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AfDB seeks board approval to raise $33bn from capital market

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is seeking to increase resources for member countries for more productive projects on the African continent to improve livelihoods.

To this end, President of the AfDB Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, is seeking approval from the board and partners of the bank to raise some $33 billion in order to support more initiatives of member countries.

Dr. Adesina was addressing Board members, Governors, and stakeholders at the opening ceremony of the bank’s General Meetings in Accra.

He called on the African Development Fund (ADF), donor countries to increase its support so that the group can take up more investment projects. The African Development Fund (ADF) is the concessional financing window of the Bank Group that provides low income Regional Member Countries (RMCs) with concessional loans and grants, guarantees as well as technical assistance for studies and capacity building in support of projects and programs that spur poverty 

“I wish to express my great appreciation to each African Development Fund donor country. You have stayed with the Fund, you have supported the Fund, and your countries have been partners in the journey of hope of the countries that are supported by the African Development Fund,” Dr. Adesina said.

“To give greater hope, to cope with increasing challenges, the African Development Fund countries need greater resources”, he added.

He explained that one way to achieve this is to allow the African Development Fund to use its accumulated equity of $25 billion to leverage $33 billion from the capital market.

“The Fund will provide greater leverage for donor contributions: a great value for money for taxpayers from donor countries. The Fund will be more sustainable, as it will generate more income. The Fund will reduce debt of countries, as it will deliver much lower concessional lending rates compared to very high interest rates the countries get on the global capital markets. Then together, we will build more equitable growth and development from the middle-income countries to the low-income countries and fragile states”, he stressed.

Dr. Adesina assured that no country on the continent will be left out of the development agenda of the AfDB.

As part of the Annual Meetings of the bank, an Economic Outlook Report for African Countries is expected to be launched today, May 25th, 2022.

News

Gunmen kill woman, four children in Anambra

A woman and her four children have been killed by gunmen in Anambra state.

 

The incident was said to have taken place in a community in Orumba north LGA of the state over the weekend.

 

Confirming the development on Tuesday, Tochukwu Ikenga, Anambra police spokesperson, said investigation into the incident has commenced.

 

“Investigation has since commenced and our deployment is very strategic and intelligent-driven aimed at unraveling the identities of these perpetrators,” he said .

 

The killing of the woman, who is said to be a resident of Hausa extraction, has elicited criticism in the light of recent attacks across the state by gunmen.

 

Echeng Echeng, Anambra police commissioner, on Tuesday, paid a visit to the Hausa community in the LGA.

 

In his remarks during the visit, Echeng said the police will ensure adequate security for the community.

 

Also reacting to the development in a statement issued on Tuesday, Christian Aburime, spokesman to Chukwuma Soludo, governor of Anambra, condemned the killing, but said it had no religious or ethnic undertones.

 

“While it is true that there is general insecurity across the country, there is no targeted religious or ethnic killings in Anambra State. As a matter of fact, Anambra indigenes have suffered more casualties as a result of the unfortunate killings,” the statement reads.

 

He also said the state is stepping up efforts to tackle insecurity.

 

“It is on record that Ndi Anambra and people of the North and other parts of the country who live and do business in the state, not only share common values, but have always lived at peace with each other in the state,” he said.

 

 “Governor Soludo’s administration has not only demonstrated commitment in tackling insecurity but has continuously reassured both indigenes and non-indigenes in the State of their protection and safety.”

News

Female enrollment in tertiary education seeing steady progress at Webster University Ghana Campus

According to the 2021 Population and Housing Census, Ghana’s female population in tertiary institutions is 5.6 million, with a total male population of 15.2 million.

In 2017, female enrolment in tertiary education was 13.53 percent, while male enrollment was 18.68 percent. This calls for major adjustments to raise girls’ enrolment in tertiary education in Ghana.

But the numbers at the 2022 graduation ceremony of the Webster University, here in Ghana, revealed that indeed the efforts to increase the enrollment of girls is seeing steady progress as majority of its graduates were women.

At the event which took place on Saturday, it was all smiles for graduates, Management, family, and friends of the graduands.

The overall best graduating graduate student, Abigail Owusu, and the overall best graduating undergraduate student, Olivia Claesson, shared their excitement with JoyNews.

Female enrollment in tertiary education seeing steady progress at Webster University Ghana Campus
Overall best graduating graduate student, Abigail Owusu

“It’s so awesome, I think it’s such an honor and I am so grateful to have been nominated for the position of a valedictorian”, Abigail said.

“I feel very proud and I’m also very glad that I followed my gut, telling me that you should actually go and study in Ghana”, Olivia said.

Female enrollment in tertiary education seeing steady progress at Webster University Ghana Campus
Overall best graduating undergraduate student, Olivia Claesson

Speaking after the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-Nai stressed the need for women to be supported to realize their goals.

“It is a delight to see so many women graduating today. I have always said that women are fifty per cent of the population of Ghana and so when you see them pursuing their careers, pursuing their education and wanting to contribute to society, I think it is phenomenal and they should be supported,” she noted.

The Academic Director, Dr. Linda Deigh, also explained why there are more females graduating from the University this year.

Female enrollment in tertiary education seeing steady progress at Webster University Ghana Campus

“Today, with our graduates it might seem that we have more women than men, but I don’t think that it is deliberate or intentional, it is just their approach that we take in delivering the learning experience women take,” she said.

Touching on the activities of the school, during the period under review, the Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology, Dr. Simone Cummings, noted that, despite the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, the school’s academic calendar, was not disrupted.

She explained that the students were already familiar, with virtual learning methods, hence there were minimal challenges during the early days of the pandemic.

