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Showing posts from October, 2016

Vodafone fined a record £4.6 million for IT blunder

A top-up error left pay-as-you-go customers out of pocket and complaints were mishandled
Vodafone has been fined a record £4.6 million by the telecoms watchdog forleaving thousands of customers out of pocket in a disastrous IT blunder.
Ofcom found that the operator mishandled complaints and failed to pay into the accounts of more than 10,000 pay-as-you-go customers when they topped up their credit.
The top-up error, which cost customers £150,000 over 17 months in 2014 and 2015, stemmed from the moving of 28.5 million accounts to a new billing system.Errors in billing data and price plans caused so much protest that it made Vodafone the most complained-about mobile network in Britain.The technical issues were resolved by April 2015 and all accounts are now on the new system, Vodafone said.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said:“Vodafone’s failings were serious and unacceptable, and these fines send a clear warning to all telecoms companies.”
The company says that it has ref…

Enterprise Life inaugurates social centre for Kumasi SOS village

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Enterprise Life and Sanlam South Africa together with SOS Children’s Villages Ghana have jointly inaugurated a newly constructed social centre at the SOS Children’s Village, Kumasi in the Ashanti region.
The project, valued at GHc485,000.00 forms part of Enterprise Life and Sanlam-South Africa’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) to promote quality education and health for vulnerable children in Ghana.
The newly established social centre provides a suitable multi-purpose facility with a spacious auditorium among others to host different social activities related to child growth and development and will cater for both SOS children and students of the Hermann Gmeiner School.
The centre also offers the beneficiaries the opportunity to freely socialize and participate actively in educational oriented activities such as school concerts, art exhibitions and workshops.
The Executive Director of Enterprise Life, Mrs. Jacqueline Benyi expressed satisfaction that her outf…

About 6.0% Ghanaians undecided to vote in 2016 election- NCCE survey

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
About 6.0% Ghanaians says they have not decided to vote or not to vote for the forthcoming Presidential elections in December 7, 2016, NCCE Matters of Concern to the Ghanaian voter survey has reveal.
However, 4.3% Ghanaians are saying they will not vote at all for this election while about 89.7% of the populates are of optimistic to vote this year. The respondents reasons why they were not sure of voting includes that political parties keep disappointing the electorate, recording as the highest percentage of 34.5%. The second highest percentage of 24.7% was respondents not having interest in voting.
Some of the reasons were economic hardship/high cost of living 7.6%, yet to evaluate party’s manifestos 6.9%, uncertain of being around on the voting day 4.0%, I have not transferred my vote/may not go to the polling station 3.1%, due to old age/ill-health 2.2%, problems at the polling station 2.2%, lost ID card 2.0%, voting is secret and confidential 0.9%, don’t know 5.6%…

CIMG holds strategic marketing conference

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG)’s annual strategic marketing conference will take place at the Golden Tulip hotel in Accra between October 26 and 27, 2016.
The conference is part of the institute’s mission to improve on the performance of marketers, professionals and administrators within corporate Ghana. The theme for the conference; “Democracy and National Cohesion: Marketing a new Political Paradigm.”
Mr. Kwabena Akuamoah Agyekum, the Executive Director of CIMG said the conference seeks to promote the CIMG advocacy mission to impact on professional, corporate organizations and officialdom.
He mentioned that four resource persons are billed to present papers over the two day event covering very exciting and insightful segments of the theme under the chairmanship of the Marketing Woman for Year 2015, Ms. Maidie Elizabeth Arkutu, Managing Director of Unilever and Dr. Doris Dartey, a Media Consultant. Mr. Agyekum said the speakers will include Mr.…

Taxes/tariffs are least issues of concern to the voter

...But a tax expert says it’s not surprise.
By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Taxes/tariffs are among the least issues of concern to the electorate for the December 7, 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The taxes/tariffs with 2% were among the bottom five ranked issues by respondents during the National Communication for Civic Education (NCCE’s) ‘matters of concern to the Ghanaian voter survey. The rest are Social Services with 2.5%, Housing 1.5%, ICT and Sports with 0.3% each.
But a tax expert, Abdullah Ali-Nakyea said it’s not surprise to see this result from the National Communication for Civic Education (NCCE’s) ‘matters of concern to the Ghanaian voter survey.’
According to him, the results show the level of Ghana’s development. In our part of the world especially in Africa and particularly Ghana what is of significant impact on citizens has been job creation, particularly for the youth,” he mentioned.
He said the youth are interested in job security and getting jobs to do. “Others are …

Govt. issues its maiden domestic US dollar 2-year bond

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Government has successfully issued a US$94.64 million denominated bond on the domestic bond market.
The 2-year bond, which was highly subscribed, yielded an amount of US$94.64 million at a coupon rate of 6%, consistent with the initial price range of between 5.5% and 6.5%.
A statement from the Ministry Finance says on settlement, this 2-year bond becomes one of Ghana’s lowest yield bonds aside the 2017s which are currently trading at about 5.45% and maturing in less than a year.
It stated that the offer, which was open to resident investors only, attracted a total of 26 bids with a face value of US$99.64 million.
“The proceeds of this bond will form part of the sinking fund (established by Government to repurchase or redeem specified debt) to buy back some of the high coupon instruments on the local and international capital market as part of our liability management strategy. Going forward, Government will explore the advantages that this instrument type presents as …

