Lower Pra Rural Bank makes gains?

The Lower Pra Rural Bank made considerable gains from its investments in Government and Bank of Ghana securities before the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).

Specific policy reforms, which enhanced the bank’s performance were interest-rate liberalisation, decontrol of credit allocation, and the removal of non-performing assets to the Non-Performing Assets Recovery Trust.

However, major financial regulations that depressed the banks performance were the high level of secondary and primary reserve requirements. 

Also loan recovery generally appeared to remain a problem even though loan applications were better appraised.

‘It is clear that a lot of work has to been done in this area through more pro-active monitoring and supervision of borrowers,’ Ms Aba Dawood, the Board Chairperson of the Bank, said during the 36th Annual General Meeting on Friday.

The bank, she noted, was adopting tech-tools to advance its operations as E-banking was being introduced to transact banking business across the country

During the period under review the bank’s total deposits increased from GHc 183.89m in 2022 to GHc 236.1m in 2023, representing an increase of 28 per cent.

It offered advances to its numerous customers in the form of sundry loans, group loans, loans to salaried workers, overdrafts, consumer goods, and vehicle and building loans.

The advances outstanding under the lending programme in 2023 totalled GHc 101 million as against GHc 93,42 million in 2022, representing nine per cent increase.

The Pra Rural Bank made a provision for bad and doubtful debts amounting to GHc 1,855,514.00 for the year under review.

Ms Dawood said the bank would not relent on its effort in recovering all advances, as a result of which some ‘recalcitrant loan defaulters’ had been sent to court.

‘We wish to assure our shareholders that other more drastic measures will be put in place to recover our overdue loans,’ she said.

‘The bank is continuously pursuing its policy of prudent investment to maximize returns on shareholders fund

The total investment in near cash securities as at December 31, 2023, was GHc 110.3 million as against GHc 67.6 million in 2022 representing 93 percent increase.

The demand for the bank’s shares had also increased due to its enhanced corporate image, while the good returns on shareholders’ funds was contributing to the high demand for its shares. 

The Board Chair encouraged shareholders whose shareholdings were small to endeavour to buy more shares to earn increased benefits from their investments. 

The total assets as at December 31, 2023, amounted to GHc 255.9 million as against GHc 201.9 million in 2022, an increase of 26.75 percent. 

The growth in the Total Assets conforms to the Bank’s sustainable growth rate policy.

Its profitability increases by 113 percent over the previous year.

On social investment for operating areas and elsewhere, the bank reported of investment in school, health and other community-initiated projects.

Its scholarship scheme had benefitted some 2,380 with a total invet
erate package of 4, 760,000 cedis.

Mr Isaac Afful, the Out-going Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, entreated the workers to hold high the pillars of discipline and proper internal control measures that had sustained the organisation’s fortunes.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Your claims are spurious and unfounded – Ministry of Energy tells Kevin Taylor

The Ministry of Energy has dismissed claims made by social commentator Kevin Taylor, who accused Energy Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and the 2024 NPP campaign of benefiting from a $150 million contract involving Tullow, Kosmos, GNPC, and Petro SA.

According to the Ministry, the allegations in a video circulated on social media are spurious and unfounded adding that Taylor failed to provide details about the contract, choosing instead to spread lies to tarnish reputations.

In a statement issued on behalf of the Ministry of Energy and signed by the Press Aide to the Minister, it clarified the Ministry’s role in contracting within Ghana’s upstream petroleum industry.

“The Ministry of Energy is not responsible for signing and approving contracts in Ghana’s upstream petroleum space. Therefore, matters involving Tullow and its Partners mentioned do not require Ministry approval. A little research could have avoided this embarrassment,” the statement read.

The statement also addressed Taylor’s insinuation
that Dr. Prempeh personally stands to gain and fund the NPP 2024 campaign through the contract, describing the claim as unfounded.

The Ministry explained that contracting in the upstream sector undergoes a rigorous technical and commercial assessment by the Operator before recommendations are made to the Partners for their independent assessments and evaluations.

It emphasized that this process is not subject to government control.

In cases where the government seeks to increase Ghanaian participation in the upstream industry, ‘it does not influence the assessment and evaluation conducted by the Operator and its Partners in the upstream contracting space,’ the ministry said.

The statement suggested that the Minister of Energy, Dr. Opoku Prempeh, could initiate legal proceedings if Kevin Taylor continues to impugn criminality on the sector minister.

The Ministry also urged the public to disregard the false claims and treat them with utmost contempt.