Female enrollment in tertiary education seeing steady progress at Webster University Ghana Campus
Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology, Dr Simone Cummings

“We have been offering the zoom format for the past five years or so, what we call our network format in which we offer students the opportunity to take classes by zoom. So when the pandemic hit, we were able to transfer all of those students over to zoom format very easily and it worked well for us,” she explained.

A graduate, Joshua Fiifi Asante, who also doubles as a worker, explained how he navigated the cumbersome task of combining his lessons with his economic engagements.

“The Webster experience has been an amazing one…Combining work and school has not been an easy one but by grace we have been able to come this far and I’m excited about the new possibilities that a Webster education offers every Webster student”, he said.

Education they say is the key to success, and with more people having access to same, especially the girl child, there is no telling how far society will be transformed.

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News

Tragedy as man dies mid-flight from Accra to Washington


Gospel artist Daniel Toffey Jr, who has roots from the Jomoro area in the Western Region of Ghana but resides in the United States of America (USA) had come to Ghana with his father and mother to attend the funeral of an in-law.

The mother stayed behind while Daniel and his father, also Daniel Toffey Sr. took the lead back home to Pataskala, Ohio – a suburb of Columbus in the USA.

They left Accra on Sunday night, May 22, 2022.

But unfortunately, tragedy struck on board United 997 while in the middle of the Atlantic when the young Daniel died in what is suspected to be a case of pulmonary embolism. [A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot that develops in a blood vessel in the body (often in the leg). It then travels to a lung artery where it suddenly blocks blood flow].

A report by Dntghana said Daniel Junior died as his father Daniel Toffey Sr. looked on helplessly – in flight.

“He kept saying ‘Daddy I can’t breath, Daddy I can’t breath,’” the senior Toffey narrated to DNT in an interview.

After having sat for a while, the victim was said to have attempted to stand up to go and use the restroom when his movement became shaky and was soon gasping for air.

Tragedy as man dies mid-flight from Accra to Washington

One young lady shouted “we need a doctor, we need a doctor.” At that moment, what appeared to be a sixth sense got the senior father to jump from his business class area and rushed to the scene although the flight crew instructed everyone to remain in their seats.

Unfortunately, with as many as seven doctors on board, and with tools with which those doctors were “impressed” for United Airlines to have on board, Daniel Toffey Junior, who worships with PIWC in Columbus North still suffocated to death in flight.

The flight took off from the Kotoka International Airport around 11pm on Sunday and was scheduled to arrive at Washington Dulles early on Monday.

But as a result of the tragic incident, the flight was diverted to Bermuda where all 178 passengers were lodging at Grotto Bay Resort pending their continued travel to Washington.

Tragedy as man dies mid-flight from Accra to Washington

Jesse Lasuer, a neighbor at business class told DNT how the deceased father was holding up in spite of the monumental loss. “Although he is holding up just fine, you can just see the pain in his eyes,” Lasuer recalled.

Daniel Toffey Sr. had come to Ghana with his wife and Gospel Artist son to attend the funeral of an in-law. The wife stayed behind while father and son took the lead home to Pataskala, Ohio – a suburb of Columbus.

The Junior Toffey was scheduled to launch his album on June 4 with Joe Mettle scheduled to attend in Columbus.

The Toffeys hail from the Jomoro area of Ghana.

Reacting one person who witnessed the incident wrote: “I was on the flight and I witnessed everything fiilifili. Hmmmm! This world is full of uncertainties. We got stranded at the Bermuda Airport for almost fifteen hours before they got us a flight to Washington Dulles Airport last night. It was a harrowing experience. I have never experienced such a thing in my life. Terrible. Anyway, I pray for the soul of that young man.”

News

Gunmen kill woman, four children in Anambra

A woman and her four children have been killed by gunmen in Anambra state.

 

The incident was said to have taken place in a community in Orumba north LGA of the state over the weekend.

 

Confirming the development on Tuesday, Tochukwu Ikenga, Anambra police spokesperson, said investigation into the incident has commenced.

 

“Investigation has since commenced and our deployment is very strategic and intelligent-driven aimed at unraveling the identities of these perpetrators,” he said .

 

The killing of the woman, who is said to be a resident of Hausa extraction, has elicited criticism in the light of recent attacks across the state by gunmen.

 

Echeng Echeng, Anambra police commissioner, on Tuesday, paid a visit to the Hausa community in the LGA.

 

In his remarks during the visit, Echeng said the police will ensure adequate security for the community.

 

Also reacting to the development in a statement issued on Tuesday, Christian Aburime, spokesman to Chukwuma Soludo, governor of Anambra, condemned the killing, but said it had no religious or ethnic undertones.

 

“While it is true that there is general insecurity across the country, there is no targeted religious or ethnic killings in Anambra State. As a matter of fact, Anambra indigenes have suffered more casualties as a result of the unfortunate killings,” the statement reads.

 

He also said the state is stepping up efforts to tackle insecurity.

 

“It is on record that Ndi Anambra and people of the North and other parts of the country who live and do business in the state, not only share common values, but have always lived at peace with each other in the state,” he said.

 

 “Governor Soludo’s administration has not only demonstrated commitment in tackling insecurity but has continuously reassured both indigenes and non-indigenes in the State of their protection and safety.”

News

Gunmen kill woman, four children in Anambra

A woman and her four children have been killed by gunmen in Anambra state.

 

The incident was said to have taken place in a community in Orumba north LGA of the state over the weekend.

 

Confirming the development on Tuesday, Tochukwu Ikenga, Anambra police spokesperson, said investigation into the incident has commenced.

