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‘Can I answer that question?’ – Kwarasey reveals he’s a Hearts of Oak fan

Former Black Stars goalkeeper, Adam Kwarasey, has revealed he’s a staunch supporter of Ghana Premier League giants, Hearts of Oak.

The Norwegian-born Ghanaian who made the decision to join the Black Stars in November 2007 spoke all things outside football in an up-close and personal session with Joy sports George Addo Jnr.

Often tricky to make a choice between Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko because of their huge following, Kwarasey hesitated but got there in the end.

“Can I answer that question?” Kwarasey asked with a smiley face before making his choice.

“Hearts of Oak Of course, Sulley Muntari plays for Hearts and he’s my guy, so definitely hearts Of Oak.

Kwarasey made his international debut for Ghana against Swaziland in the 2012 Afcon qualifiers and was the first-choice goalkeeper at the main tournament where the Black Stars finished fourth.

He made two appearances during the Ghana 2014 world cup qualifiers and started in goal for the Black Stars in the opening defeat to USA in Natal.

Click link to watch full up-close session.

News

Ofori-Atta struggles to answer if Jesus Christ is happy with how he is managing the economy

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, seems to be unaware of Jesus Christ’s mood when it comes to how he is managing the economy.

While admitting that the country’s economy is not the best he is optimistic that things will bounce back to normal.

“We are in very difficult unprecedent global times given the Covid-19 situation and the effects of the Russian-Ukraine war,” he explained.

He said prior to these unforeseen circumstances, 1.2m children had been catered for under the Free Senior High School programme, “we have teacher trainees’ allowance, which we never had, we have nursing trainees’ allowance which we never had. Clearly, between 2016 and 2020, we had an economic environment that was par none in the past 15 years.”

Thus, when he was asked in an interview on Hard Truth if Jesus will be happy with him, he said “I think it’s an issue of willingness and obedience to what Christ would like us to do; honest good job done over the period? Yes.

“Holy spirit guiding us to the things we do? Yes. Am I confident that he is leading us in the right direction? Unequivocally.”

“It is very difficult to think that one will be holly enough to the acceptance you constantly pray that you have the courage and the spirit to go on,” he added.

Mr. Ofori-Atta assured that government would chart a sustainable course that will restore macro economic activities.

Hard Truth is aired on JoyNews on Tuesdays between 6:00pm and 7:00pm.

News

We were starved for a week – Nollywood actors recount kidnap ordeal

Nollywood actors Cynthia Okereke and Clemson Cornell, aka Agbogidi, have recounted their ordeal after they were kidnapped for about a week.

In a video shared on social media, Cynthia said that she was grateful to be alive after the predicament including being starved for a week.

She stated that the support and prayers from her family, friends and colleagues ensured her safety after the kidnap.

“My BP is high, but to God be the glory for all of you. They thought I was going away, but I am not. For a good one week, I was there without water or food. But today, I say God to you be all the glory forever and ever,” Cynthia Okereke said.

Clemson Cornel also noted that he was exhausted following the kidnap and need absolute rest.

“I am just out of the hospital. But I thank God the doctor had seen me, and everything went fine. I appreciate you all. I’m a bit weak, so I’ll be going home shortly to have some rest,” he said.

The two Nollywood actors Cynthia Okereke and Clemson Cornel were kidnapped on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

AGN’s Director of Communications, Monalisa Chinda who broke the news said the actors were reported missing after their family members confirmed that they didn’t return from a film location at Ozalla Town, Enugu state.

Twenty-four hours after the kidnapping, the perpetrators were reported to have made contact with the family of the actors demanding a ransom for their release.

Subsequently, the AGN National President, Emeka Rollas, told Premium Times that the kidnappers are requesting $100,000.

But when the Guild attempted to pay a ransom, Mr Rollas said they mocked him.

Mr. Rollas appealed to his colleagues in the movie industry to help raise more money to release Cynthia Okereke and Clemson Cornel.