Source: Ghana Web

MTN remains top African brand, as well as leading brand ‘doing good’

MTN Group has retained the top spot in the annual ‘Brand Africa 100: Best Brands’ survey, also continuing to lead the list of African brands ‘doing good for society, people and environment’ in recognition of our ESG efforts to create shared value and a sustainable business, society and world.

‘This Africa Day, we take heart from this accolade and would like to acknowledge and thank our partners everywhere for their support,’ said MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita.

‘MTN is committed to meeting our customers’ current and future needs, leveraging digital capabilities for a more sustainable future, and fostering strong partnerships to drive meaningful change. These awards inspire us to keep focused,’ he added.

The Brand Africa awards are the result of independent research in more than 30 markets which account for 85% of the continent’s population and economic activity.

MTN Group has mobile operations in 17 countries on the continent. Since 2021, our strategy has been ‘Ambition 2025:
Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress’.

Among our ESG commitments are those to eco responsibility and achieving Net Zero emissions by 2040; driving digital and financial inclusion and a diverse society; being a committed partner to stakeholders to create and protect value; and boosting inclusive economic growth across the continent.

In April, Brand Finance ranked MTN as the most valuable South African brand, as well as the top South African brand by ‘sustainability perceptions value’, assigning MTN a brand value of R68.2 billion and a sustainability perceptions value of R5.7 billion.

Source: Ghana Web

Trust not Mahama: He ‘doesn’t do Free SHS’!

We may like it or not, but the Free SHS policy remains a key topic in the 2024 electioneering campaign.

Some of us, as a matter of principle, are extremely surprised to hear Mahama claiming forcefully that the NDC started the Free SHS programme and the NPP came and continued it.

My dear reader, if you may recall, during the 2016 electioneering campaign, former President Mahama was captured on tape vehemently emitting: ‘Hey! That Ghana must not introduce Free SHS on a whimsical promise of a desperate politician’. ‘Many mistakes have been made by countries in Africa already with Free SHS.’

‘The government has budgeted 2 billion cedis for Free SHS for this academic year’. ‘If you have 2 billion more to spend on education, would you spend all of it on Free SHS, so that even when people can afford to pay, they don’t have to pay?’

It was, therefore, not quite surprising back then when Akufo-Addo expressed his astonishment: ‘I heard something yesterday that surprised me. The former President stated that my promi
se to start the free SHS policy was false and just a ploy to deceive Ghanaians. He was strongly against the policy and stated that if he had the money to implement that policy, he will use it for something else. He also said it will take Ghana years to implement it but now he is saying he started the Free SHS, and it’s surprising.’

By implementing the Free SHS, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration has estimably upheld the international human rights provision on free universal secondary education, which is encapsulated in Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.

That being said, in recent times, concerned Ghanaians have been questioning the sustainability of the Free SHS implementation due to the obvious challenges.

Of course, like any other policy, the Free SHS has its challenges. However, on the preponderance of probability, the positives outweigh the negatives within the Free SHS implementation.

It must, however, be noted that in the early stages of the policy
implementation, the skeptics moved heaven and earth to discredit the policy implementation in order to score cheap political points.

The NDC operatives unabashedly sponsored countless adverts and campaigned against the poverty reduction Free SHS policy during the 2016 electioneering campaign.

Regrettably, however, no less a person than ex-president Mahama has been criticizing Akufo-Addo for implementing the Free SHS policy, allegedly, at the expense of other developmental projects (see: ‘Free SHS crippling other sectors-Mahama, classfmonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 24/02/2018).

Former President Mahama is quoted to have lamented during one of the NDC’s unity health walks: ‘The problem this government is facing and it is in their interest, is that, Free Senior High School is absorbing all the fiscal space they have and so almost every money you have, you are having to put it into Free Senior High School. So you can’t pay District Assemblies Common Fund, you can’t pay NHIS (National Health Insurance Scheme), you ca
n’t pay GET Fund (Ghana Education Trust Fund), you can’t pay other salaries and things because all your money is going into Free Senior High School.’

Given the circumstances, observers can draw the inference that Mahama does not fancy the Free SHS and therefore he is not ready to spend a huge amount of money to run the policy.

So, it came as a huge surprise to some of us when the 2020 NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, and his teeming supporters moved heaven and earth to claim ownership of the Free SHS policy. How ironic?

In fact, it would only take a doubting Thomas to challenge the fact that the NDC loyalists, who take pride in the social democratic ideology, are not in the business of promoting the welfare of the masses.

One would have thought that individuals who pride themselves as social democrats would be extremely empathetic to the needs of the masses, but this is not the case with the NDC as a party.

