Wednesday, Nov 13

Ghana Alert for Budget 2020 Presentation Today

What is Happening 

All eyes will be on Parliament today Wednesday, November 13, 2018, as the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, presents the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government for the year ending December 31, 2020.

 The budget presentation is scheduled to start at exactly 10:00 am on the floor of Parliament.

Members of Parliament are urged to avail themselves for the budget statement reading.

Are you buckled up for government’s plans for 2020?

The presentation of the budget statement is in accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution.

Article 179 (1) stipulates that: “The President shall cause to be prepared and laid before Parliament at least one month before the end of the financial year, estimates of the revenues and expenditures of the Government of Ghana for the following financial year.”

There have been many calls by different organizations, institutions, and other individual groups to factor their outfits in the budget to be presented.

The 2020 budget is expected to focus on ‘Sustaining gains made over the years.’

Source: Ghana Crusader

Ghana Gov’t Issues GHC45 million for 2020 Population and Housing Census

What Happened?

The government of the Republic of Ghana has allocated an amount of GHC45 million for the preparatory activities of the 2020 Population and Housing Census, Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, has said.

An amount of$1 million has been invested by government in the Trial Census ahead of the main census in 2020.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the support forms part of government's commitment to resource the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) to enable the Service to produce official statistics for development plans.

The Minister announced this on Tuesday to mark this year's African Statistics Day in Accra which was held under the theme: "Everyone Counts; Quality Statistics for Better Management of Forced Displacement in Africa.”

With this huge amount invested, can we envisage a better population and housing census operation in 2020?

Mr Ofori-Atta said the 2000 and 2010 Census has underscored several development initiatives including the conduct of the national elections in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 and the allocation and creation of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.

He explained that, government is expectant that the 2020 Population and Housing Census would provide a reliable database for policy reviews and systematic improvement in the implementation of government's intervention such as 'Planting for Food and Jobs and the Nation's Building Corps.

He then entreated the public to accord the Census Officers the needed co-operation in the upcoming 2020 Population and Housing Census for a successful exercise.

"It is every individual's civic duty to support the 2020 Census because correct and accurate data will assist our national, metropolitan, municipal and district authorities to make effective plans for the country's educational, health and other socio-economic services,” he added.

He stressed that government is committed to improving the Ghana Statistics Department Plan which aims to align the development of the country’s statistical system with the wider poverty-focused national development programmes and global reporting requirements.

Also, Professor Samuel K. Annim, Government Statistician, said the GSS has engagement with the Office of National Statistics, UK, Statistics Denmark, and the Norwegian National Statistical Office to learn from best practices and enhance the country's statistics.

He added that the Service remains resolute in adhering to the tenets of the production and the use of quality statistics and engagement with institutions including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Source: Ghana News Agency

SEC Instructs Customers of Defunct Fund Management Firms to Go for validation at CBG Today

WHO SAID WHAT?

The Deputy Director-General for The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Paul Ababio has assured customers of collapsed fund management firms that in terms of the way forward, they are working with CBG to ensure that investors can file their claims from today at Consolidated Banks of Ghana (CBG) branches. Once they’ve done the validation, they will make some funds available which will also be announced to the general public.

He added that text messages will be sent to customers informing them of the processes to receive their money once their documents are validated. He, however, said emphatically that the initial payments will only cover the principal of customers.

When confronted on claims by Dr. Paa Kwesi Ndoum, founder of Gold Coast fund management that SEC has refused to help him access his locked-up funds from the government he replied that “Our role is not debt collection. Our role is to ensure that the industry is behaving properly.” He added. And that the SEC after analyzing the issues noticed that the debt was complicated since some of the debt liabilities were borne by the defunct GN Bank. He made this known as he confirmed receiving a letter by the founder of Gold Coast to help in the retrieval of government debt.

Can customers breathe a sigh of relief knowing they can claim their principal?

It can be recalled that on Friday, 8th November 2019 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked the operating licenses of 53 fund management firms which led to a public uproar on the impact of this action on investors, heads of these institutions and employees.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (‘the Commission’) was established by the Securities Industry Act, 2016 (Act 929) (‘the Act’) with the objective to regulate and promote the growth and development of an efficient, fair and transparent securities market in which investors and the integrity of the market are protected.

