Ghana Business News » General News https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com The first place for your business news Thu, 28 May 2015 19:29:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Ghana PPI sees slight increase to 19.5% in April https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/28/ghana-ppi-sees-slight-increase-to-19-5-in-april/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/28/ghana-ppi-sees-slight-increase-to-19-5-in-april/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 10:05:44 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=143833 Ghana’s year-on-year Producer Price Inflation Rate (PPI) for all industry has increased marginally by 0.3 percentage points from 19.2 per cent in March 2015 to 19.5 per cent in April…

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InflationGhana’s year-on-year Producer Price Inflation Rate (PPI) for all industry has increased marginally by 0.3 percentage points from 19.2 per cent in March 2015 to 19.5 per cent in April 2015.

This is attributed to the increase in inflation rates in the mining and quarrying and utilities sub-sectors.

Dr Philomena Nyarko, Government Statistician, who released the Producer Price Index for April, said the month-on-month change between March and April was 2.8 per cent.

She said the mining and quarrying sub-sector recorded the highest year-on-year producer price inflation rate of 27.1 per cent, followed by the utilities sub-sector with 20.7 per cent, while the manufacturing sector recorded the lowest rate of 17.0 per cent.

“The monthly changes in the Producer Price Index indicate that mining and quarrying recorded the highest inflation of 7.5 per cent, followed by the utilities sub-sector with 4.5 per cent.

“The manufacturing sector recorded the lowest inflation rate of 1.0 per cent,” she said.

Dr Nyarko said the year-on-year inflation in ex-factory prices of goods and services began an upward trend from April 2014 and increased consistently over five months to record 48.6 per cent in August 2014.

However, from then on, the rate steadily declined to 19.2 per cent in March 2015 and has inched up to 19.5 per cent in April, 2015.

She said the increase was mainly due to increases in the price of gold and the decline in the value of the cedi adding, that the inflation rates could be stabilised if these factors remain stable.

In the mining and quarrying sub-sector, the PPI in April 2015 increased by 4.2 percentage points over the March 2015 rate of 23.0 per cent to 27.1 per cent and utilities recorded a rate of 20.7 per cent in the period, an increase of 4.9 percentage points over the March 2015 rate of 15.8 per cent.

Manufacturing, which constitutes more than two-thirds of the total industry, decreased by 2.3 percentage points to record 17.0 per cent; 11 out of the 16 major groups in the sub-sector recorded inflation rates higher than the sector average of 19.5 per cent.

Dr Nyarko said the publishing, printing and reproduction of media recording recorded the highest rate of 56.0 per cent and refined petroleum products saw the lowest rate of -9.6 per cent.

She said the continued decline in inflation rates in the petroleum sub-sector from 61.1 per cent in November 2014 to -9.6 in April 2015 was the result of Base Drift Effect and the decrease in ex-refinery prices of petroleum products.

Source: GNA

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Former National Service boss, others charged for stealing over GH¢100m https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/28/former-national-service-boss-others-charged-for-stealing-over-gh%c2%a2100m/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/28/former-national-service-boss-others-charged-for-stealing-over-gh%c2%a2100m/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 10:02:23 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=143831 The Former Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Alhaji Alhassan Mohammed Imoro, and 34 others on Wednesday appeared before an Accra Fast Track High Court (Tax and Financial)…

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Alhaji Alhassan Imoro
Alhaji Alhassan Imoro

The Former Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Alhaji Alhassan Mohammed Imoro, and 34 others on Wednesday appeared before an Accra Fast Track High Court (Tax and Financial) Division for conspiracy to commit crime, giving bribe to influence a public officer and stealing.

Imoro was charged for conspiracy, stealing and giving bribe to influence public officer while the others were charged for conspiracy and stealing. The initial charges against Imoro have all been withdrawn.

They all pleaded not guilty to all charges of stealing a total amount of GH¢107,897,018.36 belonging to the government of Ghana through the payment of ghost or non-existent service personnel.

They were granted bail to the sum of various tunes ranging from GH¢5,000,000 to GH¢30,000 by the court Presided over by Justice Georgina Mensah-Datsa.