There is no denying or ignoring the fact that the NDC has a penchant for running down or cance
ling crucial social interventions. It is a sad case of social democrats who do not know how to initiate and manage social interventions.

Truly, the erstwhile NDC government willfully canceled/collapsed the Nurse’s Allowance, the Teacher’s Allowance, SADA, GYEEDA, NHIS, Maternal Care, the School Feeding program, and the Mass Transport System, amongst others.

Given the circumstances, it will not come as a surprise at all if the future NDC government decides to cancel the Free SHS altogether.

Since the inception of the Fourth Republican Constitution, the self-proclaimed social democrats have been opposing social interventions that have been proposed by the successive NPP governments such as the Free Maternal Care, the NHIS, the Metro Mass Transport, the School Feeding Programme, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the Free SHS, amongst others.

It is, therefore, fair to stress that the NDC faithful do not fancy the ‘Comprehensively Free SHS, and hence moving heaven and earth to discredit the ex
pedient poverty alleviation policy implementation.

The opposition NDC operatives’ attitude towards the Free SHS implementation should be a wake-up call to discerning Ghanaians.

Sometimes, one cannot help but admire some of our politicians for their incredible dexterity in systematic propagation of propaganda.

Let us admit, that the never-ending display of hypocrisy by the NDC loyalists is mind-boggling.

What is more pleasing to some of us is that the social mobility improvement Free SHS policy will at least provide a sound and congenial environment for the students to develop to their full potential and to have a reasonable chance of leading productive and creative lives.

However, we cannot vouch for the sustainability of the free SHS policy should Ghanaians make a terrible mistake and hand over the poverty alleviation-free SHS programme back to the NDC shortly.

Our fears stem from the fact that since the implementation of the free SHS policy by the NPP administration, the minority NDC operatives have g
athered momentum and called uncountable press conferences with the view to discrediting the policy’s implementation.

Somehow, the minority NDC operatives prefer ‘progressively free’ (whatever that means) to the NPP’s comprehensively free.

Well, they may choose to discredit the Free SHS policy, but the fact remains that the policy will return huge benefits in the long run.

By and large, the vast majority of Ghanaians will benefit immensely from the policy, including my maternal uncle, Oliver, a diehard NDC supporter, who had earlier criticized the poverty alleviation Free SHS.

But despite my uncle Oliver’s needless and never-ending pessimism, he is likely to reap tremendous benefits and will most likely decline to endorse Mahama to cancel such an advantageous policy.

The credible sources have it that the government will spend more than GH6000 over three years on each student.

So, my uncle Oliver, who has three of his children in SHS, will be pocketing not less than GH18000 over three years.

Who can then
persuade my maternal uncle to turn down such a juicy offer and vote for the unrepentant critic of the Free SHS who could well abandon the policy?

It is quite unfortunate to witness how some Ghanaians could easily give in to the manipulating politicians’ vague rhetoric and vile propaganda designed to advance their vested interests.

My maternal uncle was amongst the millions of impoverished Ghanaians who were brainwashed by the cunning and manipulating politicians to reject the poverty intervention Free SHS offered during the 2016 electioneering campaign.

If everyone else had voted the same way as Uncle Oliver did, I am not sure his three children would have benefited from any free SHS.

I, for one, do not anticipate Uncle Oliver and the likes benefiting from the Free SHS policy should Ghanaians make a terrible mistake and hand over the poverty alleviation Free SHS policy back to the NDC government shortly.

Clearly, former President Mahama and his brassbound supporters are trying desperately to claim owners
hip of the poverty alleviation Free SHS, albeit, to the utter disgust of the well-meaning Ghanaians.

Source: Ghana Web

Alhaji Alhassan Uthman Gbangu donates 21 brand new registered motorbikes to NDC youth wings

It has often been said that what distinguishes men of actions from men of words is their deeds. The latter part of this proposition is true of Alhaji Alhassan Uthman Gbangu as his deeds have always distinguished him from his peers.

In his usual generous gesture and commitment to the party, Alhaji Alhassan Gbangu, an all-time party financier and member of the National Business and Entrepreneurship Committee as well as a member of the National Welfare Committee, has today donated twenty-one (21) registered Aloba motorbikes to North East and Upper East Regions respectively.

This gesture is aimed at enhancing the mobility and effectiveness of the youth organs to enable them to reach remote areas and mobilize support for the party in Northern Ghana.