The actors were released a few days later. At the time of their release, it was unclear whether the Guild or the families of the actors paid a ransom to secure their freedom.

Meanwhile, Cynthia Okereke in an interview with Sunday Scoop revealed that her family did pay a ransom to secure their release.

Asked how much was paid to secure her freedom, the actress said, “that is what I won’t tell you, but a ransom was paid. I don’t want it to go viral but ransom was paid. My husband was the one who took the ransom to Ngwa in Abia State.”

The actress added that she will return to acting after a much-needed rest.

Cynthia Okereke said that she was not going to let this experience affect her work.

News

You have given me some of my best memories – Adwoa Safo celebrates husband

Member of Parliament, Adwoa Safo on Sunday took to social media to celebrate her husband, Hanny Mouhtiseb, on their fourth wedding anniversary.

In an emotional post on Facebook, Adwoa Safo noted that it has been her pleasure to share some of her memorable moments with him.

She stated that she was thankful to God for bringing them together to share a life.

The MP shared a picture of herself with her husband and their kids.

“You’re a great husband and a wonderful father… Time they say flies when you are having fun and our marriage has been a trite definition of that. These past four years with you have given me some of my best and fondest memories of my life,” Adwoa Safo wrote.

The Dome Kwabenya MP also thanked her husband for being her support and strength throughout their marriage.

“You’ve been the silver lining in what has been a stormy year. You have touched my heart in more ways than I imagined possible and I love you more and more with each passing year.”

“Here’s to many more years filled with Love, Joy and Eternal bliss. I will always love you my dear Hanny. Happy 4th Anniversary.,” Adwoa Safo added.

Adowa Safo tied the knot with her man Hanny Mouhtiseb on August 4, 2019, at a private ceremony attended by close friends and associates.

News Sports

Salisu was ‘not good enough’ for Southampton in Tottenham defeat – Hasenhuttl

Southampton manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl, says Mohammed Salisu was far from his best during the 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in the opening week of the English Premier League.

The Saints blew an early lead against Spurs in London, and the 23-year-old Black Star was at fault for the third goal.

James Ward-Prowse gave Southampton a well-deserved lead, but Spurs quickly raced into a 2-1 halftime lead with goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Eric Dier.

The Ghana international netted an own goal in the second half despite being in a position to clear the threat with his right foot. Dejan Kulusevski then sealed the victory.

“This is individual quality,” Hasenhuttl told reporters afterwards as quoted by HampshireLive. “Like with the first goal where Kyle [Walker-Peters] is not there to stop the cross. In situations like this normally we cannot concede a goal here.

“It’s easy [for Salisu] to clear with the right foot here. This is simply not good enough at this level.”

Hasenhuttl has also attributed the team’s performance collapse to Salisu’s own goal, which he believes ended the game.

“Not the reaction we wanted from the new team. It’s not about changing the shape, it’s about not conceding the third goal. The own goal in the second half was what killed the game,” Hasenhuttl told Southampton’s website.

“It’s always tough to defend against such teams, last year we conceded two goals and scored three so we have to have a balance of how deep we are sitting. In the end, we have a lack of quality in every part of our game. In every team, they show you what you are missing.

“The first goals we conceded it was a good comeback from the opponent, it left them very strong and then in the second half we tried to change it a little bit to get a little bit more pressure up front but it wasn’t enough for us.”

The Saints are back in action next weekend when they host Leeds United in their second game.

News Sports

Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo joins Joy Sports

Broadcast journalist Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo has joined the Joy Sports team as Editor.

The 34-year-old moves to the Joy Brands (Myjoyonline, Joy FM, Joy Business, JoyNews, Joy Prime and Hitz FM) of the Multimedia Group Limited, after leaving his role at Citi FM/Citi TV, where he worked as Head of Sports at the time of his departure.

‘Fent’, as he is affectionately called, brings to the Joy Brands over eight years’ worth of experience as a sports journalist in Ghana.

