Government must ban imported second hand furniture – Furniture manufacturers

Tema, – Scores of furniture manufacturers have appealed to the government to ban imported second-hand furniture as it was also affecting the growth and development of the local industry.

“The furniture we produce here are of quality, and less expensive as compared to the second-hand ones and I believe if it is banned, the people will have no choice but to buy from local furniture producers which will boost the economy,” Mr Henry Kwame Gyamfi of God’s Time Furniture Works at Community 4 Tema told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.

He said not everybody can be enrolled in school, so the government should support the informal sector to survive and make it lucrative to attract more people into learning the work and also to compete with the foreign goods.

He said the government must protect local industries as the importation of cheap foreign goods that flood the market was unhealthy for the development of the local economy.

Mr Gyamfi who spoke on behalf of scores of furniture manufacturers in Tema said: “we cannot build our nation based on over-dependency of imported goods that have an advantage over our local production, we need the government’s intervention to survive the surge of imported goods into the country”.

He noted that the furniture industry since the emergence of the COVID-19 has suffered from low patronage as a result, players in the sector fear its imminent collapse if the government does not support it

The furniture industry players claimed that their capital is locked up, while bank interest on loans they contracted to manufacture the furniture keeps rising higher and higher.

He explained that the majority of their customers come from the hospitality industry, and noted that now that activities in the hotels and other amusement centres are at ground zero, they are not undertaking the periodic change of furniture and other artefacts.

Mr Gyamfi also revealed that most often the Christmas festive season used to be their main harvest time as a section of the public prefers to periodically change their furniture in preparation for Christmas but since 2019 the situation has changed, “we encounter very low sales during these seasons all due to COVID-19”.

He added that sadly in spite of these challenges the cost of materials had increased due to the pandemic, from foam, wood, clothes, leather among others, and “our work is such that, we don’t wait for orders before we produce so if after production we don’t get people to buy, it becomes a big problem for us.

He said before COVID-19 they used to make about GHC10,000.00 and above in a month, but now sales are just around GHC4,000.00; the cost of high-density foam used to be GHC250.00 but now moved up to GHC500.00.

He said orthopaedic foam which used to be sold at GHC300.00 is now GHC800.00; leather moved from GHC15.00 to GHC40.00; a set of wood for the furniture was GHC350.00 but now GHC500.00; the cloth or material for the chairs has moved from GHC200.00 to GHC300.00.

According to him, some of the guys who were into apprenticeship had to go back to their hometown because he could not support them financially or diverted into other menial jobs for survival.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Screening is vital for curbing cervical cancer deaths – Dr. Duayeden

Abura Dunkwa (C/R),- Dr Takyi Duayeden, the Cervical Cancer Specialists Physician at the Abura-Asebu- Kwamankese (AAK) district hospital, has urged Ghanaian women to voluntarily go for cervical screening to save their lives from cancer deaths.

According to him, early screening was the road map to saving many women from avoidable deaths and encouraged them to quickly go for the examination this month,(January), declared as ” Cervical Cancer Awareness Month”.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Dr Duayeden, said though Cervical Cancer was widely known as the second leading cause of death among women, it was treatable at the pre-cancer stage when the Human papillomavirus (HPV) had not developed.

He regretted that the nature of the examination made many women shy to undergo physical cervix screening while other factors included ignorance and cultural and religious beliefs.

The HPV, he noted unlike other viruses were very common and dwell at the cervix of women during sexual contact adding that it could be detected through the Visual Inspection using Ascetic acid (VIA) or HPV DNA.

He said January was very critical to the facility because it was the opportune time to enlighten especially rural actors on cervical and health education.

He said the district hospital would extend the VIA and health education services to areas with no health facilities, screen women at various churches, mosques, markets, and training institutions with a focus on women at the pre-cancer stages.

On screening eligibility, he said HPV took 10 to 15 years to develop, and hence women between 30 to 60 years qualified to be screened, and the process repeated after every three years.

“We are aware children are sexually active these days, some of them start as early as age 10 to 15, it is purported that if they are even exposed to the HPV, it would have fully developed at age 25 to 30,” he said.

Dr Takyi said women with good immunity clear these HPVs through discharges and fight their remains while others with poor immunity are unable to.

Speaking on signs and symptoms, he said cancer had no signs or symptoms at the pre or post-cancer stage, except in special cases where a woman may witness offensive brownish vaginal discharge, contact bleeding, or bumpy growth at the cervix.

“This is not the same with every woman, that is why screening is important, you could be attended to even before it develops into cancer because after cancer has developed it is hard to fight.

