


admin-mainMarch 1, 2019
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2min1250

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has justified the amount of dollars it releases onto the market, to support operations of commercial banks in the country.

This follows concerns that the limited amount of dollar cash being released onto the market has contributed to the cedis’ fast rate of depreciation over the past weeks.

The local currency has witnessed some significant depreciation selling at GH¢5.51 at the end of trading on February 25, 2019.

The Central Bank, on the other hand, argued that they are very active on the market in terms of the dollar cash support.

The Head of Financial Markets at the Bank of Ghana, Stephen Opata in an interview stated their supports are influenced by several factors on the market including, demand for dollars and the Central Bank’s dollar reserves.

STORY BY: NANA AKUA FREMAH/BUSINESS DESK


admin-mainFebruary 20, 2019
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2min1630

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu has resigned from his post. His abrupt resignation comes just within four months after he was alleged with financial mishandling at the company instituting a search into the matter by the government.

He was alleged to have squandered more than questionable amount at the authority which includes millions of cedis in furnishing his official residence.

The Transport minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah at a press conference yesterday disclosed, the search is yet to be done but Kwame Owusu resigned after age 65.

STORY BY: NANA AKUA FREMAH/ BUSINESS NEWS

 


admin-mainFebruary 20, 2019
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2min1190

A team from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), enforcing the Excise Tax Stamp Policy yesterday stormed the Eastern Region to seize products without tax stamps. This was to ensure manufacturers adhere to the policy by affixing stamps on all excisable products.

After visiting some wholesale depots, retail shops and some manufacturing firms the team realized improvement in obeying the policy but seized some products like alcoholic beverages without tax stamps.

According to Nathan Dankwa who happens to be a principal revenue officer at GRA he said the exercise was done as a follow up to ensure the public was obeying the policy.

STORY BY: NANA AKUA FREMAH/ BUSINESS DESK


admin-mainFebruary 19, 2019
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2min1380

Some former workers of inoperative UT and Capital Banks who were accepted into GCB Bank, have cautioned to go to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative  Justice ( CHRAJ) to be accepted back after their contracts were cancelled by the bank. According to them, their dismissal is cruel and will negatively affect their livelihood as well as their dependents.


Reports stated that an ongoing audit of former UT and Capital banks employees with GCB Bank raised some issues with the qualifications of over a hundred staff.

The recent sacking comes about 2 years after the Ghana Commercial Bank took-over UT and Capital banks. GCB was ordered to take over the two banks because according to the Central Bank, they had serious capitalization issues.

STORY BY: NANA AKUA FREMAH/ BUSINESS DESK


eugenia nyarkoFebruary 13, 2019
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2min1800

Payment for services in the public sector will be digitised from July this year to ensure cashless government business, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has announced.

The move, he said, followed the successful implementation of the mobile money interoperability infrastructure that would aid efficient electronic payments for government services.

He stated that, Ghana has about 34.5 million mobile money subscribers in the country and the interoperability infrastructure allows payments to be made from bank accounts to mobile accounts and the other way round.

He further stated, with this infrastructure, government wants to deal with the problem of financial inclusion, so by the middle of the year, the government will move away from the use of physical cash as payment for services.

Dr Bawumia announced this when he opened the third German-Africa Business Summit (GABS) in Accra yesterday.


admin-mainJanuary 31, 2019
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2min1440

Ride-hailing company Uber says it has suspended its services in the Spanish city of Barcelona because of new rules.

This agreement was made after   the Catalan government   demanded a command of   a 15-minute delay before passengers could be picked up.

Uber has been the aim of protests by taxi drivers in Barcelona who say their business  are being sabotaged.

Uber said the new restrictions left it with “no choice” but to halt its services “while they assess their future in Barcelona”.

In July last year, Spanish taxi drivers began public demonstrations   in Barcelona and Madrid.

The drivers are still on strike in the Spanish capital, but Madrid authorities have said they will not accept the same restrictions as in Barcelona.

Uber has fallen victim of restrictions in many parts of the world at different times.

In the UK, Transport for London denied   them   of its   license   in late 2017, saying it was not a “fit and proper” operator.

It was then awarded a short-term 15-month license for London in June last year, with London mayor Sadiq Khan saying the firm had been “put on probation”.

 

STORY BY : NANA AKUA FREMAH/BUSSINESS DESK

 


admin-mainJanuary 29, 2019
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3min2320

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde, has told deprived countries to stop using global consultancy firms to write development strategies.

She mentioned inefficient spending on consultants for criticism at an event about funding the sustainable development goals at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Mad. Lagarde even asked any representatives of “the McKinseys and Boston Consulting Groups” and any other consultancy firms in the room to listen to her as she delivered an uncomfortable message about their work.

The former French government minister said low-income and emerging-market economies had to provide more revenue themselves domestically and cut expensive projects and corruption.

She insisted the private sector had a major role to play if deprived countries were to ever achieve the 17 development goals set by the UN.

The comments may cause squabble not only in the consultancy industry, but also among fault finders of the IMF itself.

The fund has dishonored reputation in many parts of the world for its heavy-handed promotion of free-market reforms in indebted countries over the past few decades.

The sight of a senior IMF personnel now advising developing countries to cut down on their use of imported private sector expertise may cause awareness.

STORY BY: NANA AKUA FREMAH/BUSSINESS DESK

 



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