Presenting the facts of the Case, the Chief State Attorney, Penelope-Ann Mamattah said, in July 2014, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) commenced a nation-wide investigation into the operations of the NSS with regard to the payment of monthly allowances to Service Persons.

She said this was after a report received by the BNI indicating malfeasance in the postings and payment of allowances to Service Persons.

Investigations established that between September 2013 and August 2014, the pay roll of the NSS was bloated with 31,516 names for both the National Service Postings and the National Voluntary Service Recruitment.

She told the court that during that service year, National Service Persons were paid GH¢243 per month as allowance from September 2013 to December 2013 and GH¢350 per month from January 2014 to August 2014.

Chief State Attorney Mamattah said an elaborate ploy was hatched by Alhaji Mohamed Imoro Alhassan, the NSS Executive Director, supported by senior officers of the scheme at the National Secretariat.

The ploy also included all the Regional Directors of the scheme and implemented by the District Directors involved in the generation of “ghost” names at the Head Office of the Scheme in Accra.

She said these ghost names were added to the genuine names on the nominal rolls based on which payment vouchers were prepared. The payment vouchers were prepared by the Chief accountant, Nelson Ayeltiga and passed on to the Internal Audit.

“The internal Auditor, Gloria Aku Mensah, whose duty it was to audit and vet all the accounts and payment vouchers, did not audit the accounts and the payment vouchers and yet passed them on. Ayeltiga and Mensah received regular payments from some Regional Directors.

She indicated that the “ghost” names, which were detected in all the Districts in the country, were mostly posted to the rural areas and in some cases to non-existent institutions and departments.

The names of personnel posted to self-accounting public and private institutions were converted to and retained on the Government pay roll without effecting the required amendment with the Consultant to the Scheme.

She told the court that the Executive Director had dealings with his Regional Directors and the Regional Directors had dealings with the District Directors, who directly worked under them. The Executive Director never dealt directly with the District Directors.

“The “ghost” names were sent by the Executive Director to the Regional Directors with firm instructions as to how much he was to receive very month.

“The number of names the Executive Director gave to each Regional director depended on the trust and loyalty he had developed with each Regional Director”.

Chief State Attorney Mamattah said on receipt of the “ghost “names and the instructions thereof, the Regional Director in turn passed the “names” to his district Directors with his set of instructions as to how much the District Director was to retain every month and how much was to be sent to him.

The amount of money the Regional Directors sent to the Executive Director depended on the number of names he got from him and the accompanying instruction.

The “ghost” names the Executive Director sent to the Regional Directors were not given to them at one go.

The Executive Director started giving out the names in September 2013 shortly after the postings.

The names then started increasing from October through to January 2014 when the postings stabilized and no more names were given.

She told the court that, in addition, all the Senior Officials at the National Service Secretariat, who were implicated in the fraud also had their own separate deals with the Regional Directors independent of one another and have confessed to having each received regularly every month, several thousands of Ghana Cedis from the Regional Directors.

The Regional Directors have also admitted having made regular payments to them.

She said at the end of the Service year in August 2014, the amounts that the Regional and District Directors shared also included Travel and Transport allowances meant for the Service Persons to travel back to their various destinations.

She said all the Regional Directors were involved and had admitted to that and had promised to refund their share of the proceeds.

The Chief State Attorney said, at the National Service Secretariat, with the exception of the Executive Director, Alhaji Imoro, who has repeatedly denied any involvement, all the others cited in the fraud have confessed to their involvement.

“All the Regional and District Directors as well as the senior officials at the National Service Secretariat have all made part payments in satisfaction of their liabilities.

“The Executive Director has however not made any payment at all though he has been furnished with his liability”.

She said during this period the State lost an amount of GH¢107,897,018.36

Source: GNA

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Ghana Food and Drugs Authority warns public of food adulteration https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/28/ghana-food-and-drugs-authority-warns-public-of-food-adulteration/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/28/ghana-food-and-drugs-authority-warns-public-of-food-adulteration/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 10:00:42 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=143829 The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned against the mixing of food with adulterants, describing it as injurious to human health. It said food adulteration was on the increase…

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FDAThe Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned against the mixing of food with adulterants, describing it as injurious to human health.