“Find any health centre and get screened, do not allow the nature of the process make it appear distasteful to you, take charge of your health and get checked for your own good “ Dr Duayeden, further cautioned.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GRNMA and NMC sign MOU for license renewal

Accra, Jan.18-GNA – The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in Accra to ensure the timely renewal of license for registered nurses and midwives.

The Association (GRNMA) will also pay the license renewal fees of members.

Mrs. Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, President of the GRNMA, who signed the MOU for the Association, said the collaboration would ensure that members of GRNMA were duly licensed to practice by 1st January of every year.

The Registrar of the NMC, Mr. Felix Nyante, also signed the agreement for the Council, and assured the GRNMA of its commitment to see to it that the collaboration led ultimately to having professionals in good standing with the Regulatory body to practice without any hindrance.

The National Council of the GRNMA took the decision to pay the license renewal fees of members at its third quarter meeting held in September, 2021.

Members of the Association have praised leadership for the good initiative to ensure that every member practices with a valid license for the entire year.

The MOU is expected to protect members of the Association from legalities related to practicing with expired licenses.

Source: Ghana News Agency

EU removes Ghana from high-risk money laundering list

Accra,- The European Union (EU) has removed Ghana from the bloc’s high risk third countries with strategic deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes.

The EU took the decision after Ghana strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime by addressing related technical deficiencies, a press statement issued by the Ministry of Finance, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said.

It said Ghana had also strengthened its legal and regulatory framework to meet the commitments in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan, with a view of removing strategic deficiencies identified under the Article 9 of the 4th Anti-money Laundering Directives.

It said Ghana also established legal and regulatory frameworks to meet the commitments in the country’s action plans regarding the strategic deficiencies the FATF had identified.

The EU, in May 2020, added Ghana to their list of high-risk jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes because Ghana was on the FATF Grey List.

Ghana’s removal from the list was contained in a letter dated 07 January 2022, signed by Commissioner Mairead McGuiness, in charge of Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital markets Union, the statement said.

It said the letter commended Ghana for its continuous efforts in strengthening its framework for the combat against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Ministry said the Head of the European Union Delegation to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly, in his introductory letter, also commended Ghana for achieving the milestone.

By dint of hard work and political commitment, Ghana addressed all the action items in the action plan even ahead of schedule, the statement said.

“This is an example of what we can accomplish when we work together towards addressing systemic issues that confront our country” Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, said while commending all stakeholders.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the country, being the headquarters of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), was guided by a vision of establishing the country as the financial services destination for the Africa Region, and would work diligently to achieve that vision.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Central Region GNFS exceeds IGF target for 2021

Cape Coast, – The Central Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), mobilized GH¢286,856.

70 as its Internally Generated Fund (IGF) out of the targeted GH¢262,595.7 for the year 2021.

The Command exceeded its revenue target by nine per cent as set by the Ministry of Finance.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFOI) John Amarlai Amartey, Regional Commander of the GNFS disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.

The accomplishment was based on revenue mobilized from fire certificate registrations, renewal, and permits granted by the Service.

ACFOI Amartey attributed the achievement to increased fire certificate inspections and public education on compliance and legal ramifications of non-compliance.

“Regular community engagements on the need to renew fire certificates and fees yielded results,” he said.

He, however, commended the determination, commitment, courage, and proactiveness of personnel of the Service across the region which he said had made the region the ultimate choice for all personnel.

“Personnel of the Central Regional Command are one of the most enthusiastic, dedicated and experienced firemen in the Country”, he noted.

ACFOI Amartey also commended the contributions of some benevolent institutions and individuals towards the rehabilitation of some facilities to reduce pressure on existing infrastructure.

He cited the completion of the maintenance office building to accommodate some Departments, Regimental Band, and the Dance Band.

He announced that the Senior Fire Officer’s Flat at Nkanfoa, a suburb of Cape Coast which was dilapidated, had been given on contract for renovation.

He advised the public to obey fire safety precautions and regulations to avoid the dire consequences associated with the outbreak of infernos.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Venture Capital Trust Fund invest in more than 60 companies

Accra, – The Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) has created seven funds with investments in over 60 companies, leveraging additional US$89.

7 million from invested capital of US$29 million.

The sustainable direct jobs created from these investments totalled 3,400 and 13,500 indirect ones.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, said the achievement was made over the last decade and a lot more could be done.

The Minister made this known during the inauguration of the reconstituted Board of Trustees of the VCTF in Accra.

The Fund was established to provide overall venture finance for SMEs has developed with new players entering the market with some National and some Regional funds with some being independent but are in partnership with the Fund.

The members are Mr Kofi S. Yamoah as Chairperson, Mr Yaw Owusu-Brempong, Dr John Ampontuah Kumah, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Mr Antonio Kisseih, Mrs Mabel Nana Nyarko Porbley, Mr Brian Frimpong and Mrs Efua Appenteg as Members.