As the cries of customers have been heard, what measures are being put in place to restore the employment status of former employees?

Court Rejects Bail Request for The 9 Alleged Coup Plotters, Lawyer Insists His Clients Were Entrapped.

WHAT HAPPENED?

On Monday, 11th November, 2019 during an application of bail for the nine alleged coup plotters, their lawyer Mr Victor Kodzoga Adawudu, told the Accra High Court that his clients were lured by a military officer known as Sule who is a member of the Take Action Ghana (TAG) into procuring the said guns. This directive from Sule was as a result of the group members being attacked during an outreach programme in the Upper East Region. He stressed that it was on this basis the group invited one of the accused persons from Alavanyo in the Volta Region to manufacture guns to be used to protect the group. According to the lawyer “The next day, this same Sule came with security men to have the accused arrested,” he insisted that his clients were entrapped and reminded the court that they are good citizens who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

He explained that TAG is an NGO whose sole purpose is to educate people on social and governance issues which includes Lawyers, soldiers, taxi drivers, just to mention a few. He then requested that the court grant his clients bail because the prosecution did not have any solid case against them.

Who is Sule and could this truly be an entrapment?

Mr. Victor Kodzoga Adawudu stated that Sule was said to be on the run but he believed he was still in the military walking freely buttressing the fact that this was an entrapment plot.

His arguments were debunked by Senior State Attorney, Ms. Hilda Craig, who then urged the court to dismiss them. According to her, the case was not just a mere allegation but that there was evidence that TAG “planned, plotted and agreed to overthrow the government” and wondered why an NGO would procure weapons.

His bail request for his clients Colonel Samuel Kodzo Gameli, Warrant Officer II Esther Saan Dekuwine, Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon, Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, Donyo Kafui, aka Ezor, and Bright Alan Debrah was rejected by the court.

Source: graphiconline

81k customers affected in Latest License Revocation Exercise- SEC reveals

The Deputy Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Paul Ababio told JoyNews on Monday that about ¢8b investments of 81,700 clients, made up of 44,000 institutional customers and 7,700 retail customers are some of the full impacts of the revocation of the Licenses of some 53 firms. 

The revocation of the licences, according to the regulator, is to protect the integrity of the securities market and investors.
At a stakeholder meeting on Friday, before releasing a list of the affected companies, the Director-General of the SEC, Rev. Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, said troubled securities firms that have still not been able to address concerns raised about their operations over the years, are among those affected by the action.

The Deputy Director, however, postulated that jobs may not be heavily affected by the actions of the Securities and Exchange commission. His optimism was fueled by the fact that the regulator had licenced only 249 investment operators.
Of the above number, some had ceased working because their firms had collapsed before the SEC action.  “And then we had the remaining firms, some of whom had downsised,” he added.

Explaining the actions of the regulator in relation to job losses, he said their actions rather portend well for employment.  According to him, this action would rather create jobs. "We considered that protecting investors and having a stronger capital market coming out of this action, will create so many jobs for the lawyers, accountants and service providers,“ he maintained.

What happens to investment losses incurred due to this action by SEC and can the investment industry survive banking sector reforms?

It would be recalled that SEC, in April 2019, revoked the licences of some five investment companies; namely, Georgetown Capital Partners Ltd, Equity Capital Ltd, Index Analytics Ltd, DM Capital Ltd, and Oxygen Advisory Ltd. In pursuant to Section 122 of the Securities Industry Act, 2016 (Act 929). Mr Ababio spoke on the sides of Stanlib Dialogues 2019 on the theme ‘Surviving the Storm: Can the investment industry survive banking sector reforms?'
The event, organised by Stanbic Bank Ghana’s asset management arm, Stanlib Ghana, brought together representatives from across the financial sector, who discussed the health of the country’s investment banking industry.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

$2.3B Construction of Accra SkyTrain Project, Gov’t Signs Concession Agreement

What Happened?