It said food adulteration was on the increase and very common on the Ghanaian urban markets with perpetrators plying on the ignorance of innocent buyers.

He, therefore, urged consumers to report any unusual changes in their food to the FDA.

Mr Edward Archer, a Principal Regulator of the Food Safety Management Unit of the FDA, gave the caution at a Food Safety Advocacy Campaign for Traditional Caterers Association members in Greater Accra.

Mr Acher defined food adulteration is an act of adding or mixing something inferior, harmful, useless and unnecessary to food.

It is intended to reduce manufacturing cost, increase bulk or weight, to make it appear better and conceal inferiority.

The seminar was organized with the Queen Mothers’ Foundation of Ghana to raise the awareness of caterers on the dangers associated with food adulteration and the need to be on the lookout and help in the campaign against it.

Mr Acher pointed out that even colours used in making tie and dyes designs, and miscellaneous compounds were mixed with some foods to impart certain properties and to disguise deteriorated or spoiled foods to give an idea of freshness.

He said cassava flour, roasted maize meal, maize flour, dried and grinded pear seed, cooking oil, water and fresh cassava chips were also added to groundnut paste to increase its weight.

Maize flour, milled fresh groundnuts, gari and wheat flour, he said, were also added to grinded agushie to increase its weight.

“This act is very common, thus posing so much danger to consumers’ health,” he complained.

For fat and oils like palm oil, dzomi, coconut oil, groundnut oil and soyabean oil; palm kernel oils, he said, Sudan Dyes, were added to give it the red colour, which he said, was the demand of consumers.

He explained that cola nuts and Sudan dyes used in pepper, groundnut paste and palm oil could increase anxiety and nervousness at high doses, decrease nutritive value of products and could even cause cancer.

Mr Acher urged the caterers and the public to report any unusual change in the food items they buy from the market to FDA for the necessary actions to be taken.

Ms Maria Lovelace-Johnson, the Head of the Food Safety Management Unit of the FDA, took participants through the five keys to keep their food safe.

The five keys, she explained, were keeping themselves clean, separating raw food from cooked food, cooking and reheating their food well to avoid contamination, keeping food at safe temperatures and always using wholesome raw materials and buying from clean places.

She noted that if these steps were not taken, it could lead to food poisoning and reiterated the the Food and Drugs Law prohibited the sale of unwholesome, poisonous or adulterated for foods.

Members of the Foundation said they were ready to prevent food-borne illness, hence, the initiative to collaborate with FDA to educate women.

Source: GNA

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Wealth-creation taking center stage in Christianity – Financial Expert https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/27/wealth-creation-taking-center-stage-in-christianity-financial-expert/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/27/wealth-creation-taking-center-stage-in-christianity-financial-expert/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 06:32:43 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=143804 A Financial Expert has kicked against, what he described as the disturbing phenomenon of avarice creeping into the Church. Mr Eugene Amo-Mesi, the Zone Eight Area Manager of Ecobank, said:…

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CedisA Financial Expert has kicked against, what he described as the disturbing phenomenon of avarice creeping into the Church.

Mr Eugene Amo-Mesi, the Zone Eight Area Manager of Ecobank, said: “Church leaders have almost ceased preaching salvation and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit but now focus their sermons on how to make money.”

This development, he said, contravened Biblical tenets as the Gospel was meant to salvage mankind from his depraved nature to be a changed personality through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Mr Amo-Mesi was addressing the Abrankese Society of the Methodist Church Ghana at a fund-raising in the Bosomtwe District of Ashanti.

He expressed unhappiness that most church leaders have lost touch with the sublime themes the Bible espouses and are turning churches into commercial entities.

“Most of our pastors have become so secular in their thinking and in the discharge of their duties that their main duty of showing unbelievers the way to overcome corrupt practices, intolerance and indiscipline in society, has unfortunately been relegated to the background.”

The fund-raising was aimed at mobilising resources for the purchase of a pulpit to enhance the church’s activities.