He is expected to make all that experience count in further strengthening Joy Sports’ position as the leading sports news platform in Ghana and in Africa.

“This is an exciting new opportunity for me. Some of my mentors in the industry, like Karl Tufuoh, Michael Oti Adjei and Ernest Koranteng, have all passed through Joy; I’m thrilled by the prospect of taking the same stage as they did and showing what I’ve got,” says Fentuo.

“Joy Sports already has some of the finest in this space on board – from experienced ones like Gary [Al-Smith], George [Addo Jnr] and Nathaniel [Attoh] to the bright young talents of Muftawu [Nabila] and Owuraku [Ampofo] – and I can’t wait to work with all of them.”

Gary Al-Smith, Head of the Joy Brands’ Sport, said of Fentuo’s switch: “We are very excited to have Fent, finally. The leadership of the team has wanted him to come along for a while, and we’re grateful to MGL for making it happen. Fent is just the addition this team needs as we aim for bigger things.”

Fentuo started his career in sports broadcasting as an intern at radio stations across Kumasi, while a student at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Upon graduation, he rose to become Sports Editor at one of those stations, Ultimate FM, before moving to Accra to join Citi in 2017.

In the ensuing five years – and especially after his June 2020 appointment to the helm of the Citi Sports crew – Fentuo helped create one of the strongest sports news brands in Ghana.

He was, most notably, host of Citi TV’s Scorecard – a Sunday night sports show that reviews the weekend’s major sporting activities around the world – and of Football Made in Ghana, a Pidgin-English show dedicated to Ghanaian football.

Fentuo was also co-host of Citi FM’s popular Friday evening show, Sports Panorama.

As well as being considered one of the most authoritative voices on athletics on the continent, Fentuo – who hails from Tumu, a town in Ghana’s Upper West Region – is known for his in-depth knowledge across multiple sports.

The well-travelled broadcaster has covered many competitions, such as the Africa Cup of Nations and the World Athletics Championships – including the latest edition of the latter, in Oregon, USA – and has been featured on international platforms like the BBC, World Athletics, Newzroom Afrika and CGTN.

Fentuo holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and English from the University of Ghana and Elon University (USA).

As mentioned previously, he prefers to go by the name Fent, but the Joy Sports team are determined to keep the popular nickname he has – they will call him “Tumu Jon Snow”.

News Sports

Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo joins Joy Sports

Broadcast journalist Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo has joined the Joy Sports team as Editor.

The 34-year-old moves to the Joy Brands (Myjoyonline, Joy FM, Joy Business, JoyNews, Joy Prime and Hitz FM) of the Multimedia Group Limited, after leaving his role at Citi FM/Citi TV, where he worked as Head of Sports at the time of his departure.

‘Fent’, as he is affectionately called, brings to the Joy Brands over eight years’ worth of experience as a sports journalist in Ghana.

He is expected to make all that experience count in further strengthening Joy Sports’ position as the leading sports news platform in Ghana and in Africa.

“This is an exciting new opportunity for me. Some of my mentors in the industry, like Karl Tufuoh, Michael Oti Adjei and Ernest Koranteng, have all passed through Joy; I’m thrilled by the prospect of taking the same stage as they did and showing what I’ve got,” says Fentuo.

“Joy Sports already has some of the finest in this space on board – from experienced ones like Gary [Al-Smith], George [Addo Jnr] and Nathaniel [Attoh] to the bright young talents of Muftawu [Nabila] and Owuraku [Ampofo] – and I can’t wait to work with all of them.”

Gary Al-Smith, Head of the Joy Brands’ Sport, said of Fentuo’s switch: “We are very excited to have Fent, finally. The leadership of the team has wanted him to come along for a while, and we’re grateful to MGL for making it happen. Fent is just the addition this team needs as we aim for bigger things.”

Fentuo started his career in sports broadcasting as an intern at radio stations across Kumasi, while a student at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Upon graduation, he rose to become Sports Editor at one of those stations, Ultimate FM, before moving to Accra to join Citi in 2017.