The deal was signed on Monday 11th November, on the sidelines of the ongoing African Investment Forum. At the signing ceremony, President Akufo-Addo described it as “a happy day for Ghana and her good people.” He added that it was a “critical step towards the consummation of this project.”

The signing of the SkyTrain agreement means feasibility studies are required to determine the bankability of the project will commence soon. The President further expressed his gratitude to the SkyTrain Consortium for backing the project which “is meeting an important infrastructural need.” In his submission, he said, “That is what we are hoping for so that the people of Ghana benefit from the progress and the relief that a modern system of transport in our capital city is going to bring.” revealed that the vision of the President included the construction of inner-city rails.

He added that other approvals needed for the project to fully take off will be given to make sure that construction starts. “What we have signed is a concession agreement but we still have some work to do. We will work hard and work together. We think it is achievable, we must make it work,” Mr. Ghartey said.

The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, in his remarks, said, “What you are witnessing is very significant in another sense, this is Africa to Africa investment. This is an investment of 2.3 billion dollars made up of a consortium of South African investors that are investing in another African country.”

Will the construction of a SkyTrain ease road traffic congestion in Accra?

SkyTrain systems are pre-fabricated using precision moulded, pre-stressed reinforced concrete components that are capable of being installed at a very rapid rate, meaning that there is minimal disruption and congestion in the urban area that is undergoing installation and commissioning. The proposed SkyTrain initiative in Accra provides for the development of five routes, four of which are comprised of radial routes that originate at the proposed SkyTrain Terminal, at the heart of Accra, at a newly developed Kwame Nkrumah circle, and one route that provides and intra-city commuter loop distribution service, also emanating from Circle.

Expected to ease the increasing road traffic congestion in Accra and boost economic activities in the capital city, the project envisages a total track length across all routes of 194 kilometres.

The African Investment SkyTrain Consortium is made up of Wilson Bayly Holmes, a construction engineering company in South Africa; BUNENGI Group, a project development company focused on developing projects in infrastructure; and Ai Capital, the investment and financing arm of the Ai Group, one of the most influential international investment banking advisory groups focused on Africa.

Source: Citinewsroom & Graphic Online

Halima Dangote, 2nd Daughter of Business Mogul, Appointed as Executive Director in charge of Operations at Dangote Industries Limited.

Halima Dangote, the second daughter of Nigerian business mogul Aliko Dangote, has been appointed as the Group Executive Director, Commercial Operations of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) one of Africa's largest and most diversified business conglomerates. Until this appointment, Halima has served as the Executive Director of Dangote Flour Mills where she remarkably led the turnaround of the business from loss in turnover to a profitable status – a feat derived from consistent high performance over time.

In a statement released by Dangote Industries Limited, her new role has been outlined. “In her new role, Halima will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of the Dangote Group’s customer strategy to drive customer growth, improve customer relationship management, enhance customer experience and increase long term customer value.”  It further added that “Halima, who has a strong passion for women empowerment, holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Marketing from the American Intercontinental University, London, United Kingdom and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Webster Business School, United Kingdom.’’

‘She has attended a number of high-profile leadership development programmes including: the Programme for Leadership Development (PLD) at Harvard Business School; Executive Development Programme at Kellogg School of Management; Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Executives at Columbia Business School. The Dangote Group, which recently emerged as the Most Admired African Brand and the Most Valuable Brand in Nigeria for the second consecutive year (2018 – 2019) is actively involved in manufacturing cement, sugar, salt, flour, poly-products as well as logistics, oil & gas and real estate,” it further stated.

Halima will also be responsible for the implementation of the Group’s shared services strategy with specific oversight for the following functions – Commercial, Strategic procurement, Administration and Branding & Communications.

In light of this development, what should be expected of the new management of DIL?

Previously, she served as Executive Director of NASCON, a manufacturer of salt, seasonings and related consumer products, which are enjoying huge patronage among consumers. She continues to serve as a Non-Executive Director of NASCON. Halima Aliko Dangote returns to the Group after serving on secondment in several capacities across two of its Business Units over the last five years as well as serving as a Trustee of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the conglomerate.

Source: Daily Trust

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