 

“Investigation has since commenced and our deployment is very strategic and intelligent-driven aimed at unraveling the identities of these perpetrators,” he said .

 

The killing of the woman, who is said to be a resident of Hausa extraction, has elicited criticism in the light of recent attacks across the state by gunmen.

 

Echeng Echeng, Anambra police commissioner, on Tuesday, paid a visit to the Hausa community in the LGA.

 

In his remarks during the visit, Echeng said the police will ensure adequate security for the community.

 

Also reacting to the development in a statement issued on Tuesday, Christian Aburime, spokesman to Chukwuma Soludo, governor of Anambra, condemned the killing, but said it had no religious or ethnic undertones.

 

“While it is true that there is general insecurity across the country, there is no targeted religious or ethnic killings in Anambra State. As a matter of fact, Anambra indigenes have suffered more casualties as a result of the unfortunate killings,” the statement reads.

 

He also said the state is stepping up efforts to tackle insecurity.

 

“It is on record that Ndi Anambra and people of the North and other parts of the country who live and do business in the state, not only share common values, but have always lived at peace with each other in the state,” he said.

 

 “Governor Soludo’s administration has not only demonstrated commitment in tackling insecurity but has continuously reassured both indigenes and non-indigenes in the State of their protection and safety.”

Entertainment News

Rapper Olamide buys car for fan months after berating him for seeking help

 

Olamide, the ace Nigerian rapper and singer, has bought a car for a fan four months after scolding him for begging for financial assistance.

According to a Twitter thread shared by the fan named Odunuga Oluwaseun on Monday, the YBNL records boss provided him with the vehicle despite berating him when he made the plea in January.

Oluwaseun also shared a picture of himself in the car, which he said he would use for his “Bolt business.”

“Today I am so happy because I be car owner by this post. Olamide went out of all odds and put smile on my face. You are so special. Plus, say na low key you do am. I go post am. I love you more. Thank you, boss—Asake’s manager. YBNL no go fall,” he wrote.

Olamide has yet to acknowledge or reply to the tweet, but the act of kindness has sent his name high on Twitter’s trend list.

 

In January, Oluwaseun had tabled his need in the comment section of Olamide’s tweet. He begged the rapper to provide him with a car for taxi business.

 

“Baddo, I need car for my bolt business ooo.. even na HP I go pay back. Make we run biz. Thanks,” he had written.

 

In response, Olamide slammed his effrontery and insulted him in both Pidgin English and Yoruba.

 

“Money weh you keep for my hand … Ori iya e gbaa Ile,” the ‘Wo’ crooner replied.

 

The response became a polarising topic on social media for days, with some people criticising the rapper for being unnecessarily harsh while others supported his firmness.

 

“Today I am so happy because I be car owner by this post. Olamide went out of all odds and put smile on my face. You are so special. Plus, say na low key you do am. I go post am. I love you more. Thank you, boss—Asake’s manager. YBNL no go fall,” he wrote.

 

Olamide has yet to acknowledge or reply to the tweet, but the act of kindness has sent his name high on Twitter’s trend list.

 

In January, Oluwaseun had tabled his need in the comment section of Olamide’s tweet. He begged the rapper to provide him with a car for taxi business.

 

“Baddo, I need car for my bolt business ooo.. even na HP I go pay back. Make we run biz. Thanks,” he had written.

 

In response, Olamide slammed his effrontery and insulted him in both Pidgin English and Yoruba.

 

“Money weh you keep for my hand … Ori iya e gbaa Ile,” the ‘Wo’ crooner replied.

 

The response became a polarising topic on social media for days, with some people criticising the rapper for being unnecessarily harsh while others supported his firmness.

 

  

News

Opportunity International supports customers with interest buy-down and guarantee facility

Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited, a leading Savings and Loans company in Ghana in collaboration with the Visa Foundation is implementing an Economic Recovery and Rebuild Initiative (ERRI) project to help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on businesses of its existing clients through interest buy-down and guarantee facility.

With funding support from the VISA Foundation, the ERRI commenced in June 2021 and comes to a close in May 2022.

The main objective of the ERRI was to help reduce the interest burden of our existing clients by reimbursing them with 50% of their interest amount. This is to reward our loyal clients while also encouraging new clients and defaulters to repay their loans so that they can benefit from such interventions.

The beneficiaries of this facility comprised of individual women clients or groups with majority of women membership. Eighty-five percent (85%) out of the total eight hundred and fifty-two (852) beneficiaries were women.

One key qualification criteria used in the selection process for these clients was to complete their loan repayment without defaulting at the end of the maturity date and with a minimum loan cycle of seven after which the client benefits from the interest buy-down, in the form of a 50% interest refund.

To avoid the culture of loan delinquency, the guarantee facility was not communicated to the beneficiaries. However, the agreed discounts were applied to the accounts of qualifying applicants.

Additionally, The UPS Foundation which is similar to the VISA Foundation redesigned its program to create the financial and managerial capabilities of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), as well as connect them to both financial resources and the market through interest buy-downs to help lessen the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses. Given this reason, the project reduced the interest rate for PWDs for both existing and new clients. A total of fifty-six (56) PWDs benefited from the project, with 31 of them being women.

On successful implementation of the ERRI project, a survey was conducted within the beneficiary communities to ascertain the impact of such an intervention and how the assistance has improved their lives.

An overwhelming majority of ninety-five (95%) of our clients hailed the project as an important intervention at a time when COVID had disrupted many local and global production and distribution systems. These responses are clear attestations of the positive impact that the ERRI project has had on our loan clients and Opportunity International as a business.