Mr Amo-Mesi who was awarded a certificate of honour for his contributions to the church’s development, urged Christians to abide by the word of God in their endeavours for their physical and spiritual development.

Superintendent Reverend Nana Samuel Nyamekye Adane-Ameyaw, Zongo District “B” Commander of the Ghana Police Service, in a sermon, advised Ghanaians to live in peace with each other to promote unity in the country.

He said they should uphold good neighbourliness and bury their differences to sustain the peace.

Source: GNA

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Impact of migration felt by many countries https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/27/impact-of-migration-felt-by-many-countries/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/27/impact-of-migration-felt-by-many-countries/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 06:01:55 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=143802 Studies by labour researchers have revealed that the impact of migration on developing countries would continue to play a major role in determining their status. Such studies also reveal that…

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EmigrationStudies by labour researchers have revealed that the impact of migration on developing countries would continue to play a major role in determining their status.

Such studies also reveal that the effects of migration would make an impact on all parties including migrant workers, businesses and entrepreneurs in the host country.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, said this during a consultative seminar to assess the economic contribution of labour migration on Ghana.

The seminar was aimed at identifying key stakeholders, research priorities and available data sources in Ghana and identify the existing knowledge gaps.

Mr Iddrisu said workers who lose their jobs in seeking new opportunities are the ones who suffer more within existing industries due to declining competitiveness.

He said: “Among the losers also are some skilled workers and those with industry or occupation specific skills that are no longer in demand.”

He said a familiar reaction to these developments locally is what has become known as “xenophobia” or the fear of strangers and in this case, economic migrants.

Mr Iddrisu said in most developing countries, inadequate productive employment opportunities in domestic economies have resulted in large-scale migration of labour abroad.

The seminar was held to assess the economic contribution of labour migration in developing countries as well as nations of destination including Ghana, La Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, South Africa, Kyrgzyz Republic, Nepal, Thailand, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Argentina.

The four- year project, which began in 2014 was co-funded and jointly implemented by the European Commission, the OEDC Development Centre and the International Labour Organisation.

It was aimed at arriving at a reliable and evidence-based understanding of the economic impact of immigration in low and middle-income countries.

The four million Euros project would examine the contribution of migration to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and growth; study its impact on the labour market and the productive sector; and review the implications of immigration for public finances and services.

It also addresses the economic contribution of labour migration in South-South contexts as well as foster strong synergies and co-operation with public institutions, employers, academia and civil society actors in participating partner countries.

Mr Iddrisu said the importance of remittances as a by-product of labour migration could not be underestimated.

He said besides foreign direct investment and trade related earnings, migrant labour remittances constitute the largest financial flow into developing countries.

He said “remittances from Ghanaians outside have played an important role in the nation’s economic development. Conservative estimates by the Bank of Ghana show that migrant remittances received from abroad constitute approximately 13 per cent of the GDP in 2008 alone.

 

“On the flip side, however, the effect of some illegal immigrants on the economy has been devastating not only in job losses but also in crime-related activities,” he said.

Mr Iddrisu said reports by the media of some migrants destroying local farms, degrading the environment, polluting sources of water and sometimes engaging in antisocial behaviour  have been highlighted.

Mr Dennis Zulu, Officer-In-Charge of the ILO Country Office, said issue of migration is an important one on the ILO’s agenda.

He said migration is always misunderstood and most of the decisions taken on the issue is based on perception instead of data-based evidence and cited the current xenophobia attack on migrants in South Africa.

He pledged the commitment of the ILO to pursue its mandate on migration to ensure social protection and labour employment of migrant workers.

Mr William Hanna, European Union Ambassador, said there would be a political dialogue in Accra in two weeks’ time to discuss migration and its impact on migrant countries and countries of destination.

He said there are many positive aspects of migration, which each country could benefit from and expressed the need for research to be conducted in these areas.

About 7.6 per cent of Ghana’s total populations according to the 2010 census are immigrants.

The seminar would serve as a platform for dialogue and discussion on the importance of labour immigration and its linkage to development.

An earlier seminar was held in Côte d’Ivoire and seminars would be conducted soon in Rwanda and South Africa.

