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Vodafone fixed broadband customers protest capped system

Fixed Broadband customers of Vodafone Ghana have sworn to keep gathering at the headquarters of the telco until the capped broadband system is reversed. 

The group, calling itself the Internet Users Association of Ghana, gathered at the Vodafone Accra North office, moved to the head office at Airport city where they were prevented from entering the premises by the police. 

They later moved to the Ministry of Communication to present a petition to the ministry to stop Vodafone from capping fixed broadband packages at higher prices. 

The group leader, Chris Azu described the capping system as arbitrary because Vodafone has increased prices by about 270% in some cases without consulting customers and other stakeholders. 

He said and the move was only intended by Vodafone to make profit while widening the digital divide, preventing innovation.

They have suggested that Vodafone should maintain the unlimited data package for GHC70 at a speed of 2megabits/sec, and the package for GHC180 at a spee…

Newmont spends GH¢ 1.3 million on water and sanitation

Newmont Golden Ridge Akyem Project has by the end of the year spent about GH¢ 1.3 Million on expanding and rehabilitation of water and sanitation in its operation communities.

The expansion included the provision of 13 boreholes drilled in all the project impacted communities.

In addition, the company has provided one mechanized borehole each for the New Abirem and Afosu Senior High Schools and the New Abirem Government Hospital.

Mr Oduro-Kwarteng Marfo, the External Relations Manager, Akyem Project, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Koforidua that the company was also constructing 285m high level water reservoir at Afosu, which is 95 percent complete to support the existing water storage facilities for the project affecting communities.

He said the year had seen vast improvement in all areas not only on water and sanitation but also infrastructural development, health, education and security.

Mr Oduro-Kwarteng said under health, the company had constructed two eight-unit nurses’ quarter…

FPSO capacity under threat as crude production levels rise significantly

The Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) has said it expects crude oil production level at the Jubilee Oil Field to reach the long-awaited 120,000 barrels a day level by close of this year and that poses a threat to the FPSO.

Production has shot up significantly over the past few weeks from around 90,000 barrels a day to around 110,000 barrels a day currently. 

Director of Operations at GNPC, Thomas Manu explained that this would be the first time the FPSO would be tested to its full design capacity. 

“Measures have been put in place to boost production to the optimum level and they have proven so efficient that the amount of crude oil being drilled may soon be too much for the FPSO to handle,” he said.

The 120,000 barrels of crude oil production a day have long eluded the operators of the Jubilee Field, but it seems the company has managed to overcome that challenge, and officials are now worried about the capacity of the FPSO to handle the expected boost. 

Mr. Manu noted that there wa…

GOIL, Soroptimists give water to communities

GOIL, in collaboration with Soroptimists International Club of Accra has provided potable water for two deprived communities, Korleman and Manchie, in the Ga West Municipal area.

In a brief speech to commission the mechanized borehole at the two communities on Thursday, 20th December, 2012, Mr. Cyril Opon, Corporate Affairs Manager of GOIL said, “clean water is very essential to health and development so when the club approached GOIL to assist in the project, the company did not hesitate to provide the assistance as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.”

He added that GOIL and Soroptimists International Club have teamed up in the past to provide social services for deprived communities and called on residents of the two communities to take very good care of the boreholes.

Dr. Irene Sogbodjor, President of the Soroptimists International Club of Accra commended GOIL for their assistance in the project and urged leaders of the two communities to charge a minimal fee which w…

Ghanaian becomes first African to receive international forestry award

International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), a global network of forest research scientists and forest related institutions, has awarded Dr Joseph Rexford Cobbinah, former Director of the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, for promoting for promoting activities of the group.

He is the first African to receive the prestigious award, established in 1896.

A citation accompanying it said Dr Cobbinah has been known for “mentoring and guiding young research scientists and had been an initiator and great promoter of IUFRO activities not only in Africa but beyond the continent”.

IUFRO unites about 15,000 research scientists in 700 academic and research institutions in 110 countries throughout the world.

Its main objective is to promote cooperation in forest and forest-related research globally, through research, dissemination and application of research results and recognizing outstanding contributions of scientists. GNA

Bik Micro Finance Co. Ltd marks 1st anniversary; promises a revolution in micro finance industry

Bik Micro Finance Company Limited, a new micro finance company promising to revolutionarise the microfinance industry has marked its first anniversary with pump and pageantry.

The company held a first anniversary and awards dinner night Saturday with a renewed vigour to live up to its audacious ambition to introduce far reaching reforms in the industry.

Speaking at the dinner, the Chairman of Bik Micro Finance Company, Maxwell Addo, said the ability of the company to brave the turbulence in the industry, especially for beginners, was a clear demonstration of its resilience.

He said he was confident the company would, in the not-too-distant future, rub shoulders with the so-called big players in the industry.

The Chief Executive of the company, Mr Bright Mark Kelly, agreeing with Mr Addo on the turbulent micro finance environment, said one of the biggest challenges confronting the sector was sourcing funds for on-lending to borrowers at reasonable interest rates.

Because micro finance compa…

SEC awaits passage of new securities law for a possible change of external auditors of listed companies

The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC is awaiting the passage of the revised Securities Industries Law before it can direct listed companies to change their external auditors. 

This comes after the Bank of Ghana and the National Insurance Commission directed their respective players to change the external auditors they have been working with for more than five years. 