Most importantly, the Opportunity International brand has been established within the beneficiary communities as one committed to not just conducting the business of banking but also to the overall development of its customer base.

Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited is a leading savings and loans institution in Ghana. Opportunity International is at the forefront of delivering transformational financial services to help transform the lives of clients.

The Institution serves over 610,000 depositors with loans, deposit products, and other services across 10 out of the 16 regions of the country. It operates in 23 countries across the globe serving nearly 10 million clients with the Global office in Chicago, USA.

The Visa Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Visa, works with charitable organizations to support underserved people and communities. As its central focus, the Visa Foundation is committed to helping low-income, financially underserved micro and small enterprises around the world to thrive and prosper.

The UPS Foundation is a leading UPS’s global citizenship efforts and philanthropy since 1951. The UPS Foundation’s philanthropic approach centres on four focus areas: health & humanitarian relief, equity and economic empowerment, local engagement and planet protection.

News

GSMA to improve women’s digital safety with Mobile tokenisation

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift in how people get access to information, services and conduct business.

As governments in most countries implemented hard lockdowns to curb the spread of the pandemic, mobile phones allowed people to stay connected and access critical services and information.

This contributed to the growth of mobile internet usage, with over 3 billion people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) now accessing the internet on the palms of their hands.

In LMICs, the majority of women own a mobile phone and over half now use mobile internet. However, compared to men, women are seven percent less likely to own a mobile phone and 15 percent less likely to use mobile internet.

This is particularly evident among women who are the most underserved, including those with low literacy, low incomes, who live in rural areas, or have a disability.

The wide-ranging benefits of mobile technology are evident in the everyday life of underserved communities, especially in LMICs. Not only do mobile phones enable access to voice and communication services, but they are also often the only way to access the internet and digital financial services such as mobile money.

Access to mobile money accounts can help to unlock a variety of secure and life-enhancing services including savings, credit and insurance products and utilities.

Improving women’s uptake and use of mobile services and mobile money can reduce the gender gap, offering women the chance of greater empowerment and autonomy over their personal and financial affairs and helping them become increasingly digital citizens.

The need for women’s safety in mobile technology

In many parts of the world, mobile network operators are working to understand and address the various barriers that women face trying to access and use mobile technology. Along with social norms and discrimination, one of the key barriers include those relating to safety and security.

While access to mobile phones can help women feel safer, they can also be a conduit for threats, highlighting the inconsistent relationship between mobile technology and women’s safety. Such inconsistencies can act as a barrier to access and usage; limiting a women’s use or ownership of a mobile phone altogether.

One of the primary ways that women can feel unsafe when using mobile technology is through mobile-related harassment, including unsolicited phones calls and text messages. This is in part due to the misuse of mobile numbers obtained by agents or at points of sale, which are commonly shared with the agent or merchant when making transactions.

Approach for tackling the problem

The GSMA Inclusive Tech Lab is collaborating with GSMA Connected Women and MTN Ghana to explore innovative ways in which tokenisation of mobile phone numbers can be used to improve security for women, and customers more broadly.

Tokenisation is a technology in which a sensitive data element is substituted by a non-sensitive equivalent, referred to as a token, that has no exploitable meaning or value. Additionally, this can assist to ensure that users feel secure when accessing mobile money services.

This mobile tokenisation solution has been developed to improve safety and security for women who are using their mobile money accounts for cash-in and cash-out of money and performing a payment at a merchant location, but it showcases just one of the use cases where a user’s sensitive data, such as a phone number, can be replaced with a token – a non-sensitive, context-restricted number.

The customer can request a token at any time over SMS or USSD. Using the token number, the customer has access to a variety of mobile money services, avoiding the disclosure of their mobile phone number. On the other side, the agent does not need to do anything different. The phone number field can be filled with the token number and the transaction will proceed normally. If desired, the user can delete the token and request a new one.

Shaping the perception

The solution was created with a user-first mindset, aiming to keep the interaction intuitive and with changes that do not impact the processes users are accustomed to. With the target user group in mind, this is key to accommodate users’ digital skills and existing behaviours with minimal disruption.

At the same time, the technological solution was designed such that it requires minimal changes to the operator’s current platform. This is possible because the token can have the same format as the current mobile number. In that way, the system interfaces in the same way to access services required by users and agents, requiring only small changes on the server-side and making the solution more easily implemented and deployed by industry players.

It is vital that providers consider women’s mobile-related safety concerns in LMICs to enable access to basic services and provide opportunities for the personal and economic growth of women.

News

Northern coalition warns against attacks on northerners, destruction of properties in S/East

 

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has bemoaned what it noted as “hate campaigns and propaganda” being conducted by certain interest groups in the South-East to carry out unprovoked evictions, attacks, killings, destructions of properties and other forms of violations against northerners in various parts of the region.

 

The CNG said it is particularly disturbed by the reports of the brutal murder of a mother and her four children for the only sin of being northerners, adding that other reports that some trucks conveying goods to the south were also set ablaze in Anambra at the weekend and the drivers and other occupants were killed, injured or disappeared without a trace.

 

The group, speaking through its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman in a statement, said, “The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has taken stock of events unfolding in South-East Nigeria, noting especially, the unrelenting attacks and killings of northerners passing through or residing among Igbo communities as minorities.”

 

It said that there is a manifestation of a dangerous conspiracy of silence days after Sunday’s killing of the northerners without any provocation, saying that the story has not been told by any of the national print and broadcast media despite wide coverage by the social media with graphic photos of the mayhem and condemnation by security operatives, groups and individuals.

