“We have a laser focus on the economy” – Dr Bawumia

Accra – Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said Government has began implementing policies and programmes intended to make Ghana the most business-friendly country in Africa.

These include ensuring fiscal discipline, cutting the budget deficits, managing the national debt and undertaking measures to fight corruption, he said.

Vice President Bawumia said this when a delegation from Stanbic Bank- Ghana, and some senior officials from its parent company, Standard Bank Group from South Africa, paid a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House, in Accra.

The delegation, led by Alhassan Andani, the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank-Ghana, was at the Presidency to discuss issues relating to the economy and affirm their commitment to doing business in Ghana to help drive the country’s development agenda.

Dr Bawumia said the New Patriotic Party won the 2016 General Elections based on the assurance of bringing drastic change to Ghana’s economic fortunes and that the Nana Akufo-Addo’s led Administration was determined to deliver in that regard.

This is a reformist government. Our message for change was on economic transformation, curbing corruption and that is fundamentally what we are doing.

We are keeping a close, laser focus on the economy so that we do not get any surprises, so we can stay ahead of the curve.

The fundamental source of what we intend to do is solid fiscal discipline and consolidation. The deficit is expected to be brought down from 9 to 6.5 per cent, and we are cutting down government expenditure, Dr Bawumia said.

He said the government was working around the clock to ensure stability in the provision of utilities such as electricity and water to reduce cost of production and manufacturing.

Vice President commended Stanbic Bank for its immense contribution made to the country over the years and called on the private sector to partner government to implement programmes designed to make the lives of Ghanaians better.

Mr Helmut Engelbrecht, Executive Head of the Bank in-charge of Corporate Banking, Africa Regions, pledged the commitment of the Standard Bank Group, to support Ghana’s development agenda.

We are ready to share experiences gained in the 20 African countries where we operate, to help you further modernise the Ghanaian economy, he said.

The delegation included Kwamina Asomaning, Executive Head, Corporate and Investment Banking, Stanbic Bank-Ghana; Madam Sylvia Inkoom, Executive Head, Corporate Banking, Stanbic Bank-Ghana; and Mawuko Afadzinu.

The rest included David Humphrey, Group Executive Head, Power and Infrastructure � Standard Bank Group, Simon Ashby-Rudd, Group Executive Head, Oil & Gas Sector � Standard Bank Group; and Jaco Burger, Group Executive Head, Corporate Banking, South, West and Central Africa � Standard Bank Group.

The Standard Bank Group is one of South Africa’s largest financial services groups.

Source: Ghana News Agency

“We have a laser focus on the economy” – Dr Bawumia

Accra – Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said Government has began implementing policies and programmes intended to make Ghana the most business-friendly country in Africa.

These include ensuring fiscal discipline, cutting the budget deficits, managing the national debt and undertaking measures to fight corruption, he said.

Vice President Bawumia said this when a delegation from Stanbic Bank- Ghana, and some senior officials from its parent company, Standard Bank Group from South Africa, paid a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House, in Accra.

The delegation, led by Alhassan Andani, the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank-Ghana, was at the Presidency to discuss issues relating to the economy and affirm their commitment to doing business in Ghana to help drive the country’s development agenda.

Dr Bawumia said the New Patriotic Party won the 2016 General Elections based on the assurance of bringing drastic change to Ghana’s economic fortunes and that the Nana Akufo-Addo’s led Administration was determined to deliver in that regard.

This is a reformist government. Our message for change was on economic transformation, curbing corruption and that is fundamentally what we are doing.

We are keeping a close, laser focus on the economy so that we do not get any surprises, so we can stay ahead of the curve.

The fundamental source of what we intend to do is solid fiscal discipline and consolidation. The deficit is expected to be brought down from 9 to 6.5 per cent, and we are cutting down government expenditure, Dr Bawumia said.

He said the government was working around the clock to ensure stability in the provision of utilities such as electricity and water to reduce cost of production and manufacturing.

Vice President commended Stanbic Bank for its immense contribution made to the country over the years and called on the private sector to partner government to implement programmes designed to make the lives of Ghanaians better.

Mr Helmut Engelbrecht, Executive Head of the Bank in-charge of Corporate Banking, Africa Regions, pledged the commitment of the Standard Bank Group, to support Ghana’s development agenda.

We are ready to share experiences gained in the 20 African countries where we operate, to help you further modernise the Ghanaian economy, he said.