Following that were calls for the SEC to also follow-suit and the Director General, Adu Anane Antwi has welcomed the proposal. He however explains to JOY-BUSINESS it can be implemented only after the revised Securities law comes into force. 

“Auditors role has come to the fore these days against the fall of Enron and others. So to ensure that people have confidence in the audit reports that are issued out, it is key the independence of the audit firms is also safeguarded. This is especially because the idea is if one auditing firm audits a firm for far too long they become so close to the company which affects their i…

HSBC has admitted its money laundering controls have been too lax

HSBC has confirmed it is to pay US authorities $1.9bn (£1.2bn) in a settlement over money laundering, the largest paid in such a case.

A US Senate investigation said the UK-based bank had been a conduit for "drug kingpins and rogue nations".

Money laundering is the process of disguising the proceeds of crime so that the money cannot be linked to the wrongdoing.

HSBC admitted having poor money laundering controls and apologised.

"We accept responsibility for our past mistakes," said HSBC group chief executive Stuart Gulliver in a statement.

"We have said we are profoundly sorry for them, and we do so again."

The bank said it had spent $290m on improving its systems to prevent money laundering and clawed back some bonuses paid to senior executives in the past. 

It also said it expected to reach an agreement with the UK's Financial Services Authority shortly.

Last month it announced it had set aside $1.5bn to cover the costs of any settlement or fines.

The news f…

National Insurance Commissioner seeks micro and agric insurers for Ghana

The National Insurance Commission has signaled its desire to license more insurance companies provided that they are willing to offer micro and agricultural insurance services. 

42 insurance companies currently serve Ghana, but only 3% of the country’s population is covered by insurance policies. The Commission had recently put a hold on the issuance of new licenses as part of an effort to restructure the sector. 

Insurance Commissioner Nyamikeh Kyimah spoke to the Commission’s hopes of seeing the industry develope as she extended the invitation to foreign insurance firms.

She explained that she urges any foreign firms entering Ghana’s market to partner with an existing local insurance provider rather than entering the fray alone. 

Such a move, she said, could benefit the foreign company because their Ghanaian partner will be established here. The Ghanaian firms in question stand to benefit from the import of new practices and technologies. Source: myjoyonline.com

Akosombo Textiles Limited closed down

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has closed down two textile manufacturing companies — Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL ) and Akotex Synthetics Limited — for failing to live up to their tax obligations for the past four years.

The two companies, which are under the same management, owe the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax close to GH¢9 million in taxes, penalties and interest since 2009.

While ATL’s indebtedness is GH¢5,714,560.65, ASL would have to cough up GH¢3,187,718.24.

According to the GRA, the two companies had breached all agreements aimed at keeping them in business while they fulfilled their tax obligations .

Acting on a distress order issued by the Commissioner-General of the GRA on November 28, 2012, officials of the GRA arrived on the premises of ATL at Accra Central at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday to lock up the premises, but employees at the company’s front desk pleaded for time to contact their bosses at Akosombo.

That was granted, but after almost an hour when t…

Presidential candidates get ready to vote

By Fred Sarpong
The eight candidates vying for Ghana’s presidency are getting ready to cast their ballots come tomorrow Friday, December 7.

With electioneering campaigns officially closed midnight Wednesday, all the political parties have rounded off their activities with some of the presidential candidates expected to travel to their constituencies across the country to cast their votes.
Incumbent president and presidential candidate for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama is travelling to Bole Bamboi in the Northern Region to cast his vote while the presidential candidate for the main opposition party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) leaves Accra today for Abuakwa in the Eastern Region, where he will cast his vote.
Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) will vote at Elmina in the Central Region with Dr. Abu Sakara, the presidential candidate for the Convention People’s Party (CPP) trekking to Damongo in…

Stanbic Bank to empower local contractors with Caterpillar equipment

Local contractors across all sectors of the economy are now expected to be better positioned to compete more-favourably with their foreign counterparts.

This is mainly in terms of equipment supply through a special arrangement between Stanbic Bank and Mantrac Ghana, the sole authorized local dealer in Caterpillar equipment. 

This is possible through a partnership between the bank’s parent company, Standard Bank Group and Caterpillar Financial Services in 6 African countries including Ghana. 

Speaking to JOY BUSINESS after the launch the Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, Alhassan Andani described the move as timely for the country’s development agenda. 

“Infrastructure is the key to economic development. So we’ve heard of the Eastern corridor, Oil and Gas infrastructure, dams for irrigation and Ports and Habours expansion. These are massive infrastructure projects and we all know that its always the foreign contractors who are able to use their bigger financial muscle outside to land the …

Ghana falls low in usage of Mobile Commerce

By Fred SARPONG A survey conducted by Ericsson Consumer Lab in Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa has shown that Ghana recorded a low patronage of Mobile Commerce service in the country. The data used for this report has a representative sampling of the population aged 16 to 60 and is based on 526 face-to-face interviews in Ghana, 502 face-to-face interviews in Tanzania and 1020 face-to-face interviews in South Africa. Quantitative fieldwork and extensive in-depth interviews with 31 consumers evenly distributed in three markets were conducted in Ghana (Accra), South Africa (Johannesburg), and Tanzania (Dar-Es-Salaam). According to the report, interview persons were chosen to represent the financial scope of urban consumers, and were both users and non-users of mobile commerce. BusinessWeek learnt that top three fields of current m-commerce use in these three countries were transfer money, buy airtime and pay for electricity (Tanzania); access account information, transfer money and buy airti…