Yilo Krobo MCE appreciates efforts of ECG

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly, Mr. Eric Tetteh, has expressed appreciation to the staff of the Krobo District of the Electricity Company of Ghana for their swiftness and dedication in restoring power supply after a rainstorm that occurred on the evening of Thursday, 16th May 2024.

This was after the rainstorm caused some devastation within the Yilo Krobo and Lower Manya Krobo areas.

Mr. Tetteh shared the sentiment on a stakeholders’ WhatsApp platform, which includes assembly members, community opinion leaders, journalists, and heads of some critical institutions, as well as officials of ECG in the Krobo District and Tema Region.

The platform serves as a medium through which the stakeholders and the power distributor provide updates on electricity supply, challenges on outages, and any related issues.

During the Thursday evening storm, some customers within the jurisdiction had their power supply cut. Right after the storm, some stakeholders immediately shared on
the platform issues of fallen cables in Kpogunor and Somanya, which were the reasons for the power outage during the storm. The faults and maintenance team of the Krobo District ECG went to work in a bid to fix all the anomalies and restore supply to customers.

The MCE had witnessed one of the Faults teams working throughout Friday, and on Saturday, 18th May 2024.

Praising the team, he said, “It was yesterday I truly appreciated the work of ECG. The tragedy at my stretch was devastating. ECG boss and your team, well done. But push for us to get light today.”

The devastation at the side of the MCE was major; hence the work to fix the damage would take time.

However, responding to the concerns of the MCE, the ECG Krobo District Manager, Ing. Christopher Apawu, assured him, “Please, customers at and around the MCE’s area are still without electricity. This will be resolved tomorrow. Thank you very much for your patience.”

The District Team is working to fix all the damages caused by the storm and hopes to g
et all customers back on supply by the close of day on Saturday, 18th May 2024.

The ECG advises the general public to ensure their safety during storms as a number of ripped roofs, uprooted trees, fallen billboards, and poles have been recorded in recent times.

The public should endeavour to stay away from broken cables at any point in time and to please inform the power distributor to fix it to avoid any devastation from possible electricity-related causes.

Source: Ghana Web

Make tourism a local currency stability enabler – Sector players urged

Tourism and hospitality players have been encouraged to make the sector more attractive and promote it as a go-to destination for domestic and intra-African leisure and business activities.

This would be a game changer in terms of generating domestic revenue, promoting economic growth and stability, creating more job opportunities for youths, and strengthening the Cedi and other African currencies.

This was the outcome of the second quarter edition of the Chief Executive Officers’ (CEOs) Breakfast meeting, held by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in Accra last Thursday.

The forum was on the theme: ‘Regulatory framework for tourism infrastructure and its growth.’

The call comes at a time when Ghana and many other African countries have been excluded from accessing the international credit market, necessitating the exploration of domestic financing options.

The forum emphasised the sector’s potential to generate revenue and help strengthen local currencies, create more jobs, boost cultural exch
anges, and preserve national heritage.

According to the World Tourism Organisation, international tourism receipts reached US$1 trillion in 2022 due to a rebound in travels, marking a 50 per cent increase in real terms from 2021.

Africa regained 75 per cent of its pre-pandemic revenues, and in Ghana, inbound visitors spending totalled US$2.5 billion, with around 914,892 international arrivals in 2022.

In 2023, the expenditure by inbound visitors increased to US$3.8 billion, while arrivals reached 1,148,002.

Speaking at the event, Dr Stephen Amoah, a Deputy Minister of Finance, said the demands of the times necessitated that countries look inward for finance, including prioritising tourism and hospitality sectors.

‘We need to build homegrown policy tools that specifically address our needs… and make sure that we all repent. Let us begin to show that high level of patronage and keep the money here.

‘We always talk about Cedi depreciation, but if we change the Cedi into Dollars and go there [outside the co
untry], won’t the Cedi suffer,’ the Deputy Minister quizzed.

Dr. Amoah advocated for an increase in local patronage, stating, ‘If you stay here, the dollar people will come, and they will demand our currency,’ adding that the country must work to make tourism a key element of economic growth and stability.

He advised the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to create programmes to allow workers from various Ministries, Agencies, and Departments (MDAs) to explore the country’s attractions.

Mr Yoofi Grant, CEO of GIPC, applauded industry players for their contributions to reinvigorating the sector through events such as the ‘year of return and the beyond the return.

He called for support and attitudinal change to boost the patronage of domestic tourism.

Mr Andrew Egyapa Mercer, Minister of Tourism Designate, said in a speech read on his behalf that the development of hotels, resorts, transportation networks, and recreational facilities had a significant impact on the tourism environment.