He said the Fund was a beneficiary of the Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP) aimed at promoting private investments and growth in non-resource-based sectors of the economy.

The Minister said the Fund, under the project, was entrusted with the mandate of providing venture financing for early-stage businesses and strategic industries with an investment capital of 40million dollars.

“This is a testament of the Government’s firm faith in the potential of the VC/ Private Equity ecosystem to lead SME development and build unicorns for the country,” he said.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the coming into operations of the Development Bank Ghana presented a major boost to the financial ecosystem as it was positioned to provide wholesale financing for on-lending to businesses.

He said various Government policies such as the 1D1F, Planting for Food and Jobs, and Ghana Care Obaatampa Programme were aimed at building and developing the industrial and manufacturing base in Ghana and to support youth entrepreneurship.

To achieve this, the leveraging of private funding to supplement the effort of the Government is key, and the role for Private Equity and Venture Financing in achieving this aim cannot be downplayed.

The Minister said a survey conducted by the Africa Venture Capital (VC) and Private Equity (PE) Association in April 2020 indicated that West Africa had become an attractive destination for foreign investment and was expected to be the most attractive destination for VC/PE investments over the next three years.

Between 2014 and 2019, investments worth US$10.2 billion were made in West Africa, with Nigeria attracting about 68 per cent and Ghana attracting 22 per cent of these investments.

Mr Ofori-Atta said Ghana was expected to attract more of such investments, especially with the financial sector reforms carried out by the Government, which “we believe has contributed to making Ghana a business-friendly destination to international investors.”

He had, therefore, mandated the new Board to position VCTF to help increase the total value of investment attracted into the country from the current 22 per cent to 35 per cent.

The Minister said the Government remained committed to this agenda and would continue to support the VCTF to deliver on its mandate.

Mr Yamoah assured the Minister of the board’s intention of building a strong corporate governance structure at the Fund.

He said the Fund was looking forward to the release of resources to execute their activities and operations and would continue to lend the needed support to the SMEs.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Daily Interbank FX Rates for January 17, 2022

Accra, – The daily interbank foreign exchange rates for Monday, January 17, 2022 has been published by the Bank of Ghana.

The foreign exchange rates are published by the Central Bank as reference rates for the cedi against the major currencies.

Each working day, all banks submit data on all spot US$/GH¢ transactions concluded on the reporting day before 2.00 pm. The data covers all spot transactions on the interbank markets as well as transactions with their clients that have nominal values of US$10,000 or more.

The data submitted is used to compute the weighted average exchange rate. The weighted exchange rate is published on the Bank of Ghana website, as the closing rate for the day’s transactions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Registrar-General cautions defaulting companies against fraudsters

Accra, – The Registrar-General’s Department (RGD) has cautioned defaulting companies against paying money to any individual through Mobile Money (MoMo) for reinstatement on the Companies Register.

The Department noted that the activity of those individuals started two days after it issued a statement on the deletion of 2,788 dormant and defaulting companies from the Register and urged them to file their annual returns, renewals and to re-register their businesses.

In a statement issued by the Department and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday, it said some fraudsters claimed to be calling from the Department’s Audit or Cancellation Unit were, asking people to pay into some MoMo accounts to be placed back on the Register

“Some even claim to be lawyers of the Department. These fraudsters insist on Mobile Money transfers affiliated to Mobile Merchant wallets, claiming it’s meant to start the process of re-enlisting these deleted companies back onto the Companies Register,” it stated.

“They also claim the transfer would enable Companies and Businesses to avoid being deleted from the Companies Register for not re-registering their businesses.”

However, the statement indicated that the Department had not assigned any intermediary or agent to call clients and demand that they paid money through MoMo to help restore them onto the Register.

It noted that the deleted companies could not be restored on the Companies Register except by a Court order, adding that the Department did not have or operate any Momo account number for transaction payments.

“The Department, therefore, cautions the General Public, especially company officials and business owners, to make all payment on transactions at our on-site Fidelity Bank Limited where physical stamped receipts are issued on all payments made and not electronic receipts,” the statement said.

“Payments on Sole Proprietorship Renewals can also be made by using the Ghana.Gov Online Payment platform using the short code *222#,” the Department stated.

The Department, therefore, urged the public to disregard any messages or calls from “alien” contact number (s) demanding mobile money or any other form of payment from officials for any service provided by the Department.

It also asked the public to contact the Department’s official contact lines for all enquiries, using 055-765-3130 and 030-622-6180, which were operated at the Public Relations (PR) Unit.

Source: Ghana News Agency