In the ensuing five years – and especially after his June 2020 appointment to the helm of the Citi Sports crew – Fentuo helped create one of the strongest sports news brands in Ghana.

He was, most notably, host of Citi TV’s Scorecard – a Sunday night sports show that reviews the weekend’s major sporting activities around the world – and of Football Made in Ghana, a Pidgin-English show dedicated to Ghanaian football.

Fentuo was also co-host of Citi FM’s popular Friday evening show, Sports Panorama.

As well as being considered one of the most authoritative voices on athletics on the continent, Fentuo – who hails from Tumu, a town in Ghana’s Upper West Region – is known for his in-depth knowledge across multiple sports.

The well-travelled broadcaster has covered many competitions, such as the Africa Cup of Nations and the World Athletics Championships – including the latest edition of the latter, in Oregon, USA – and has been featured on international platforms like the BBC, World Athletics, Newzroom Afrika and CGTN.

Fentuo holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and English from the University of Ghana and Elon University (USA).

As mentioned previously, he prefers to go by the name Fent, but the Joy Sports team are determined to keep the popular nickname he has – they will call him “Tumu Jon Snow”.

News

S&P rating puts Ghana’s financial landscape into challenging times – Economist

Economist and Political Risk Analyst, Dr. Theo Acheampong has described the revision of Ghana’s credit rating to CCC+/C by S&P Global Rating as putting the country’s financial landscape into a more precarious situation.

According to him, the government must quickly fast-track the negotiation with the International Monetary Fund to secure an economic programme urgently, in order to bring credibility to the country’s ability to borrow from the international capital markets.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show Monday August 8th, 2022, Dr. Acheampong said S&P’s rating indicates that Ghana is one step away from defaulting in repaying of its loans.

“What this really has done is that it has made the financing landscape of the country even more challenging because the country’s debt has been pretty much put into a speculative trajectory. And we are only one step below being classified or as being in default in that regard”.

“So the financing landscape has become extremely challenging or limiting for the government; the deficit and the debt is rising amidst all the follow-on-effect of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, it does mean that things are going to be challenging”, he stressed.

S&P was the only rating agency among the big three that did not downgrade Ghana earlier in the year.

It maintained the country’s credit rating at B-/B, but with a negative outlook.

Dr. Acheampong said the rating agency had to revise its earlier rating because government’s tax measures including the Electronic Transaction Levy expected to have rake in more revenue have failed to do so.

“If you recall S&P earlier in the year decided not to downgrade Ghana when the two other rating agencies i.e. Fitch and Moody’s had done so. And they [S&P] said that with the expectation that some of the new revenue measures, E-levy, and additional collections will come through.”

“But half year through the year, what we’ve seen actually is that the e-levy is underperforming and collecting 10% of the intended target”, he added.

News

Police probes alleged attack on Kofi Adoma

The Ghana Police Service has commenced investigations into the alleged attack on Kofi Adoma Nwanwani, the Director of News at Accra-based Angel Broadcasting Network (ABN).

The Service said it began investigating the case immediately it came to its attention. 

The Police made this known in a brief press statement posted on its social media pages on Sunday, August 7. 

“The Police are investigating alleged attacks by some unknown persons on Stephen Kofi Adomah, a staff of Angel Broadcasting Network on August 6, 2022, at Old Ashongman Village in Accra.

Investigation into the alleged incident commenced immediately the matter came to the attention of the Police.”

About the attack 

Kofi Adoma Nwanwanii is currently on admission after being attacked by some unknown persons around Old Ashongman.

The incident is said to have occurred on Saturday, August 6, 2022.

According to information gathered, Mr. Adoma, who is the CEO of Kofi TV and the host of Angel FM’s morning show, was returning from Kuntunse, when the attackers crossed him.

The men, who were on motorbikes and armed with sharp objects, left injuries on the presenter’s face, arms and shoulders.

Further reports indicate that, they attempted to set him ablaze after pouring some substance believed to be petrol on him.