The former Municipal Chief Executive of the Wa Municipality, Hon. Ishaku Nuhu Putiaha, in presenting the motorbikes to H.E John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the NDC for the 2024 General Elections, intimated that the donation of the motorbikes, valued at a cost
of Two Hundred Sixty-Three Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty Ghana Cedis (Ghc263,550), is to retool the various youth wings of the party to make them vibrant and fit for purpose.

Receiving the motorbikes on behalf of the Regional Chairmen, H.E. John Dramani Mahama used the opportunity to express his profound gratitude to Alhaji Alhassan Gbangu for his unflinching commitment and financial support to the party over the years.

He recounted similar donations the business mogul made to the party in the Upper West, Savannah, and Northern Regions respectively. He called on the party leadership in the respective Regions to ensure that the motorbikes are used for the service of the party to secure victory for the party in the 2024 General Elections.

It is instructive to note that this donation marks the completion of Alhaji Alhassan Uthman Gbangu’s donations of motorbikes to the party in the five (5) Regions of Northern Ghana. In all, a total of fifty-seven (57) registered motorbikes valued at Seven Hundred and Fifte
en Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty Ghana Cedis (Ghc715,350.00) have been donated to all the constituencies in Northern Ghana.

The ceremony was witnessed by the former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, Dr. Calistus Mahama, Head of Administration at the office of the former president, and other High office holders of the party.

Source: Ghana Web

The resurgence of veteran Nigerian musicians

The Nigerian music industry is experiencing an unprecedented boom, with music production quality at an all-time high. Intense competition ensures that only the best artists survive, leaving no room for mediocrity.

This thriving environment, bolstered by substantial financial investments, has sparked a resurgence of interest from veteran artists, often referred to as OGs. Artists like PSquare and Ice Prince are making notable comebacks after being off the scene for a while.

Additionally, Tony Tetula has hinted at a possible remix of his song “My Car” with Burna Boy. Whether these returning artists will succeed remains to be seen, but their efforts underscore the industry’s allure and immense potential.

The popularity of Nigerian music, particularly Afrobeats, has soared globally. Nigerian artists such as Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido have become international superstars.

They are headlining shows in international stadiums and renowned venues like Madison Square Garden in New York and the O2 Arena in London
, performing to massive crowds. These successful international tours signify their widespread appeal and contribute significantly to their revenue streams.

Afrobeats’ infectious rhythms and unique blend of traditional and modern sounds have captivated audiences worldwide. This genre has transcended borders, establishing Nigerian music as a dominant force in global music.

Streaming platforms have revolutionized the music industry, and Nigerian artists are among the biggest beneficiaries. These platforms have made it possible for Nigerian music to reach audiences worldwide.

This accessibility has led to increased revenues for artists, allowing them to monetize their music on a global scale. Streaming has enabled Afrobeats to become a worldwide phenomenon, with listeners from various parts of the globe enjoying the genre.

Social media platforms have become vital for content creation and engagement, providing artists with more avenues to generate income and interact with their fans.

The growing global recogn
ition of Afrobeats has fostered numerous collaborations between Nigerian artists and their international counterparts. These partnerships have significantly boosted the visibility and income of Nigerian musicians.

Noteworthy collaborations include Wizkid’s work with Drake, Burna Boy’s collaborations with Stormzy, and Davido’s tracks with Chris Brown. Such alliances expand the audience base for Afrobeats and lead to innovative and exciting musical creations.

orsements have also become a significant source of revenue for Nigerian artists. Both local and international brands acknowledge the influence of these musicians, resulting in high-value endorsement deals. These partnerships demonstrate the artists’ increasing marketability and commercial appeal. Some endorsements run into hundreds of millions of naira.

In light of the industry’s explosive growth and lucrative opportunities, many veteran artists are making a comeback. These OGs, who were once at the forefront of the Nigerian music scene, are re-entering
the industry, hoping to reclaim their place and capitalize on the current boom. The modern music landscape, with its advanced technology and global reach, offers these veterans opportunities that were not available during their prime.

However, the success of their comebacks is uncertain. The music industry has evolved significantly, with new trends, technologies, and audience preferences shaping its current state. OGs must adapt to these changes, leveraging modern platforms and collaborating with contemporary artists to stay relevant.

Collaborations between returning veterans and the new generation of artistes could lead to innovative sounds and a fusion of styles that captivate both old and new fans.

In conclusion, the Nigerian music industry is in a golden era of growth and global recognition. The influx of financial investments, the rise of streaming platforms, and the popularity of Afrobeats have created a thriving environment for new and returning artists.