Source: GNA

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UDS, RING sign potatoes distribution contract https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/27/uds-ring-sign-potatoes-distribution-contract/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/27/uds-ring-sign-potatoes-distribution-contract/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 05:52:38 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=143796 The University for Development Studies (UDS) is to provide support for the multiplication and supply of 75,000 Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP) vines to beneficiaries of the Resiliency in Northern…

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PotatoesThe University for Development Studies (UDS) is to provide support for the multiplication and supply of 75,000 Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP) vines to beneficiaries of the Resiliency in Northern Ghana (RING) project.

This followed a sub-contract the Management of RING signed with authorities of UDS in Tamale on Tuesday enabling UDS to provide additional assistance to the project to ensure its effective and efficient implementation.

Under the multi-year sub-contract, which would expire in 2019, UDS would provide technical assistance for the RING project in areas of training agricultural extension agents, Women in Agricultural Development Officers and District Nutrition Officers on the technical aspects of production and utilisation of OFSPs in the 17 beneficiary districts in the Region.

OFSP cultivation is an income generating initiative that would also contribute to the nutritional gains amongst vulnerable households in the districts which include Central Gonja, Chereponi, East Gonja, East Mamprusi, Gushegu, Karaga, Kumbungu, Kpandai, Nanumba North and Nanumba South.

RING, which receives financial support from the United States Agency for International Development and Feed the Future programme, is a poverty reduction intervention designed to improve the nutrition and livelihood status of vulnerable households in the Region.

Madam Margaret Herro, Acting Chief of Party of RING, who signed on behalf of RING, said she was hopeful that the partnership with UDS would help ensure the success of the project.

Madam Herro announced new initiatives such as promoting small-scale drip irrigation, Infant and Young Child Feeding, citizen engagement mechanisms, and moringa cultivation would be implemented under the project this year.

Professor Gabriel Teye, Pro-Vice Chancellor of UDS, who signed on behalf of the university, said UDS the university is undertaking resilience and water, sanitation and hygiene programmes for the benefit of the rural poor and welcomed the partnership with RING as it is in line with its initiatives.

Source: GNA

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Court remands Gregory Afoko for alleged murder https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/26/court-remands-gregory-afoko-for-alleged-murder/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/26/court-remands-gregory-afoko-for-alleged-murder/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 20:08:53 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=143794 An Accra Central Magistrates’ Court, presided over By Mr Worlanyo Kotoku has refused a bail application filed by the counsel for Gregory Afoko, charged for conspiracy to commit crime and…

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LawAn Accra Central Magistrates’ Court, presided over By Mr Worlanyo Kotoku has refused a bail application filed by the counsel for Gregory Afoko, charged for conspiracy to commit crime and murder.

The accused person together with one Asabke Alangdi, now at large, have been accused of murdering the late Adams Mahama, former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Gregory, whose plea was not taken, would re-appear in court on Tuesday, June 9.

Mr Stephen Ampah-Korsah, the lead counsel for the accused person, initially raised an objection against the mentioning on the fact sheet, the name of Mr Paul Afoko, National Chairman of the NPP, and the senior brother of the accused person.

He said this could be pre-judicial, in the determination of the case, and prayed the court to order the amendment of the fact sheet.

The counsel in applying for bail, told the court that the object was not to secure the liberty of the accused person, but it was also meant to keep his fibre together in readiness for the trial.

“It is the period for the accused person to aid the defence counsel in the trial process, my lord we need the accused person around us.”

Police Superintendent Francis Baah, told the court that the accused person is a farmer and the younger brother of Mr Afoko.

He said during the early part of May, Mr Afoko and Mr  Kwabena Agyepong, the General Secretary of the party,  arrived in Bolgatanga, where the deceased organized some thugs to violently attack them, for scuttling the planned meeting to campaign against Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.

The prosecution said the situation was later brought under control by the police, but Gregory who was not impressed with the action by the regional chairman had a confrontations with him, until Gregory was chased out by the thugs.