 

According to the statement, “We have watched and studied these events carefully and with considerable restraint and maturity, to the point of condoning and accommodating several unreasonable and unacceptable actions that have been perpetrated against Nigerians collectively, and northerners in particular.

 

“The intrinsic bias of the media and the double standards, hypocrisy and cowardice of regional, traditional, cultural, political and religious leaders from both the South and the North have become more glaring when they condemned the Deborah incident in Sokoto but conspiratorially and deliberately decline comments on the murderous activities of IPOB/ESN terrorists including the slaughter of a legislator.”

 

CNG explained that it also noted the deliberate attempt by the media and southern leaders to conceal the true identity of the murderous IPOB/ESN terrorists by concealing them as ‘unknown gunmen’ while in actual sense they are known.

 

It claimed that it is aware that the activities of the IPOB/ESN terror groups are supported morally and politically by the vast majority of Igbo elites, politicians, traditional rulers, business persons, and the larger population of this ethnic group, alleging that it is also a situation that feeds on the docility of the affrighted section of those who pose as Northern leaders today.

 

It stated that the North’s reticence in speaking out or taking action is not born of fear or ignorance of how to respond in kind, saying that those who tempt them should know that the North is no longer going to turn the other cheek.

 

“We, therefore, invite the attention of southern leaders, their Northern collaborators and the bankrupt section of the northern political elite and other authors of mindless violence and separatism who see it as their duty to actualise what their fathers started in 1966, to remember that people from other regions are residing and doing businesses all over the North and to warn them that we shall no longer be expected to turn the other cheek if northerners would not be protected wherever they live as minorities in particularly Nigeria,” the group said.

 

CNG warned media operators of an imminent boycott of patronage all over the North unless they change to being more restrained and balanced in their reporting of all situations in the country, particularly when matters coming from or affecting northerners are reported or commented on.

 

“We caution them to desist from and to eschew the slanted reporting of events with greater bias against a particular religious and ethnic group as is witnessed in the reporting of security situations recently,” the statement stated.

News

IPOB distances ESN from beheading of Anambra lawmaker, reveals those responsible

 

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Tuesday, distanced its members from the beheading of a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Okechukwu Okoye.

 

IPOB said Okoye was beheaded by fifth columnists who are bent on destabilising its struggle in the southeast.

 

Spokesman of IPOB, Emma Powerful, described Okoye’s murder as an abomination which has nothing to do with the Eastern Security Network, ESN.

 

A statement by Powerful reads partly: “We the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under our great leader Mazi Nnamdi KANU strongly condemn the abominable beheading of Hon. Okechukwu Okoye who was abducted a few days ago in his area. We want to also state categorically that contrary to insinuations in some quarters, the Indigenous people of Biafra IPOB could not in any way have had anything to do with this abominable act. It is imperative to state here that enemies of Biafra freedom and traitors in our region are seriously pulling all stunts to derail the freedom of our leader and the freedom of our dear Nation Biafra.

 

“After thorough investigations by our intelligence team, we found out that the abominable beheading of Hon Okechukwu Okoye is the system of the fifth columnists who are bent to destabilise the efforts of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB. These barbarians have been well mobilised financially and otherwise by DSS, NIA and DMI to create anarchy in our land in an attempt to derail our march to freedom.

 

“They will commit these heinous crimes and their paymasters will use the Nigeria compromised media houses to accuse IPOB of being responsible for what we know nothing about. The question is why is IPOB being demonised unnecessarily? The simple answer is that we are fighting for the freedom of our people because we rejected their forceful take over of our land.

 

“The IPOB intelligence unit working round the clock discovered the gimmicks and antics of Nigeria government and its security agencies, especially the Army, DSS, Police, NIA and DMI intelligence. Those pointing accusing fingers at us are the same people sponsoring the disturbing insecurity in our land. BIAFRA LAND has been infiltrated by fulani terrorists wearing Nigerian security uniforms and operating under this guise as agents of death and destruction of Biafraland.

 

“IPOB is not in the business of kidnapping or car snatching and has never been and will never be and therefore we absolutely has nothing to do with the kidnap of Okechukwu Okoye. These kidnappers, kidnapped this man on the day the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo visited our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in the DSS custody and every member of IPOB was very happy because he was the only Governor in the whole of Biafraland who summoned the courage to visit our leader in Abuja since his extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria.

 

“IPOB/ESN cannot behead our brother and dropped notes bragging that we are behind the gruesome murder. The world should take note of the similarity between the beheading of this lawmaker and the way they gruesomely murdered the two army couple last month.

 

“Governor Chukwuma Soludo must prepare to meet these evil men humiliating and killing our people head on.”

News

Old Mutual celebrates 177th anniversary globally; 10 years in Ghana

Old Mutual Group, a pan-African investment, savings, insurance, and banking group, is celebrating its 177 years of operation globally with the Ghanaian unit also marking its 10th anniversary.

The Ghana unit, which provides insurance and pensions services, has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative insurance and pensions products and services in the country while showing the way when it comes to diversity in the workplace and leveraging technology for business growth.

Chief Executive Officer of Old Mutual Ghana, Tavona Biza, said having operated in Africa for over 176 years, the Old Mutual brand has made a mark as an outstanding and caring brand strongly known for its integrity, sound corporate governance and its contribution towards Africa’s socio-economic development. 

“Old Mutual Ghana provides life insurance and pensions solutions to its customers. We offer the best life insurance packages for corporate organizations and help individuals achieve their lifetime financial goals. Old Mutual Ghana is currently made up of Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Limited and Old Mutual Pensions Trust Company Limited,” he added.