Life Insurance contributes 0.8% to the financial sector

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Life Insurance contributions to the financial sector of the economy which includes the insurance industry currently stands at about 0.8%, the Commissioner of the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Miss Lydia Lariba Bawa has disclosed.
According to her, this is an indication of the extremely low level of life insurance penetration in the country. She said this in Accra at the launch of two new products from the Enterprise Life.
“Whereas this may look discouraging, the flip side of the coin is that there is a great potential for the development and marketing of life insurance in the country,” the Commissioner stated.
She mentioned that to tap into this great potential however requires hard work and dedicated efforts in specific areas.
“Insurance companies need to be adequately capitalized to enable them write and retain significant levels of premium, acquire basic operational, distribution and back office infrastructure, and optimize economies of scale,” she posite…

ICT is among least of issues of concern to the voter

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is among the least issues of concern to the Ghanaian voter, a recent National Communication for Civic Education (NCCE) survey says.
ICT with 0.3% was among the bottom five ranked issues by respondents during the NCCE’s survey on ‘Matters of Concern to the Ghanaian Voter’ survey.
The rest of the bottom five included Social Services with 2.5%, Taxes and Tariffs 2%, Housing 1.5% and Sports also with 0.3%.
Looking at the ICT and it importance to the regions, Upper West recorded 0.9% followed by Volta with 0.6%. Ashanti region and Eastern region had 0.4% each while Central region, Greater Accra and Western recorded 0.3% each respectively. Both Brong Ahafo and Upper East had 0.2% while Northern region recording the least with 0.1%.
From the NCCE survey it reveals that issues relating to ICT were of more concern to Students and Teachers/lecturers than any other group because 36.0% of students and 12.0% of Teachers/Lectures ranked…

Enterprise Life introduces two new products

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Enterprise Life, one of the leading life insurance companies in the country has introduced two new products dubbed the Executive Plus Plan and the Living Plan Plus unto the insurance market.
According to the company, the two products have been designed to meet the needs of those in executive position and those within the middle class level. The products are similar in terms of what they offer.
Mr. Ben Birch-Mensah, Assistant General Manager in charge of special projects said the Enterprise Executive Plus Plan and Enterprise Living Plus Plan serve virtually the same purposes but the Executive plan is for persons such as managers, business owners, CEOs and others.
He explained that the executive plus covers death, disability, critical illness and among others. However, the policy holder can have access to a funeral cover up to GHc50,000 on the plan.
He mentioned that all these are optional covers individual can take. Apart from that the individual can also opt for in…

EC must be commended for disqualifications- Professor Gyampo

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
A Senior Political Scientist at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Edward Gyampo Legon says the Electoral Commission (EC) deserves commendation for the bold decision to disqualify some presidential aspirants who were unable to meet the necessary requirements that makes them eligible to contest.
According Professor Gyampo, the fact that compromises were made in some time past does not mean the EC cannot enforce the laws and regulations this time around. To him, the new EC boss, Mrs. Charlotte Osei needs to be extolled.
“Dr. Afari Gyan did not want it to be like it’s through him that many political parties will not survive in the country. We should remember that he came at the time when our democracy was very young and he wanted to strengthen the democracy,” he noted in an interview with the Daily Express.
“Dr. Afari Gyan made mention sometimes ago that if he want go according to the laws governing political parties in the country, not even a single political p…

PFM Act to guide local government authority borrowing

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The bill, Public Financial Management (PFM) Act 921 which has been passed into law by Parliament is to guide public institutions especially the local government authority borrowing. The law was pass on 3rdAugust, 2016
According to the law, local government authority, a public corporation or state-owned enterprise is liable for the debt and other obligations without recourse to Government, unless otherwise explicitly guaranteed by Government in accordance with this Act.
Madam Eva Esselba Mends, the Chief Economic Officer and Group Head of PFM at the Ministry of Finance told the Daily Express that the law involves a lot but it also give instruction to how state institutions can borrow especially with the  local government authority.
She mentioned that there is no specific law in place that gives direction as to what local authority can do when it comes to borrowing by the authority. Other public corporations sometimes borrow with huge amount for their operation but loca…

Agric investment will control inflation- Gatsi

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
An Economist and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast School of Business, Dr. John Gatsi has emphasized that Ghanaians must produce more food crops to reduce the price of food stuffs on the market which will also have effect on lower inflationary rate.
The rate of inflation has two main components: Food inflation and Non-food inflation. The food inflation is driven by subgroups such asvegetables; coffee, tea and cocoa; fish and sea foods while the non-food inflation is also driven by subgroups education; housing, water, electricity, gas; transport; recreational and culture; clothing and footwear and among others.
Food inflation sometimes record the lowest rate and it contribute significantly to the year-on-year inflation. Dr. Gatsi was reacting to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) 2016 Manifesto.
Dr. Gatsi stated that over the years Ghana has seen with the little effort put in place in agriculture sector, food prices are reduce and for that matter t…

