Tuesday, Dec 10

GRA Confiscates Smuggled Goods on a Yutong bus

What Happened?

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the Upper East Region has impounded goods that were being smuggled into Ghana from Togo.

On Sunday, a Yutong bus believed to be coming from Togo and heading towards Bolgatanga, was impounded at the Balungu Barrier in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region, Daily Guide reports.

The bus with registration number GN 2526-10 had on board textiles, pharmaceuticals, motorbike spare parts, bags of rice, solar lighting and decoders, all of which have no proper customs documentation.

As Christmas approaches officials of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service say many traders are using various illegal and unapproved means to bring in goods.

Did removing road barriers cause more harm?

Assistant Commissioner, Ghana Revenue Authority, Customs Division in the Upper East Region, Baffour Yaw Asare in an interaction with journalists in Bolgatanga ahead of the Christmas festivity, said the removal of the barriers from the roads was just a way of making transportation of goods faster.

“Even though the barriers were off the roads, importers still have the responsibility to pay their duties and use the right route to get their goods into the country.”

Source: Myjoyonline

5-year-old boy Killed in fire outbreak

WHAT HAPPENED?

The Ghana News Agency at Mamponteng has confirmed that last Saturday night at Ahwiaa Over-Seas, in the Kwabre-East District of Ashanti Region, a five-year-old boy whose name was only given as Bernard died as a result of a fire outbreak that gutted the house he and his 12-year-old sister were in. Also an estimated property worth of thousands of Ghana cedis was lost to the fire.

According to authorities present at the scene, the cause of the fire is not immediately known. However, they reported that it took firemen from Mampongteng, more than two hours to douse the fire. The Divisional Officer Grade 1 (DO1), Adjei Fofie also denied the allegation of some residents who said it “took two hours for the firemen to respond to calls about the fire outbreak.” He then said that residents placed their call to 191 which was an ambulance service instead of 192.

Why are most citizens not acquainted with these emergency numbers?

Some mobile phone and network users have registered and saved the numbers of these emergency services on their sim cards and phones, so anyone who uses that brand of phone or sim could easily reach these services. All network providers in Ghana should be encouraged to do so.

Authorities should also make a conscious effort to hammer these numbers into the skull of the citizens either through billboards on high ways, in movies, on radio and any platform that people go to for credible information.

Source:myjoyonline

Ghana to Host Key AfCFTA Meetings Henceforth.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) seeks to increase intra-African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade within the African continent and as such, Ghana, under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry will from today start hosting a series of meetings for African Trade Ministers and Senior Trade Officials to advance the cause of the African Continental Free Trade Area.  It is estimated that intra-African trade will increase by as much as $35 billion per annum or 52 per cent by 2022.

An official statement, issued by the Public Relations Office of the Ministry of Trade, and copied to the Ghana News Agency last Saturday, stated that the three-day meeting would be followed by the 10th meeting of the Committee of Senior Trade Officials which comes off from December 12 to 13, 2019. The African Ministers of Trade Meeting and the AfCFTA Council of Ministers Meeting will follow from December 14 to 15, 2019.

According to the statement, ‘The 17th African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Negotiating Forum will seek to finalize outstanding works on phase one negotiations which deals with the trade in goods and services protocols as well as dispute settlement mechanisms. Technical Working Groups on investments, competition policy and intellectual property rights will also be established.’

Will Ghana as host country boost intra-African trade?

The statement also explained that “At the Council of Ministers Meeting, attention will be paid to the consideration of the report of the meeting of the Senior Trade Officials as well as consideration of work plans and budgets of the interim AfCFTA Secretariat and the permanent Secretariat.’’ It further stated that “The AfCFTA is operational, with Ghana as the host country, at a time when Ghana is implementing a comprehensive industrial transformation plan to diversify the production base of the economy to take advantage of the enormous market access opportunities available under preferential terms for Ghanaian and other producers in Africa.”

The AfCFTA is a Single Market (Duty-free, Quota-free) covering the entire African Continent with a total population of 1.2 billion and a combined GDP of almost $3 trillion.

Source: Graphic Online

Water Bus Transport System to be Introduced in Ghana - Coastal Development Authority

What's New?

The Coastal Development Authority is considering a proposal to develop a ‘sea bus’ system to promote transportation between coastal regions.

The Authority is hoping to conveniently move people and goods along the coast via this system and consequently ease traffic along the N1.

Deputy Chief Executive of the Authority, Mona Gertrude Effah has mentioned that there are ongoing talks for a possible Public-Private-Partnership arrangement for the service to be pioneered in the country.

In an interview with Citi News, she said, “We have decided to come up with something called marine transport from the Volta Region to the Western Region…. We are going to have a sort of a ship that can carry goods and passengers and we are going to ensure that we have transit points along the route from Volta to the Western Region.” 