While the success of the OGs’ comebacks is y
et to be determined, their return underscores the boundless potential and appeal of the industry. As Nigerian music continues to captivate the world, the future looks bright for its artists and fans.

Source: Ghana Web

Ambulance case: Prosecution of Ato Forson incompetent and needless – Bright Simons

Honorary Vice President of the policy think-tank IMANI-Africa, Bright Simons has criticized the prosecution of Minority Leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson in the ongoing ambulance trial, calling it incompetent and unnecessary due to its basis.

Dr. Ato Forson, a former Deputy Finance Minister, is on trial along with two others for allegedly causing financial loss to the state through the importation of 30 ambulances. This is part of a 2012 contract between the Ministry of Health and Dubai-based firm, Big Sea Limited, for the purchase of 200 ambulances.

The prosecution claims that Dr. Ato Forson issued letters of credit without authorization from his then-boss, Finance Minister Seth Terkper. However, Mr. Terkper testified in court that he did indeed authorize Dr. Ato Forson to establish the letters of credit.

Despite this testimony, the case continues, with the third accused, Richard Jakpa, currently being cross-examined. Bright Simons took to social media, posting on X on Saturday, May 25, to voice his opinion o
n the matter.

He believes the case is an attempt to silence the Minority in Parliament and insists that letters of credit are not payments themselves but guarantees to honor or refuse payment based on whether certain conditions are met.

‘I’ve racked my brains for eons and still can’t understand why this fact so obvious to every business person isn’t clear to Ghana’s Attorney General. The case against the Minority Leader in Ghana’s Parliament for authorizing an LC is INCOMPETENT. Not just because of this MP’s point.’

‘But more importantly because of what an LC is. An LC is not a simple instruction to pay. It is a guarantee to honor or REFUSE payment if CERTAIN CONDITIONS are met/NOT MET. This is a pure political prosecution to muzzle the opposition in Parliament. Luckily, it isn’t working,’ he posted.

Bright Simons’ comments highlight the broader political implications of the trial, suggesting it is being used as a tool to weaken opposition voices. The ongoing trial has drawn significant attention and cont

As the cross-examination of Richard Jakpa proceeds, the debate over the legitimacy and motivations behind the charges against Dr. Ato Forson and the other accused continues to intensify.


I’ve racked my brains for eons and still can’t understand why this fact so obvious to every business person isn’t clear to Ghana’s Attorney General. The case against the Minority Leader in Ghana’s Parliament for authorising an LC is INCOMPETENT. Not just bcos of this MP’s point pic.twitter.com/MKVdmQWDz6

– Bright Simons (@BBSimons) May 25, 2024

Source: Ghana Web

The illusion of a 24-hour economy: NDC’s questionable flagship policy for 2024

The primary flagship policy of the NDC going into the 2024 elections is a 24-hour economy. Although Mahama first appeared uncertain about this idea, the NDC may have adopted it as a cornerstone of their campaign after constant requests for clarity.

Important NDC members have offered several justifications, and the party’s communication team has released briefings outlining the plan. Though Mahama made early declarations about improving security and encouraging the private sector to take part, current events indicate that the program is more of a politically driven campaign pledge than a workable strategy.

The NDC has dubbed this approach “obiaa bedidi,” which translates to “everyone will be fed.” They say it will give young people jobs, with some working in the morning and others in the evening, therefore guaranteeing complete employment through a rotating work regime.

That assertion is false and unjustified, nevertheless. Though Mahama may have a decent idea, the manner it is being portrayed is dishonest
and merely propaganda.

Considering how little or nonexistent demand there is for many government services right now, the government cannot realistically hire more people for its many agencies. Without matching demand, no government is encouraged to impose a rotational work schedule.

Ghana also lacks the businesses and manufacturing required to generate the jobs the NDC pledges. Ghana has an economy that depends heavily on imports; hence this dependence will not go away easily.

Important questions are yet unsolved: Considering the great demand for their services, how many private businesses are prepared to put in place a shift system? Are these businesses driven enough by incentives? Will they be ready to abide by changes in labor legislation, such as shift workers receiving hourly pay?

If not for political reasons, the NDC should not be endorsing the 24-hour economy as their main agenda. The NDC knows that such a policy cannot be supported by Ghana’s erratic economy. The false promise that ‘everyone will
be fed’ jeopardizes the nation’s future development.

The NDC is trying to polish a policy that is out of step with the realities of Ghana’s economy in its pursuit of power. Unfortunately, some intellectuals back this approach because they believe they can profit from the NDC.

Source: Ghana Web