News

S&P rating puts Ghana’s financial landscape into challenging times – Economist

Economist and Political Risk Analyst, Dr. Theo Acheampong has described the revision of Ghana’s credit rating to CCC+/C by S&P Global Rating as putting the country’s financial landscape into a more precarious situation.

According to him, the government must quickly fast-track the negotiation with the International Monetary Fund to secure an economic programme urgently, in order to bring credibility to the country’s ability to borrow from the international capital markets.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show Monday August 8th, 2022, Dr. Acheampong said S&P’s rating indicates that Ghana is one step away from defaulting in repaying of its loans.

“What this really has done is that it has made the financing landscape of the country even more challenging because the country’s debt has been pretty much put into a speculative trajectory. And we are only one step below being classified or as being in default in that regard”.

“So the financing landscape has become extremely challenging or limiting for the government; the deficit and the debt is rising amidst all the follow-on-effect of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, it does mean that things are going to be challenging”, he stressed.

S&P was the only rating agency among the big three that did not downgrade Ghana earlier in the year.

It maintained the country’s credit rating at B-/B, but with a negative outlook.

Dr. Acheampong said the rating agency had to revise its earlier rating because government’s tax measures including the Electronic Transaction Levy expected to have rake in more revenue have failed to do so.

“If you recall S&P earlier in the year decided not to downgrade Ghana when the two other rating agencies i.e. Fitch and Moody’s had done so. And they [S&P] said that with the expectation that some of the new revenue measures, E-levy, and additional collections will come through.”

“But half year through the year, what we’ve seen actually is that the e-levy is underperforming and collecting 10% of the intended target”, he added.

News

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News

Standard Bank slashes Ghana’s growth rate to 3.1% in 2022

Africa’s biggest bank, Standard Bank, has slashed Ghana’s growth rate forecast for 2022 to 3.1%, from the earlier 6.2%.

It has also lowered its 2023 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast for the country to 4.1%, from the earlier 6.8%.

The government in the 2022 Mid-Year Budget Review cut the growth rate for this year to 3.7%, from the earlier projection of 5.8%.

But according to Standard Bank, the country’s growth now faces a confluence of downside risks in 2022 and 2023.

“Firstly, the government is running out of external financing options; therefore, public investment in infrastructure is unlikely to underpin growth over the coming year”.

“Secondly, the Ghana cedi’s plummet since January [2022] has further bumped up inflation, which would soften private household consumption over the coming year [2023]. Therefore, the BoG’s Monetary Policy Committee may have to further raise the key benchmark rate to stem rising inflation expectations as well as support the Ghana cedi”, it added.

This, it said may also further reduce private investment over the coming year. 

It also pointed out that the country’s growth rate also faces rising domestic fuel prices, and with no fuel subsidies to offer any support.

“GDP growth also faces rising domestic fuel prices, and with no fuel subsidies to offer any support. Still, the gold sector may offer some upside to our outlook. Off its low base of 2021, gold production should therefore recover, based on key mines’ forecasts”.

Balance of payments deficit to widen to 4.1% of GDP in 2022

Standard Bank said the balance of payment deficit will widen to 4.1% of GDP in 2022, and then narrow to 2.6% in 2023.

“We now expect the C/A deficit to widen to 4.1% of GDP in 2022, then narrow to 2.6% in 2023. Still, financing a wider C/A deficit in 2022 would prove near impossible due to the lack of external funding”.

The Ghanaian economy expanded by 3.3% in the first quarter of this year.

News

Full report: Special Prosecutor retrieves ¢1m from Council of State member’s company in corruption case

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has cited a company belonging to a member of the Council of State for influence-peddling in the running of its activities.

The council member, Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh, is also the owner and Chief Executive of Labianca Company Limited, the entity under investigation by the OSP.

She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA).

The case also had the Deputy Commissioner of Customs in Charge of Operations questioned in the custom advance ruling regarding some unlawfully reduced benchmark values.