Touching on the company’s achievements and technological advances in Ghana over the past 10 years, Mr. Biza said; “Old Mutual has a strong customer-led approach to our technology strategy. We have made investments in embedding security, ensuring our systems are always on, the simplification and modernization of our technology, ensuring our skills keep pace with the rapidly changing technology landscape and striving for a culture of innovation.”

He added that the company has also introduced a number of revolutionary products and services into the market, chief amongst them is the Old Mutual Retirement Salary Plan, which is designed to provide a steady cash flow – a retirement salary – for people during their retirement years and to alleviate the fears of outliving their savings. “We stand as the first insurance company to bring out this product,” Mr. Biza stated proudly.

Old Mutual Ghana, he added, as part of its digital strategies to be an innovative business, launched an automated WhatsApp chatbot to handle all customer queries and enquiries.

Diversity and inclusion

With 450 staff across nine locations in the country, Mr. Biza touched on the company’s diverse and inclusive structure which has led to 70 percent of its leadership being women, which is higher than corporate Ghana’s average.  

“We will continue to drive diversity and inclusion, innovate around product and customer solutions, attract and retain best talents in the market, impacting the Ghanaian market through financial education programmes and investing in technology,” he said as he nods towards a brighter future for the business.

Marking the historic milestone

Rita Adu Boateng, Customer Experience & Marketing Executive at Old Mutual Ghana explained that Old Mutual Ghana, as part of the celebrations in Ghana, will be interacting with the media to share the brand’s rich heritage and experience in the financial service space; embark on a comprehensive financial education in some selected senior high schools, donate items to students after the financial education programme and top it all off with an interactive session with employees on the brand’s 177 years.

Financial Education

Old Mutual ‘On The Money’ is a Financial Education programme which encourages people to change their financial behaviour and to understand money-related issues and new skills to help maintain positive financial behaviour. With its well-run digital campaign, the financial education programme has reached over 300,000 persons on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The campaign led to Old Mutual winning the Best Marketing Campaign of the Year at the 4th Ghana Insurance Awards.

Social investment during COVID-19

Old Mutual, during the most difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been very active in supporting communities and institutions at the frontline. The company donated GH¢150,000 worth of surgical gloves and nose masks to three hospitals in Accra and Kumasi.

“We distributed 1,750 branded nose masks in some parts of Accra (Dansoman, Kaneshie First light, Korle Bu junction, Osu Oxford, Gold House runabout and Accra mall) and customers who visit any of our branches

We partnered with Vine Christian High on their online E-Learning platform during this COVID-19 pandemic for all customers (for Grade 7 & 8 / JHS1 / 2 students) and rewarded the best five students with cash prizes and branded Old Mutual souvenirs. GH¢1,200 Education policy was given to the overall best performing student,” Ms. Boateng added.

As a digitally inclined brand, Old Mutual was and continues to be very active with social media campaign on how to keep financial stability and impact in the COVID-19 pandemic. “Covid saw an introduction of our hybrid system where employees both work from home and the office intermittently. The introduction of the telesales unit which helped in reaching customers through sales during the lockdown period,” she added.

Old Mutual Ghana

Old Mutual Ghana is Ghana’s top 10 leading financial institution with an innovative record in offering the best in insurance services to its clients. Founded in South Africa, Old Mutual has been consistent in championing mutually positive futures by offering excellent financial services to a wide range of customers across the African continent.

The company established a branch in Ghana in 2013. It operates with skilled knowledge of the Ghanaian market backed by the expertise of an international brand. In Ghana, the company is currently made up of Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Limited and Old Mutual Pensions Trust.

Music News

I shouldn’t have abandoned VIP – Friction

The founder and former leader of the popular music group, VIP, Musah Haruna popularly known as Friction, says he regrets leaving the group.

In an interview on Adom FM‘s Entertainment Hall, Friction said he had to leave the group because the music business in Ghana was not as lucrative as he thought it would be.

Being a business-minded person, he left Ghana to pursue greener pastures and education in Holland. Friction now owns a music band in Holland.

The VIP group was formed after Friction proposed the idea to four people (Promzy, Lazzy, Prodigal, and Bone) and before they knew it, the five of them were performing at ghetto parties, clubs, street festivals etc.

Friction’s dog, Chicago, was also an official member of the group, and could be heard growling at the end of their tracks from the late 1990s, until it eventually died.

Music group VIP, meaning Vision In Progress released their first album, Bibi Baa O, in 1998, and were famous within Ghana and beyond.

They won many awards, staged many concerts and were billed to perform at almost all the top shows.

Recalling the good old days, Friction said if given a second chance, he would not abandon the group which is now made up of Zeal (formerly Lazzy), Prodigal and Reggie Rockstone.

Meanwhile, after a long hiatus, Friction is currently promoting visuals for his new song dubbed Zongo Na Fito.

News

Alltech ONE Conference makes live audience return with agri-food experts and inspiring keynote speakers

Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, opened the Alltech ONE Conference to both live and virtual global audiences.

The Alltech ONE Conference (ONE) opened to a live audience in Lexington, Kentucky, on Monday after being held as a virtual-only event for two years.

Alltech’s flagship event continues to be an invaluable industry resource, providing innovative ideas, inspiration and motivation through world-class speakers and unmatched content.

ONE welcomed nearly 2,000 international delegates to downtown Lexington, with an additional 5,000 participating virtually.

The ONE Mainstage session began with Dr Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, who welcomed the in-person delegates to Lexington and virtual attendees tuning in from around the world, challenging them to think about what comes next as we look toward the future.

“It’s been almost 1,100 days since we were last together, and certainly, we know a tremendous amount has changed — from social turmoil to a global pandemic and beyond,” Lyons said.