Superintendent Baah said later Gregory and his accomplice mobilized some youth to form another group with their sole aim to protect party executives perceived to be against Nana Addo’s bid.

He said there were series of meetings and on May 20 Gregory and his accomplice armed with a substance in a gallon suspected to acid, laid ambush at the deceased residence when he was returning home around 11pm.

The prosecution said immediately the deceased saw them he parked his car in front of his house and the accused person and his accomplice went closer, signaled him to roll his glass, where him identified Gregory and his partner as party members.
“Suddenly, Gregory and his partner poured the substance on his head, face and other part of his body and fled on a motorbike,” he added.

He said wife of the deceased heard the screaming of the deceased and came to help him, where she managed to bring him out of the car and in the process, she sustained burns on the right side of the chest and breast.

Police Superintendent Baah said when the wife enquired from the husband what happened, the late Mahama told her that it was Gregory and his partner, who poured the substance on him.

He said the deceased, who could not withstand the pain, kept mentioning the names of the accused person and his partner, while he was rushed to the hospital.

While the deceased was being prepared to be airlift to Accra for an intensive care, he was pronounced dead.

The police later located the house of Gregory accomplice but his got wind of the information and absconded with his wife leaving behind their baby.

Meanwhile a gallon, which contained some of the substance and a plastic cup were retrieved at the scene and post mortem examination conducted on the deceased indicated shock lungs and extensive acid burns.

Source: GNA

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ILO, others to hold national consultation on labour immigration in Ghana https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/26/ilo-others-to-hold-national-consultation-on-labour-immigration-in-ghana/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/26/ilo-others-to-hold-national-consultation-on-labour-immigration-in-ghana/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 07:16:20 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=143785 The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the OECD Development Centre would on Tuesday, May 26, hold a national consultation meeting to assess the…

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ILOThe Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the OECD Development Centre would on Tuesday, May 26, hold a national consultation meeting to assess the economic contribution of labour immigration in Ghana.

The meeting, which would be held at the Alisa Hotel, under the project title “Assessing the Economic Contribution of Labour Migration in Developing Countries as Countries of Destination”, would be supported by the European Union.

A statement issued by ILO, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the project aimed at not only assessing the economic impact in the 10 partner countries in isolation, but also at sharing experiences and knowledge among developing countries.

It noted that an earlier seminar was held in Côte d’Ivoire, while similar seminars would be organised soon in Rwanda and South Africa.

“This seminar will serve as a platform for dialogue and discussion on the importance of labour immigration and its linkage to development,” it said

The event is also aimed at identifying key stakeholders, research priorities and available data sources in Ghana as well as knowledge gaps.

Participants would be engaged in interactive sessions on the immigration policy framework in Ghana and research on the economic impact of immigration in Ghana as well as the implementation of the project.

Source: GNA

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Energy crisis threatens employment – ICU https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/25/energy-crisis-threatens-employment-icu/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/25/energy-crisis-threatens-employment-icu/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 06:19:47 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=143765 The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) Ghana has observed that the country’s energy crisis is posing a serious threat to the Government’s National Employment and National Self-Employment policies. The…

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DumsorThe Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) Ghana has observed that the country’s energy crisis is posing a serious threat to the Government’s National Employment and National Self-Employment policies.

The Upper East Regional Industrial Relation Officer of ICU-Ghana, Mr Rudolph Agamu , who made the observation during a passing out ceremony of the graduates  of the  Ghana Hairdressers and Beauticians  Association(GHABA)  in Bolgatanga,  indicated that,  whilst many private sectors had laid off some of  their workers , others who  had  the intention of establishing their own companies could not do  so due to the energy crisis.

He said between January and March 2015, over 500 people lost their jobs because of the deepening energy crisis and worsening economic conditions.

“About 2,000 workers are likely to lose their jobs by June this year if the energy crisis and the business environment see no improvement. The revelation is based on the official communication the Union received from the over 60 major companies, made up of both local and multinationals in the country.

The companies are considering a complete shutdown.  Reasons for the imminent massive job losses are not far-fetched, but the current power crisis is said to have further compounded an already unfriendly business operating environment,” he indicated.