The Office has consequently recovered ¢1.074 million from Labianca as part of the shortfall in import duties the frozen foods company had paid to the state.

Full report below:

News

Ghana’s Gold Coast Refinery first in West Africa to receive certification

Dr. Said Deraz, Chairman and CEO – Gold Coast Refinery

The first gold refinery in Ghana, Gold Coast Refinery (the second largest refinery in Africa), has been named a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (JRC), an affiliate of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

Gold Coast Refinery’s certification to the Code of Practices of the JRC, makes it the first refinery in Ghana and the West African sub-region to be admitted as a member of the JRC which is mandated with the responsibility of overseeing the jewelleries and watches industry.

“By the authority of the Council, Gold Coast Refinery Limited is a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council for a duration of three years,” the JRC said in a statement.

According to the Council, the refinery’s certification is in accordance with its 2019 Code of Practice which is aligned with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance as well as the United Nations’ Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights.

“Achieving RJC Code of Practices certification is a continuous improvement process, that requires time and investment. All the members of the GCR team have worked tirelessly to prepare for the rigorous third-party audit,” the Chairman of Gold Coast Refinery, Dr Said Deraz said about the historic certification by the JRC.

“We have learnt a lot about our own operations, improved some of our processes and developed and implemented new ones. We have also had strong engagement with our business partners and stakeholders.”

Gold Coast Refinery’s certification will help Ghana formalize gold sourcing practices with the country possessing the right to refuse gold from questionable sources.

Additionally, it helps in the development of responsible supply chains of gold from artisanal and small scale mines as well as aid the Central Bank meet its target of buying 10,000oz of gold annually under its ambitious domestic gold purchase programme.

Gold Coast Refinery

Gold Coast Refinery is the first state-of-the-art gold refinery in West Africa and the first in Ghana to be awarded a product certification license by the Government of Ghana to hallmark refined bullion of over 995 purity and to market and sell its finished product, including refined gold bars and medallions on both local and international bullion markets.

The refinery’s operations are organised in line with applicable international standards and it boasts of a finished product that can be sold on the international markets.

Gold Coast Refinery’s services include smelting and assaying, refining, bar manufacturing, inspection and certification, hallmarking, vault services, logistics and export, capacity building and training.

Responsible Jewellery Council

The Responsible Jewellery Council is a leading standards authority in the global watch and jewellery industry and works with members worldwide to create a sustainable supply chain.

RJC certification promotes trust in the global jewellery industry by ensuring companies are adhering to responsible business practices.

The Council’s inclusive and collaborative approach to standard setting and development, keeps RJC standards relevant and meaningful to businesses throughout the entire jewellery and watch supply chain.

To maintain the credibility of standards, RJC’s system has been independently evaluated against ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice, conduct open formal comment periods relating to their standards, and operate the Standards Committee as of the RJC Governance Framework.

News

New C.I. could open door for multiple voting and ballot stuffing – Dr Afari-Gyan

Former Electoral Commission (EC) boss, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, is warning of possible multiple voting and ballot stuffing in the 2024 polls should the Commission’s proposed Constitutional Instrument receive parliamentary approval.

Dr. Afari-Gyan defines multiple voting as “where one person votes more than once.”

Ballot stuffing on the other hand, he explains is “where an unscrupulous person puts into the ballot box additional ballot papers that were not duly cast in accordance with the election law”.

These two voting anomalies, he argues, could occur because the proposed law captures two kinds of Voters Register

These are views expressed by Dr. Afari-Gyan in a statement published in the Daily Graphic.

Regulation 3 of the proposed Constitutional Instrument (CI) reads as follows;

“Voters register

3. (1) Each electoral area shall have a voters register consisting of the voters registers of the polling stations in the electoral area.

 (2) Each constituency shall have a register consisting of the voters registers of the electoral areas within the constituency concerned.”

Dr. Gyan explains that the current Biometric Verification devices used to identify voters at polling stations “do not so to speak, talk to each other in the field to indicate who has voted at which polling station.”