The delegation included Kwamina Asomaning, Executive Head, Corporate and Investment Banking, Stanbic Bank-Ghana; Madam Sylvia Inkoom, Executive Head, Corporate Banking, Stanbic Bank-Ghana; and Mawuko Afadzinu.

The rest included David Humphrey, Group Executive Head, Power and Infrastructure � Standard Bank Group, Simon Ashby-Rudd, Group Executive Head, Oil & Gas Sector � Standard Bank Group; and Jaco Burger, Group Executive Head, Corporate Banking, South, West and Central Africa � Standard Bank Group.

The Standard Bank Group is one of South Africa’s largest financial services groups.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Marwako Supervisor denies pepper allegations

Accra, The Marwako Fast Food Supervisor, Jihad Chabaan has denied dipping the face of a female employee into blended pepper.

I am Muslim and I believe in Prophet Mohammed. He has not taught us to behave that way. I did not do it and I cannot do that, Chaaban told the Abeka District Court when he opened his defence.

Chaaban aged 26, is before the Court for allegedly dipping the face of Ms Evelyn Boakye into a blender full of blended pepper at the Abelenkpe branch of Marwako Restaurant.

He has been charged with offensive conduct by calling the victim a prostitute, intentionally and unlawfully causing harm and assault.

Chaaban has pleaded not guilty to the charges and he is on bail.

Led in evidence by Defence Counsel Mr Julio De Medieros, Chaaban who spoke through an Arabic Interpreter explained he only turned the Chin of Evelyn Boakye to draw her attention of what she had done.

Chaaban who had worked for two years and some months at the Restaurant said it was when Ms Boakye refused to listen to him on two occasions that he turned her chin to take a look at what she had done.

The Supervisor said on February 28, this year, he was in a private room of the Restaurants Kitchen when he heard an unusual sound of the blender and he followed up.

Identifying the blender in court, Chaaban said the said blender was bought a week after the incident.

According to him, when he reached where the fresh pepper was being blended, he switched off the machine under the blender and poured the content into a bowl.

The Restaurant Supervisor said there were two people including Ms Boakye handling the blended pepper adding the blender was loaded with chopped onions.

Chaaban said he realised that because the blender had been stuffed with onions it was unable to blend and it needed some watery vegetable like tomatoes.

I asked Ms Boakye what you are doing, Chaaban said

According to him, Ms Boakye in a derogatory manner responded: Don’t you know what we are preparing? We are preparing fresh pepper.

Chaaban said he told the victim that that was not the way to prepare fresh pepper, and explained to her why the blender could not blend the ingredients.

The Supervisor said when he looked into the face of the victim he realised that he was crying and enquired from her what the problem was.

Later Chaaban said he asked the victim informed him that when she was cutting the onions she felt some sensation in her eyes.

Based on that, Chaaban said he further asked Ms Boakye to go and wash her face outside the kitchen but she rather went into their changing room.

When I followed to the room, I saw the victim fanning her face because she had not washed her face, Chaaban told the court.

On February 28, this year, Chaaban is alleged to have assaulted the victim Ms Boakye for fidgeting with a blender and working slowly.

Chaaban, a brother-in-law of the owner of Marwako Restaurant, at the Abelemkpe branch allegedly grabbed the neck of the victim angrily and dipped her face into a blender full of blended pepper.

Hearing continues on May 18.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Estate Developer jailed 36 months

Accra, An Accra Circuit Court on Wednesday sentenced Mark Brown, a Real Estate Developer, to 36 months imprisonment in hard labour for defrauding by false pretence.

Mark issued a United Bank for Africa (UBA) cheque with serial number 059244 and with a face value of GH121,250.00 on an account in the name of Gemini Consult to be paid into his account at GT Bank.

He was also charged for forgery and pleaded not guilty but was acquitted and discharged on that count.

The court presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh, however, found Mark guilty on the charge of defrauding by false pretences and sentenced him accordingly.

He is also to refund the money to UBA.

The court in sentencing said it took into consideration the plea for mitigation by the convict’s counsel, but was of the view that the convict demonstrated that he was a genius to outwit the banking system and make away with the said amount.

He advised that, to be wealthy is not through the back door as it is very dangerous and all must be cautious at all times.

Earlier, the prosecution, Police Chief Inspector Kwabena Adu told the court that the complainant in the case is the Internal Auditor of the United Bank of Africa.

He said on August 12, 2008, the convict opened an account with the Bank’s branch at the Ring Road Central with particulars of a non-existing company known as Gemini Consult and was issued with a cheque book.

He said Mark after opening the account failed to keep it active until January 1, 2014, when he deposited GH10.00 into it.