Investors asked to look at other areas in services sectors

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong- Daily Express
Domestic and international investors have been asked to invest in other areas in the services sector which are not performing well.
According to Dr. John Gatsi, an Economist and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast School of Business, the hotels and restaurants, and information and communication sectors are performing well and for that matter it is important to pay attention to other equal opportunities in the services sector where progress has been slow. He mentioned areas such as trade, mechanization, household goods, and other services activities.
Speaking to the Daily Express on the performances of the services sector with reference to  the Hotels and Restaurants and the Information and Communication sectors, the Economist said “what’s important is that the other areas within the services sector ought to be harnessed to positively affect other sectors of the economy.”
Recently, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) released the second qu…

The disqualified candidates are ‘lazy’- Prof. Ayogyam

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Professor Alexader Ayogyam, Lecturer at the Kumasi Polytechnic says the 13 Presidential candidates who have been disqualified by the Electoral Commission (EC) from contesting the December 7 Presidential election are simple lazy.
“I can say that they are lazy. If none of them is able to take the pace to ensure that there will not be any problem associated with what they were doing, that tells you that they do not care. And that makes them lazy,” he added.
According to Professor Ayogyam, these candidates did not border to makes sure that their forms and everything are correct so that in future they will not get any problem. “This tells you the kind of people who want to be the president of this country.”
He mentioned that maybe some of them left their documents for someone people who do not have any knowledge to handling their forms for them. “Such a person if we do not take care and we vote for such person to become president, this country will be in trouble for a very…

Ghana secured US$24.0 million from Kuwait

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Ghana has signed a concessional loan agreement of US$24.0 million (Kuwait Dinar 7.0 million) with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development for the expansion and development of 26 existing Senior High Schools (SHS) Project across the country.
The loan agreement was signed on the side lines of the annual International Monetary Fund (IMF)/ World Bank Group meetings currently on-going in Washington DC. The meeting ended on Friday 14, 2016.
The Loan agreement was signed on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Ghana by the Minister for Finance, Mr. Seth E. Terkper while the Deputy Director-General of the Fund, Mr. Hesham Al-Waqayan signed on behalf of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
Mr. Terkper led a delegation which made up of officials from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) including the Governor, the Chairman of the Finance Committee in Parliament and officers from the Finance Ministry to the meeting.
According to the finance ministry, the fund aims to su…

GSS announces September inflation

By; Fred Yaw Sarpong- Daily Express
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has pegged the annual year-on-year inflation rate for September 2016 17.2%.
According to Madam Philomena Nyarko, Government Statistician, inflation for September slightly increased by 0.2% and attributed this to hikes in the price of goods and services due to the upcoming general elections.
The year-on-year inflation rate for August 2016 was 16.9%. The food inflation rate for September was 9.0% whereas 8.5% was recorded in August. However, the non-food inflation rate was 21.6% compared with 21.5% recorded in August.  
 Meanwhile, Dr, Nyarko said the inflation rate for imported items was 18.7% in September 2016 compared with 17.3% recorded in the previous month. The GSS pegged locally produced items at 16.6% in September against 16.7% in August.
Within the Food group, seven sub-groups recorded inflation rates higher than the group’s average of 9.0%. They include mineral water, soft drinks, fruit; coffee, tea and cocoa; …

Finance Minister leads government delegation to the 2016 IMF/World Bank meeting

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The Minister of Finance, Mr. Seth Terkper is leading a Government delegation to the 2016 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings to be held in Washington DC, from today till October 14.
According to a statement from the ministry, the delegation is made up of officials from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) including the Governor, the Chairman of the Finance Committee in Parliament and officers from the Finance Ministry.
It noted that the delegation expected to take part in the African Caucus Meeting with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, as well as the African Caucus Meeting with IMF Managing Director, Christian Lagarde.
“They would also hold a side meeting with IMF Deputy Managing Director, Tao Zhang,” the statement said.
Mr. Terkper and his team are scheduled to have a meeting with the Commonwealth Secretary General, Her Excellency Patricia Scotland and attend the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting to be held on the sidelines of the Annual meetings.
“Other meetings they wo…

JICA, GHS and Noguchi Institute launches public health project

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Noguchi Memorial Institute have launched a project dubbed “Surveillance and Laboratory Support for Emerging Pathogens of Public Health Importance in Ghana”.
The project is under the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
A statement from JICA mentioned that the project is to strengthen the surveillance system by establishing a model for basic research-linked surveillance system in Ghana and deepening the understanding of the defense mechanism of intestinal mucosal tissue of enteric infectious diseases such as cholera and host immune response to HIV.
The project would be implemented through collaborative research with Japanese research institutions (Institution of Medical Science of the University of Tokyo (IMSUT), Mie University (MU), National Mie Hospital (NMH), and National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), with IMSUT as the representative institution).
The Ghanaian in…