He did, however, acknowl
edge that a strong regulatory framework was essential for creating local employment, supporting small businesses, preserving cultural heritage, and alleviating poverty.

‘Let us work together towards a future where tourism serves as a force for good, enriching the lives of both visitors and host communities alike,’ he urged those in the sector.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Beige Bank case: Defense witness justifies projects undertaken to transition BCSL to Beige Bank

The fourth defense witness in the case where Michael Nyinaku, the founder of the defunct Beige Bank, has been charged, has justified the expansion of projects rolled out leading to the transition of Beige Capital Savings and Loans (BCSL) to become Beige Bank.

The witness, Okbell Majdoub, the former Head of Service Quality of The Beige Group, says the bank undertook projects like refurbishments of all the previously existing branches to reflect the institution’s newly acquired status and the construction of completely new offices.

Nyinaku, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the defunct bank, has been accused of allegedly siphoning customers’ funds and has been charged with stealing GHS2.1 billion of depositors’ money from the bank.

He has pleaded not guilty to 43 charges, including stealing, fraudulent breach of trust, and money laundering, and has been granted bail.

State prosecutors, led by Evelyn Keelson, a Chief State Attorney, had suggested to the witness that there was no evidence in the cour
t to show a requisition form, purchase order, or service order form originating from the bank.

However, the witness, while pointing to a portion of her witness statement which had been adopted, said the bank undertook a lot of branch expansion across the country.

“As part of preparations towards the transition of BCSL into universal banking, the bank undertook a lot of branch expansion projects all over the country,” the witness, who was facing cross-examination from the prosecution, insisted.

Okbell Majdoub, the former Head of Service Quality, also told the court that one would not have the service order with the Service Quality Department because it was supposed to be a request from Beige Bank to the Chief Executive Officer.

While disagreeing again with the prosecution’s suggestion that she had no records to show to the court because such services were not rendered to Beige Bank by Beige Group, the witness pointed to Exhibit 82H to buttress her point.

“Here we have Beige Capital Bank, and this is a pic
ture that describes Beige Capital Bank transitioning the branch from Savings and Loans to a universal bank.

“We changed the look and feel of Alucobonds, so we needed a new architectural structure; this is the first we did. I would take you through a second branch, which we called the Osu Branch,” the witness stated.

She also said, “I disagree that nothing was done at the Osu branch, which was a premium branch. Here, before we start anything to do with work, this is approved by a team, so we pick up an architectural drawing that gives us an impression of the branch and how the service flow would operate in the branch.”

In relation to that work, she said, “There is always a process we go through, which starts with the first requisition from Beige Bank to the CEO, informing them how they want a branch and where they want the branch. Based on that, a structure is put together by Babbel and handed over to the project team.

“The project team comprises us, the service team, which looks out for the fit-out of a b
ranch, and these, I would explain, are funded by Beige Group for Beige Bank. These items include the ceilings lamination with the branch, which is light, flooring surfaces, teller cubicles which are clad either in wood or across with brick tiles,” the witness stated.

For security measures, she said, “All teller cubicles are measured at a distance to keep the teller away for security measures.

“To ensure standardization of the look across all Beige Banks, the back of the tellers is kept in the color beige with a standard colour which was painted beige. The signage, which was supposed to be a facial signage, was always fixed behind the tellers,” she explained.

In addition, “To ensure our branches are kept in tidy order, the front of our tellers was always carpeted, and you can see the image of the Osu branch.”

The fourth defense witness also said, “In order to keep consistency again for all our branches, the chairs are purchased by the Procurement Department in bulk and placed in front of our tellers, and e
ach branch has a minimum of eight single tap chairs in front of the tellers.

“As part of service requisitions from the BOG, every branch was supposed to have a minimum of two client service advisors. As part of consumer requisite reporting, hence you would see two tables and chairs in front of the Client Service Officer,” the defense witness explained.

“We were also tasked by the bank to ensure at all times for the consumer reporting section of the BOG to have in place at the teller point feedback boxes and all other third-party services offered by the bank, and these are in place per the picture we have here.

“Prior to all these fit-outs of a branch from Beige Group to Beige Bank, there was a memo raised to the office of the CEO with a list of items to be done to be used for the interior fit-out and the fittings of the branch,” she stated.

In order to follow through with the work, there is a service order that is done for every vendor that has to work, and that is done and filed by the finance department
of Beige Group.

She said there are several other branches which were done by Beige Group for Beige Bank, which includes the Airport West Branch, and that is Exhibit 83G.

“In 2017, evolving from Beige Capital Savings and Loans to Beige Bank, the Airport West Branch was also allocated as a premium branch, which was a requisite from Beige Bank to the CEO of Beige Group to have more premium branches to credit their new status as a bank, and hence Beige Group acquired a bigger space and a more premium place for them,” she stated.