“Until such a time that the devices are configured to be interactive in this way, my concern about any of the two registers being used at the polling station is that it opens the door more widely to two kinds of voting infractions, namely multiple voting and ballot stuffing”.

He believes this will be problematic if not checked.

Dr Afari-Gyan also points that it could potentially change the meaning of overvoting from more people voting than were certified at a specific polling station to more people voting than the number listed in the electoral area register or the constituency register.

News

Special Prosecutor recovers over ¢1m from Council of State member’s company in import duties shortfall

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has recovered an amount of ¢1.074 million from a company owned by a member of the Council of State, Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh.

According to the OSP, the amount represents a shortfall in import duties paid to the state.

The OSP made the revelation in an investigative report titled: “Report of Investigation into Alleged Commission of Corruption and Corruption Related Offences involving Labianca Group of Companies and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority”.

The OSP contended that Ms Asomah-Hinneh used her position as a member of the Council of State and member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to get a favourable decision from the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

In the report signed by the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, alleged that the influence-peddling by Ms Asomah-Hinneh led to a reduction in the tax liabilities for her frozen foods company, Labianca Company Limited.

A Deputy Commissioner of Customs in charge of Operations, Joseph Adu Kyei was cited by the OSP for issuing what it described as an unlawful customs advance ruling.

This, according to the report, reduced the benchmark values of the goods imported by Labianca Limited translating to reduced tax obligations of the company to the state.

“The OSP finds that there is strong evidence to suggest that Mr Kyei, decision to issue a customs advance ruling for the applicant was procured through influence peddling or trading of influence by Ms Asomah-Hinneh by employing her position as a member of the Council of State and member of the Board of Directors of the GPHA,” part of the report read.

Background

On 16 November 2021, the OSP received a written complaint from one Frank Asare against Labianca Group of Companies and its subsidiaries and Customs Division.

According to the report, the complainant alleged ongoing corrupt, illegal and questionable dealings between Labianca and the Customs Division resulting in unlawful markdown or reduction of benchmark values of frozen food products imported by Labianca under the guise of customs advance rulings.

The complainant also noted that the unlawful markdowns or reductions of benchmark values were chiefly because the beneficial owner of Labianca wields political influence.

OSP says following the petition, it began its preliminary investigation into the matter in accordance with regulation 5 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (Operations) Regulations, 2018.

It has since interviewed parties connected to the issue before publishing the report and its findings.

News

5 SMEs begin business development training at Recycle Up! Ghana

Five small and medium-sized enterprises in the Ashanti region have begun a six–month incubation training at the Recycle Up! Ghana.

The training is to equip the participants with relevant business development skills and also provide support and investment exposure for their businesses.

The Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEN) project is a four-year project implemented in the Ashanti and Western Regions of Ghana.

The project is a European Union funded programme that SNV Ghana is implementing with the United Nations Capital Development Fund.

It seeks to support the development and scale-up of businesses in the agriculture sector, renewable energy and water and sanitation.

Mrs. Rita Krampah, a corporate trainer, observed that many young entrepreneurs fail due to limited funding and rigid requirements imposed on them.

She believes that start-ups should be spared from fulfilling some of these requirements.

“The funding is limited and because it’s not much you can only do a little but if they have bigger funding and bigger support I think it will help.

“And also, when they start these businesses a lot of taxes and other things must be taken off the recycling business.

“I think that if we import a machine for your business, those taxes should be taken off to bring down the cost,” she said.

She called on the government to support the training hubs to enable them build capacities of young aspiring entrepreneurs.

“What the government can do, is to help the hubs support more people because the government cannot reach them directly but the hubs can.

“The hubs need to be funded to be able to help them. Today for instance, the hub is only able to support 4 of them but if they are given the necessary support, they can support about hundreds of people, especially our young graduates to get involved because it is a big industry and we need a lot of people in the recycling business,” she said.