“This is a PPP arrangement. It is not going to be funded by the Government of Ghana [GoG]. We have the mandate to partner with private investors to come in,” she added.

Is Ghana ready for a water bus transport system?

The most dominant means of transport in Ghana is by road, estimated to be moving more than 80 per cent of passengers and goods within and between cities. Currently, the only known public commercial watercraft transport in Ghana is the inland ferry operations by the Volta Lake Transport Company Limited (VLTC) which operates ferries conveying passengers and goods on the Volta Lake.

According to Ms. Effah, the Authority believes that such a venture will boost economic activities especially in communities where the ship will dock.

“This we think will help in another way to boost the economic activities in the various areas that these ships will be landing…It is not an overly ambitions thing…It is going to help the people along the coast,” she said.

In addition, Ms. Effah has said the sea bus will help reduce road accidents and also ensure highly flammable products such as fuel is transported in a safer manner.

Source: Citi News

Tullow CEO Resigns for Failing to Meet Production Benchmark

What Happened?

The Chief Executive Officer, Paul McDade, and exploration director Angus McCoss of Tullow Oil Plc quit after the company cut its production outlook and suspended the dividend. The shares tumbled, deepening their loss for the year to more than 60%.

Paul McDade and exploration chief, Angus McCoss resigned with immediate effect, marking the exit of Tullow’s old guard after founder Aidan Heavey departed last year. Both had been stalwarts at the company for over a decade, presiding over discoveries from West Africa to Guyana, but also a slew of recent operational setbacks.

“Whilst financial performance has been solid, production performance has been significantly below expectations from the group’s main producing assets, the TEN and Jubilee fields in Ghana,” London-based Tullow said Monday. Group output next year is forecast at 70,000 to 80,000 barrels a day — down from the 87,000 a day expected for this year — and production for the following three years will hover around the bottom of that range.

What has accounted for the field’s poor production?

The executive departures come after a year of disappointments at Tullow, where technical difficulties have hampered output in Ghana, projects in Uganda and Kenya have faced delays and results from wells in Guyana missed expectations. The company reduced its 2019 production forecast several times as the glitches in Ghana dragged on.

Mark MacFarlane, executive vice president of East Africa and non-operated, has been appointed a chief operating officer in a non-board role, according to a Tullow statement. Les Wood continues as a chief financial officer. It has also been gathered that the board has started a process to find a new CEO and is talking to internal and external candidates.

The company will reduce capital expenditure, operating costs and corporate overheads, it said. It sees underlying free cash flow next year of at least $150 million at $60 a barrel after a capital investment of about $350 million.

CFO Wood said that Tullow is in a “strong financial position” and that “reducing our debt pile will continue to be our priority.” He conceded that “in the short-term, it will be going a little slower.”

Source: Ghanaweb

GH₵15.6 billion Support to be given to the Ministry of Finance

WHAT HAPPENED?

In a letter signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo and addressed to Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, an executive approval has been given by the President on a GH₵15.6 billion expenditure to support the Ministry of Finance in protecting depositors and investors of failed financial institutions.

The ministry believes that this support will help Ghana’s banking sector to become a more resilient one.

What brought about this financial aid?

This letter was a response to a request to the president by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta after the financial and banking sector saw a massive sanitizing coupled with the collapse of about 420 financial institutions in Ghana. An action enforced by the Bank of Ghana, in collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to clean out all fraudulent and financial institutions whose muscles were weak and could not live up to the new standard set by the regulator.

Source: Peacefmonline

Gov’t must put an end to making excuses for corruption – Mahama

In a statement to mark International Anti-Corruption Day, Former President, John Dramani Mahama has urged the Akufo-Administration to stop making excuses when it comes to combating corruption. “We will strengthen and make the anti-corruption agencies work without fear or favor. If we are to win the fight against corruption, Government must stop making excuses as a coverup for the increasing cases of corruption. President Akufo-Addo’s practice of “clearing” corrupt appointees and hamper investigations must stop,” he maintained.

Speaking to the issue, he further stated that “We shall protect the rights of our people to expose corruption and undertake to investigate credible allegations that come to our attention. No journalist will be killed, live in fear or flee the country because of their investigative reporting.”

Has government been negligent in dealing with corruption?

The former President also assured Ghanaians that the NDC will show more commitment in the corruption fight if it comes into government should the opposition party win the upcoming 2020 elections.

Ghana’s performance on the Transparency International corruption perception index increased by a point to 41 in 2018, from its 2017 score of 40, leaving the country with a ranking of 78 out of 180 countries; an improvement from 2017’s rank of 81.

Source: CitiNews

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