He said on the same date, the convict issued a Cheque with serial No: 059244 in the name of Gemini Consult with the face value of GH 121, 250.00 to the GT Bank for same to be paid into his personal account but UBA could not issue the pre-advice to GT Bank due to system failure.

The prosecution said on January 17, the same year, the system was restored and the pre-advice was accordingly sent to GT Bank not to honour the said Cheque issued by the accused person.

But unfortunately, GT Bank had already paid the said amount into the personal account of the convict which he quickly withdrew, he said.

Chief Inspector Adu said on February 11, the same year the complainant reported the matter to the police but the accused person went into hiding.

On June 17, 2015, a warrant was issued and information and photography of the accused was published in the Daily Graphic which led to his arrest on June 4, 2016.

Source: Ghana News Agency

President Akufo-Addo urges increased sale of Ghanaian goods at malls

Accra – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has bemoaned the fact that Ghana continues to be a retailer of cheap imported goods, whilst indigenous products suffered low patronage.

He said the phenomenon has weakened the capacity of local producers, and has thus urged shop owners and supermarkets to increase the proportion of Ghanaian products in their outlets.

President Akufo-Addo expressed the worry at the official launch of the Kumasi City Mall (KCM) on Wednesday, where he indicated that it was his hope that the KCM would not be a place only for the sale of imported goods, but also for the sale of Ghanaian goods.

It would be truly commendable if, by the end of the first year of its operation, at least 20 per cent of the goods that are sold here should be of Ghanaian origin, and the percentages increase as Ghanaian industrial production rapidly expands.

I know very well that, in some of our malls and supermarkets across the country, carrots sold, for example, are imported from Holland. Some of the dressed chickens on sale have also come from Brazil. Indeed, the items originating from Ghana and from our local entrepreneurs constitute barely a paltry 5 percent of goods on sale, the President lamented.

President Akufo-Addo noted, however, that all over the world, new enterprises, such as the KCM, have spawned the creation of jobs and investments, and triggered increased local spending.

Supermarkets and many shopping malls in several parts of the world, particularly in the advanced economies, have become magnets for production. It is my hope that the Kumasi City Mall will not only be a place for the sale of imported goods, but also Ghanaian goods, he added.

President Akufo-Addo urged shop owners and supermarkets, like Shoprite, to increase the proportion of Ghanaian goods sold at the shop, by getting more local farmers and entrepreneurs to produce for them.

We want Kumasi to be a place of work again, not just a place where people come for funerals. We want to bring jobs back to this city, and restore Kumasi to its position, once again, of being the Garden City. The support government gives to the private sector is intended to translate into greater economic activities of our entrepreneurs, producers and farmers. Kumasi City Mall should bear witness of this increased activity, he added.

Whilst acknowledging the challenges confronting the country’s economy, the President pledged that his government aims to liberate the energies of the youth by harnessing talent and building skills, inspiring innovation and risk taking, connecting to global value chains and, most importantly, nurturing a deep sense of patriotism.

He, thus, encouraged the youth to take advantage of the immense opportunities this mall presents.

Last month, I launched the programme for ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ in Goaso, in the Brong Ahafo Region. Organise yourselves and get involved in this initiative. I am certain that my admonition to shop owners of this mall will not go unheard. They will surely buy from you, if your produce meets the standard, which I am confident it can, he urged.

President Akufo-Addo said it is the belief of his government is that given an enabling environment, the creativity and sense of enterprise of the Ghanaian will enable us to build a strong, powerful economy which can deliver a good, dignified standard of living to our people.

He said Ghana’s economy cannot grow if it remains, primarily, a raw material producing and exporting country, explaining that we cannot create the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs for the masses of our young people if the sustenance of our economy is import dependent and import driven, as well as being dependent on raw material exports.

President Akufo-Addo said the economic programme of his government is hinged on the addition of value to the country’s raw materials in a process of rapid industrialization, as agricultural production and productivity is enhanced.

Our priority is to do all we can to give our entrepreneurs the certainty of a positive business environment, devoid of arbitrary and irrational policy initiatives, so that they can do what they should do best � INVEST IN THE NUMEROUS OPPORTUNITIES TO CREATE JOBS AND PROPSPERITY, he said.

The President said the initiatives introduced in the Budget are aimed at stimulating private sector activity, and shifting the focus of our economy from taxation to production. To this end, I urge the private sector to take advantage of this new focus, which is offering opportunities to local ingenuity and production.

Source: Ghana News Agency