Mr. Acquah Obinkyere, the project lead, encouraged SMEs to engage in environmentally friendly activities to protect the environment.

“As Ghana and the world at large is transitioning into a climate resilient works or jobs it is very essential for SMEs to also delve into the aspect because everyone is going green

“And the earth is only one; if we destroy it now the future progeny will suffer,” he said.

Gladys Kyei Oforiwaa, a participant, was grateful to Recycle Up! Ghana for the opportunity and encouraged them to reach out to more people.

“I am really excited to join this program; it is really amazing but I think recycle up should improve its way of publicizing their programs.

“Because there are a lot of people that don’t use social media,” she said.

News

Our members are calling for a demonstration against government – GUTA

The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has raised concerns about the depreciating value of the cedi and its effect on businesses in the country.

Speaking in an interview on The Probe on Sunday, Mr. Joseph Obeng stated that members of GUTA are calling for a demonstration against the government to that effect.

This, according to him is because “the exacerbating tension that is coming from the trading committee is huge.”

He added that they are at a point where “they believe that if nothing is done about their businesses, their businesses are going to collapse in perpetuity so they are calling for a serious demonstration.”

However, he stated that as leaders of the Association, they want to engage government to find out the challenges before taking an action.

“We want to engage government. What is the challenge? Government should let us know what the problem is so that we identify with them and know the input we can also make” he said.

Earlier, GUTA in a statement indicated that the “depreciation of the cedi against other major trading currencies is getting out of hand, and the increase in the monetary policy rate is also leading to high lending rate in the country.”

According to GUTA, as a result of the depreciation, businesses are at a point where their survival is seriously threatened.

“It could be recalled that since December 2021 when the dollar was 6.4 cedis, our working capitals have been depleted by 40%. Now that, the dollar has reached about 9.00 cedis, our worst fear is that we are now going to make Christmas orders from our suppliers, which may aggravate the situation.”

GUTA, therefore, called on the government to “as a matter of urgency, reconvene the Foreign Exchange Committee that was set up a few years ago by the Finance Ministry which involved all relevant stakeholders, to help find an immediate solution.”

According to GUTA, “If immediate remedial measures are not taken to control this alarming situation, we may be using One Million Ghana cedis to buy only One Hundred Thousand US dollars when the dollar reaches 10.00 Ghana cedis.”

“At this point in time, if nothing is done, speculations would be rife and serious panic will set in for people to invest in forex as a matter of security for their hard-earned working capital, thereby making control of such a situation difficult for the government,” they added.

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Deborah Acquah wins Ghana’s first ever medal in Commonwealth Games women’s long jump with bronze

Deborah Acquah, who holds the national record in the long jump, won the bronze medal in her event at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Sunday, August 7.

Acquah came in third after a leap of 6.94m in the final, only behind Australia’s Brooke Buschkuehl (silver) and Nigeria’s Ese Brume, who recorded a leap of 6.99m to win gold.

She missed out on the final of the women’s long jump event at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon but booked a final spot in Birmingham despite her late arrival.

The Ghanaian, who received her UK visa, only 48 hours before her scheduled event at the games on Friday, topped her qualifying group with a leap of 6.85m.

Two days later after her arrival in Birmingham, Acquah has a medal to show for her hard work and determination.

Acquah becomes the first Ghanaian woman in history to win a long jump medal at the Commonwealth games.

Her medal also sees her deliver on her words of not using her late arrival as an excuse to not perform at the games.

With Deborah Acquah’s medal, Team Ghana has now won five medals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games after Abraham Mensah, Joseph Commey, Wahid Omar and Joseph Paul Amoah.

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Playback: The Probe discusses cedi depreciation

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has raised an alarm over plummeting cedi value and its effect on businesses.

In a statement, GUTA blamed multinationals for repatriating funds among other things and warned that it will soon cost one million Ghana cedis to buy one hundred thousand dollars.

On the back of these issues, JoyNews’ The Probe held a conversation on the development to find solutions.