Sequel to the process from the bank, “Service quality was tasked to create a first-class branch for Beige Bank.

“This was a task from Beige Group to Beige Bank, and evidence proves an empty shell of a building that had to be put together to serve the bank not just operational services but to be able to host a few other departments that were supposed to serve the bank.

“As part of the team to serve from Beige Group to Beige Bank, we had to undergo a few service checks with the BOG ope
rational team, projects team from Beige Group, Operations team from Beige Bank, and a projecting property team to ensure the authenticity of a branch in that location,” the DW4 stated.

The defense witness added that this was done and “was approved by the team, and hence the project took a team of about three months to put together the branch, which hosted the various units of the bank because it served as their head office.”

“There is evidence of work that was carried out, which is evidenced in the works of the branch, which is in existence today. We can see the building and works included having themes and themes included the interior and exterior look of the branch.

“Because the business was seated in a highly residential area, we picked a theme for the exterior of the branch, and this was done from Beige Group to Beige Bank. One of the exterior looks, which is a large space, was a large coal pot with a big saucepan, and the other was a mortar and a pestle, and a fufu pot and a spoon, so we had to go int
o the bush to get wood to mold that picture you see there,” she explained.

Source: Ghana Web

Court denies man who shot soldier bail

The Achimota District Court has denied a bail application for Benlord Ababio, also known as Nana Barima Ababio, a self-proclaimed security operative accused of shooting Lance Corporal Michael Danso over a land dispute.

The court also denied bail to his accomplice, Nana Amo Kofi Kwakye, who was recently arrested by the police and arraigned.

Benlord, the self-proclaimed traditional ruler in Kasoa, is reported to have colluded with Kwakye to kill the soldier.

The two have been jointly charged with conspiracy.

Benlord has been charged with murder.

The court rejected their pleas, and they were remanded. They are scheduled to appear before the court on May 30, 2024.

At the district court hearing, Benlord’s attorney, Mr Nashiru Yussif, reiterated his application for bail until trial.

According to defence counsel, his client was not a flight risk, and he had persons of substance to stand as sureties when granted bail.

Mr Yussif told the court that Benlord had done nothing that suggests that he would jump bail
or interfere with police investigations.

He argued that the award of bail was based on the constitution, not the facts, and on whether the accused would appear for trial when granted bail.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Retired) Baffour Appenteng Nyamekye, who represented Kwakye, also supported Benlord’s counsel.

He said that Kwakye was simply a victim of circumstance and should be granted bail by the court.

The prosecution, led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Lawrence Anane, was adamantly opposed to the accused receiving bail.

According to ASP Anane, under the law, the court could deny bail if it felt that the accused could interfere with police investigations.

The prosecution brought up the fact that the case at hand was murder, which is a first-degree felony with serious penalties if convicted.

It contended that granting bail would endanger the lives of the accused.

The prosecution told the court that on April 30, 2024, at around 1600 hours, Lance Corporal Michael Danso and two colle
agues, Lance Corporals Abdul Omar Rahman and Ametus Matthew, drove to Millennium City police station in a Toyota RAV4 to report a trespass.

They were informed that some encroachers were developing a parcel of land belonging to Lance Corporal Abdul Omar Rahman.

The accused appeared at the police station, and Benlord attacked and opened fire on Lance Corporal Michael Danso who driving the vehicle, killing him instantly.

Benlord was disarmed by the police and arrested for investigations.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Climate change: The media can do so much to lead by example – Akufo-Addo

Climate change poses an “existential threat to our planet and our way of life,” President Nana Akufo-Addo has said.

“It is here that the media’s role becomes even more critical”, Mr Akufo-Addo said at the 3rd African Media Convention in Accra on Friday, 17th May 2024.

He said: “The media has the platform and the power to focus the world’s attention on the urgency of this issue.

‘It must amplify the voices of those affected by climate change, especially in communities that are often overlooked in international discourse,” the president added.

He said: “Environmental sustainability should be at the heart of media practice.

‘This means not only reporting on climate change but also adopting sustainable practices in media production itself.

“From reducing carbon footprints to promoting recycling and sustainable energy use. There’s much the media industry can do to lead by example,’ he stated.

Source: Ghana Web

Over 3,500 young agripreneurs trained to contribute to agriculture transformation agenda

About 3,500 young agripreneurs have been trained under the AgriTech Challenge programme to contribute to the transformative agenda of the country’s agricultural sector since 2016.

The training focused on innovation in the agriculture value chain to boost production while keeping in mind sustainability and building climate resilient.