“What is this all telling us? What can we step back and think about in terms of how we progress forward?”

Lyons was joined on the ONE main stage by Heather White, author, founder and CEO of “OneGreenThing,” who brought two decades of environmental advocacy work and national nonprofit leadership to life with her book, “One Green Thing: Discover Your Hidden Power to Help Save the Planet.”

White offered three steps to make climate action a joyful daily practice. First, think beyond your age and listen. Secondly, find your unique role, and third, apply the daily routine of sustainability.

Following White’s presentation, Lyons spoke about agriculture’s role in saving the planet.

“Reducing is not enough; we must do something different,” said Lyons.

“Our belief is that agriculture has the greatest potential to positively influence our planet’s future, provide nutrition for all, and help rural communities thrive and replenish our planet’s resources.”

The keynote lineup also included Nikki Putnam Badding, registered dietitian nutritionist and managing director of Acutia. Putnam Badding spoke about the crucial importance of making nutrition accessible to all.

“The impact of malnutrition is far-reaching,” said Putnam Badding.

“So, is it enough to just feed the world? Instead, do we need to focus on providing nutrition for all, thereby changing the dialogue from food security to nutrition security?”

Dr Vaughn Holder, Alltech ruminant research group director, then shared his insights on how animal agriculture can be part of the solution to improving sustainability.

“We sit at the interface between the main carbon-capturing industry and the main food production industry in the world,” said Holder.

“Those things are tied closely together and unavoidable. We sit in a unique position to be doing something about the carbon argument. It really is important that we do not talk about compromising one for the other — because we have to do both.”

Alltech ONE Conference makes live audience return with agri-food experts and inspiring keynote speakers
Dr. Karl Dawson became the 31st recipient of the Alltech Medal of Excellence Award. L to R are Dr Vaughn Holder, Dr Karl Dawson, Dr Mark Lyons and Nikki Putnam Badding.

During the opening session, Lyons presented the Alltech Medal of Excellence Award to Dr Karl Dawson for his advancement of animal science over a career spanning more than five decades.

The award further recognises Dawson’s contributions as an educator, innovator, mentor, scientist and technologist.

Dawson became the 31st recipient of the Alltech Medal of Excellence Award and, having previously received the honour in 1992, also became the 1st two-time recipient.

In addition to hearing from the inspiring keynote speakers, ONE attendees participated in live workshops and focus tracks, uncovering the challenges and opportunities in agriculture, business, health and wellness, and professional development.

News

Security agents know location of unknown gunmen terrorizing South-East – Adeyanju

The Federal Government and security agents have been accused of knowing the whereabouts of unknown gunmen terrorizing the South-East.

Abuja-based activist lawyer, Deji Adeyanju, said the government and security agents know the unknown gunmen just like they know those who kidnapped the passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train.

In a chat with newsmen, Adeyanju lamented that the government enjoys linking the activities of the criminals to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

According to Adeyanju: “The security agencies know the unknown gunmen killing innocent people in the South-East and they also know where they are, just like they know those that kidnapped people on Abuja-Kaduna train.

“Insecurity has become a business to them. The more insecure the country becomes, the more money they make. They enjoy linking IPOB to the unknown gunmen because it suits their narrative.

“You want to tell me the government cannot stop some criminals moving up and down causing destruction in the country? They are even negotiating with people that abducted innocent Nigerians on a train. We are not fools!”

Lately, the activities of unknown gunmen in the South-East have been on the rise.

A few weeks ago, unknown gunmen killed military officers heading for their marriage rites in Imo State.

Last week, a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Okechukwu Okoye was also beheaded by unknown gunmen.

News

GIFEC pays courtesy call on MTN Ghana

The Senior Management Team of Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), has paid a courtesy call on the Chief Executive and Senior Management Team of MTN Ghana, in a bid to deepen the relationship between the two organisations, introduce GIFEC’s new Administrator and Deputy Administrator, as well as discuss ideas on how to improve collaboration between the two organisations.

After the CEO of MTN Ghana – Selorm Adadevoh kicked off self-introductions by all present,  Prince Sefah briefed the meeting about some strategic objectives he has pursued to strengthen GIFEC, since his appointment, to ensure the sustainability and effective delivery of the agency’s core programmes and projects, and ability to meet its growing mandates.

He highlighted among other things, the pursuit of more strategic partnerships with public and private stakeholders, and effective sustainability and maintenance culture; gathering and utilising more data and analytics about GIFEC’s programmes and projects.

Other strategies he mentioned, were the adoption of technology to better drive GIFEC’s operations, improvement of the human resource makeup and utilisation of GIFEC and more effective communication of the work of GIFEC to stakeholders.

The administrator acknowledged the importance of MTN’s partnership and support to the agency, especially on projects like the flagship Ghana Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion Project (GRT&DIP) and Girls in ICT initiative.

He added that the GRT&DIP, which seeks to build 2,016 communication sites, has so far built 758 sites, with 329 on air.

He, however, recounted some operational challenges facing them, and called for more support from MTN for the successful implementation of the project. 

In response to the submission of the Administrator, Selorm Adadevoh, admitted to the impactful interventions of GIFEC and how its efforts have been tremendous to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) eco-system.

As a stakeholder in the field, he added that it was imperative that collaboration be increased, to ensure access and digital inclusion for all.

The CEO also pledged MTN’s continued support for activities of GIFEC and the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, and the adoption of advanced solutions, hinging on the company’s moral obligation towards expanding connectivity.

Both parties committed to more stakeholder consultation for the successful execution of the GRT&DIP.