He said the informal sector, under the umbrella of ICU-Ghana, complemented government’s efforts   in job creation, particularly self-employment, but cannot do so now.

He cited for instance that, in June last year, a total of 150 apprentices in hairdressing and textiles hand weavers  passed out  within the Bolgatanga municipality but most of them could not start work due to the energy crisis, the national economic challenges, high interest rates and bank charges, among others.

He said in order to get the National Employment Policy effectively implemented; there was the urgent need for government to ensure regular supply of energy to industries to propel them to create jobs.

“The situation of combining the energy crisis with the implementation of the national employment policy would create a conflicting relation that will not help in national development.

The union urged government to pay serious attention to the power crisis”, and urged it, to as a matter of urgency organise a national forum on the power crisis to bring stakeholders together to deliberate and share ideas on the way to deal with the problem.

“Such a forum would bring experts, who have remained dormant all over the years to these national challenges, to help contribute workable solutions to the energy problems in the country”

He also called on the government to strengthen its trade policies, to save local industries from the threat it faces from imported goods.

He appealed to the Municipal and District Assemblies to construct markets in all the districts for people working in the informal sector to help sustain the economy.

Source: GNA

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Dr. Kofi Amoah calls for regulation to deal with interest rates in Ghana https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/24/dr-kofi-amoah-calls-for-regulation-to-deal-with-interest-rates-in-ghana/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/05/24/dr-kofi-amoah-calls-for-regulation-to-deal-with-interest-rates-in-ghana/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 17:06:00 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=143754 Dr Kofi Amoah, the Chief Executive Officer of Progeny Ventures, has called for a regulation that would prevent banks from investing more than 10 per cent of their deposit base…

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Dr. Kofi Amoah
Dr. Kofi Amoah

Dr Kofi Amoah, the Chief Executive Officer of Progeny Ventures, has called for a regulation that would prevent banks from investing more than 10 per cent of their deposit base in treasury bills.

He also suggested a ceiling of 15 per cent on bank lending rates and a five per cent interest payment on savings and current accounts.

Dr Amoah said regulation was needed to deal with the present high cost of credit and called on Parliament to discuss and enact laws that could help free funds to support and fast track private sector growth, create jobs and increase exports.

“Our economy is not presently well organised, nor is it mature enough to rely on market forces. We must regulate to help chart a more sensible, pragmatic and sustainable roadmap for our development,” Dr Amoah said at the launch of four banking products by Bond Savings and Loans Company.

The products are an insurance product, an investment product, electronic banking products and remittances.

Dr Amoah said what the country needed now are a set of policies that would make credit cheaper and available, to underpin business growth and expansion, as well as foster sustainable employment growth.

He said the availability of credit and affordability is essential and indispensable for business growth in all sectors of the economy.

He said the prevailing high lending rates in the country cannot and would never promote fast-track growth to help absorb the high levels of unemployment and also curtail the high levels of importation.

“The high interest rates must be tackled once and for all so as not to derail, delay and hamper Ghana’s efforts to develop,” he said.

Dr Amoah also called on government to borrow to undertake projects only if the cash flow from it can service and retire the debt, otherwise the ever-increasing debt-level will put a halt towards progress.

On the emerging financial services industry, Dr Amoah called on the Bank of Ghana to introduce effective and forward-looking regulations to strengthen the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) and the e-zwich card to become a trusted modern platform that can respond well to the needs and habits of the public.

He encouraged BoG to consider and permit some limited level of outbound money transfer service and help make Ghana a money transfer hub in the region.

Mr George Ofosuhene, the Chief Executive Officer of Bond Savings and Loans Company, said the company is on track to become a Universal Bank.

He said the launch of the products was to offer customers convenience and one stop shop for all their transactions.

The Bond Duapa offers a range of investment products designed for individuals, corporate organisations, enterprises and Associations at very attractive interest rates. It is designed to encourage individuals to put aside part of their monthly earnings for the future.

The Bond Easy Ensure allows for upfront payment of insurance premiums on behalf of clients in convenient installments.

Other products launched were Internet banking, inward remittances and mobile money services.

Source: GNA

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