Mr Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, Executive Director, Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC), said this at the opening ceremony of the two-day AgriTech Challenge Pro Final Pitch 2024 held in Accra.?

It was organised by KIC in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

The 2024 KIC AgriTech Challenge is a seven-month programme that identifies young people who are interested in setting up a business and provides them with a system of training, workshops, and support to develop their business ideas.

The programme uses coaching and market research tours to encourage participants to take a fresh look at the agriculture value chain and identify new areas with potential business opportunities.

Mr G
yan-Kesse said the journey towards building a successful business was not one that could be undertaken alone, but required collaboration, teamwork, and a shared vision, hence urged the participants to cherish and nurture the networks created.??

‘So, rally behind your business ideas, support one another through the challenges, and together celebrate the victories, both big and small,’ he added.

The Executive Director stated that this year’s edition had seen significant expansion, welcoming six additional academic institutions to the challenge.

He noted that the growth showed the relevance and impact of the AgriTech Challenge Pro, and was confident that it would create innovative solutions to support all actors along the agricultural value chain, improve livelihoods, and contribute to food security.

Mr George Sarpong, Board Chair, KIC, said each year, the event served as a showcase of the boundless potential and unwavering dedication of young entrepreneurs, and that this year was certainly no exception.

said what began as a seed of an idea to create impact for young people in this country, had blossomed into a thriving ecosystem of innovation, fuelled by the entrepreneurial spirit of the talented individuals who participated in the Programme.

The Board Chair said the challenges faced were vast and complex, but it was through the contributions of their ingenuity, determination, and sheer hard work that these solutions were needed to propel Ghana towards a brighter future.

Mr Gottfried Odamtten-Sowah, Head of Entrepreneurship, Mastercard Foundation, Ghana, stated that the core of the Foundation was influencing youth interest in entrepreneurship, especially agribusiness.

‘In fact, about 80 to 90 per cent of the Foundation’s portfolio in Ghana is centered around agriculture and agribusiness,’ he added.

The Head of Entrepreneurship said the Foundation was committed to unlocking three million dignified and fulfilling work opportunities for young women and men by the year 2030.

‘Our daily efforts are guided by
our vision that Ghana will be a continental demonstration of young people, especially women, harnessing opportunities to shape the future of work and to create an inclusive economy with enhanced resilience for the most vulnerable,’ he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Digitalization alone can’t end corruption – Domelevo

Former Auditor General Daniel Domelevo has indicated that digitalization alone cannot help fight corruption.

According to him, until governments ensure that there are consequences for misbehaviour, the fight against corruption will only be lip service.

Daniel Domelevo who was speaking to Accra-based GhOne Television in an interview indicated that IT fraud is even on a larger scale and if stricter punishments are not put in place to deter people from engaging in corrupt activities the country may end up throwing its money away in the digitization drive.

I have seen the government’s drive at digitalization and we are being made to believe this is all aimed at fighting corruption and I laugh. Who says there is no digital corruption?

IT fraud is on a higher scale than even manual one so if there are no consequences for misbehaviour, the fraud will be digitized beyond what you can even think about and it will mean we are throwing our money after a bad money,’ he said.

Source: Ghana Web

Plumber to serve 10 years for unlawful possession of narcotic drugs

A 25-year-old plumber, who allegedly possessed a waste bag containing 19 wraps of rocky substances suspected to be narcotic drugs without authority has been sentenced by an Accra Circuit Court to 10 years imprisonment.

The Court presided over by Mrs Evelyn Asamoah sentenced Gadawor after a full trial.

Prosper Gadawor also had in his possession 30 wraps of dry plant materials and 71 tablets of envelopes of dry plant materials without authority.

He was charged with unlawful possession or control of narcotic drugs.

The facts as narrated by Police Chief Inspector Benson Benneh were that the complainants in the case were Police Officers stationed at the Mamprobi Police Station while the convict was a resident of Camara.

The prosecution said on March 3, 2023, at about 1730 hours, the Mamprobi Police Command embarked on an operation to arrest drug peddlers and users within its jurisdiction.

It said when the team got to Chorkor, Santana, at a wee ghetto, the convict was met running away.

The prosecution said t
he convict was given a hot chase and was arrested.

It said the convict was taken to his room and a search conducted in his room uncovered a waist bag containing 19 wraps of rocky substances, 30 wraps of dry plant materials and 71 tablets of envelopes of dry plant materials, all suspected to be narcotic drugs without authority.

The prosecution said the convict admitted the offence in his caution statement and the exhibits were sealed in the presence of the convict.

It said the exhibits were sent to the Police Forensic Laboratory for examination.

Source: Ghana News Agency