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Ghana Tourist Board closes Garden City Hotel, 11 others

The Ashanti Regional Taskforce of the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB), has intensified its efforts to flush out sub-standard and unlicensed tourist facilities in the Region to improve services.

Mr Ekow Sampson, the Regional Manager, noted that with its huge tourist potentials, the Region could advance its socio-economic development if managers of facilities worked in line with professional standards as required by the Board.

He was briefing the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi at the weekend, after the Taskforce closed down 12 facilities in the Region for operating without the GTB license, which was in contravention of the law.

They include Garden City, Original 34 and Naka Royal Hotels, Nobs, Windsor Castle, Simple and Arena Guesthouses, Ravens Catering Services, Holy Mary Catering Services, Holiday’s Inn Rest House, Standford Bridge Rest House and Icon Pub and Restaurant.

This brings to 23 the number of facilities so far closed down since the exercise started a week ago.

The Regional Manager observed that unlicensed hotels and guest houses could easily served as a haven for criminal activities since the operations of these facilities were not known and also not regulated by the GTB.

Source: GNA
Ahantaman Rural Bank announces profit of GH¢412,396 for 2009

The Ahantaman Rural Bank Limited on Saturday announced a profit after tax of GH¢412,396 for 2009.

Mr Joshua Ackah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank, said this at the 22nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Bank at Agona Nkwanta.

He said in 2008, the bank recorded a profit after tax of GH¢403,457.

Mr Ackah said the total capital of the bank increased by 16 per cent during 2009 largely through retained earnings.

He said the total capital comprised shareholders equity of GH¢548,455 and GH¢1,160,597 retained earnings.

He said the bank intended to open at least 10 branches within its catchments area over the next five years.

“We are expanding the bank’s branch network to accord accessibility to a large number of clientele and mobilize deposits to enhance the bank’s margin,” he added.

Mr Kwame Awuah Asante, vice chairman of the Board, who presented the report of the directors, said an amount of GH¢51,550  representing 12.5 per cent of the net profit after tax had been transferred to the General Reserve Fund in accordance with the Banking Act,2004 and the Banking Amendment Act, 2007.

He said the bank had invested in Ahabank Company Limited, wholly owned subsidiary that deals in the purchase and sale of general goods.

Mr Asante said the bank’s total investment in the subsidiary as at the end of 2009 was GH¢10,000.

Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu, Managing Director of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) Apex Bank, in an address read for him, said the Apex Bank with support from the Newgen Software Technologies, Asia’s leader in Business Process Management Software, had developed software for the scanning and clearing of cheques online.

He said all operational centres of Rural and Community Banks (RCB) had been connected to the Head office of the Apex Bank for the scanning and clearing of cheques.

Mr Osei-Bonsu said clearing personnel of RCBs would no longer have to travel to Apex branch centres for clearing.

He said verification of signatures and balances shall be done at the RCBs operational centres and “No Pay or Pay” decisions would be taken at the respective centres.

Mr Osei-Bonsu said one major area where RCBs could develop and create a unique marketing niche was microfinance business.

He said although almost all RCBs were operating some form of microfinance, “we are still a sleeping giant who must be awakened from our slumber and begin to run”.

Mr Osei-Bonsu reminded Board of Directors of RCBs of their responsibilities to continually ensure compliance with the Company Code, 1963, Banking Act, 2004, Apex Bank Limited Regulations, 2006, the Labour Act, Bank of Ghana Directives and bye-laws of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.

He asked RCBs to improve their services to customers saying unnecessary delay in the payment of Apexlink transfers, the uncourteous behaviour of some staff towards illiterate customers and a lack of professionalism exhibited by the frontline personnel were some of the complaints levelled against RCBs.

Mr. Osei-Bonsu said today’s banking was dependent on the provision of quality services to customers and without customers, the banks could not stay in business.

He said it was important for RCBs to address this issue by investing in training programmes that would help them improve on service delivery.

This could also help to create relationship officers for important corporate and big individual clients and build a good corporate image for the banks to ensure the loyalty of customers and patronage of their products.

Source: GNA

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