GIFEC was represented by the Administrator, Prince Ofosu Sefah; the Deputy Administrator,  Eva Andoh-Poku; the Directors of Administration, Finance and Operations; namely Faisal Issahaku Gbanjili, Henry Agyemang Boateng and Yahaya Zakaria Osman. Also present was the Corporate Affairs Manager, Sandra Mills.

Present at the meeting, for MTN Ghana, was Selorm Adadevoh (CEO), Samuel Koranteng (Special Advisor to the CEO), William Tetteh (Director, Capital Projects and former Board of Trustee of GIFEC), Louisa Sosu (Senior Manager, Network Performance and SLA and GIFEC Board of Trustee), Thomas Motleper (Chief Technical Officer), Nana Kofi Asare (Ag. Chief, Corporate Services). Also present were Victor Dodoo (Head of Planning) and Angela Adu Ampofo (Manager, Regulatory Affairs).

News

Today’s front pages: Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Daily Graphic

  • Ghana ready for mining hub – Jinapor
  • Tourism Ministry partners City of New York to grow sector
Today's front pages: Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Business and Financial Times

  • Tourism hub agenda secures major international support
  • Inflation tempo pushes BoG to 19% policy rate hike
Today's front pages: Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Graphic Business

  • Tax inequality: Formal sector workers pay 16 times more
  • MoMo ‘ding dong’ continues; transactions drop in April after March peak
Today's front pages: Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Ghanaian Times

  • I’ll support Ghana to become Africa’s tourism hub – New York Mayor
  • Economy rebounds strongly, growth prospects look bright – Dr Addison
Today's front pages: Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Daily Guide

  • Government probes Sir John’s Achimota Forest gift
  • Parliament resumes today
Today's front pages: Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The New Crusading Guide

  • NPA sanctions oil companies for unlawful lifting of petroleum and third party trading
  • Dr Akoto under attack by opponents following research findings in the Northern Regions
Today's front pages: Tuesday, May 24, 2022
News

Banks register ¢2.9 billion in 4-months of 2022

Banks in the country registered ¢52.9 billion in the first four months of 2022, signaling a healthy industry, the Bank of Ghana has revealed.

This represented a 26.3 % growth, compared with 39.6% growth for the same period of last year.

The banks’ earnings were influenced by growth in net interest income and net fees and commissions. However, the growth margins went down, comparatively to last year.

Net interest income grew by 12.2% to ¢4.6 billion, compared to 18.4% growth a year ago. Net fees and commissions grew by 17.7% to ¢1.1 billion, compared with 26.5% growth last year, due to decline in trade finance-related activities in the economy.

Other income increased to ¢1.0 billion, representing 117.5% growth, relative to the contraction by 7.9% last year.

Banking sector assets remain strong

Also, developments in the banking sector also indicated strong performance, despite the reversal of the COVID-19 regulatory relief measures in March.

Total assets rose to ¢194.3 billion at the end of April 2022, about 24.8% annual growth, relative to 16.4% growth in the previous year.

The growth was underscored by increased deposits and borrowings.

Total deposits grew by 21.3% to ¢127.2 billion, while borrowings recorded a strong growth of 66.2% to ¢25.9 billion at the end of April 2022.

Financial Soundness Indicators robust

According to the Bank of Ghana, the key Financial Soundness Indicators also remained strong, with the Capital Adequacy Ratio at 21.3%, well above the regulatory minimum of 13.0%.

Importantly, Non-Performing Loan ratio eased to 14.3%, compared with 15.5% the previous year.

These developments resulted in a 22.1% jump in operating income to ¢6.7 billion, compared with 16.8% growth in the corresponding period of 2021.

Operating expenses recorded 23.0% growth compared to 1.7 % growth in the previous year.

Credit to private sector shows considerable improvement

The Bank of Ghana said credit to the private sector showed considerable improvement, almost back to pre-pandemic levels and broadly in line with the uptrend in economic activities.

In nominal terms, private sector credit recorded a significant annual growth of 26.5% in April 2022, compared with 6.9% in April 2021.

In real terms, however, private sector credit grew by 2.3%, due to sustained price pressures, relative to a contraction of 1.5% recorded for the same comparative period.

In terms of new advances, the data shows that credit growth continued to improve, reaching ¢16.4 billion, representing a 56.5 percent year-on-year growth.

Meanwhile, the latest credit conditions survey revealed that banks are however beginning to tighten credit stance on loans to enterprises and households. Despite the tightening of credit conditions, demand for credit by households and firms continue to remain strong.

News

20m farmers in Africa to benefit from AfDB initiative to avert food crises

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

About 20 million farmers on the continent are expected to benefit from an emergency food production fund project by the African Development Bank this year.

The project, which seeks to avert any looming food crises that may come as a result of the global geopolitical tensions will ensure that staple foods are cultivated annually to serve the continent.

President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina disclosed this to journalists in Accra at a breakfast meeting ahead of its annual meetings in Ghana.

“The Russian war in Ukraine has led to new challenges for Africa, especially in terms of high energy prices, high fertiliser prices, and disruption of food imports. With 30 million tonnes of food imports, especially wheat and maize that will not be coming from Russia and Ukraine. Africa faces a looming food crisis,” he said.

He cautioned that Africa does not need bowls in hand, but needs seeds in the ground.

He maintained that Africa should not be begging for food; but rather must produce its own food, adding that there is no dignity in begging for food.

“That is why the African Development Bank Group, and the African Union Commission, developed the Africa Emergency Food Production Plan. The plan will provide 20 million farmers with improved seeds and fertilisers, as well as other farm inputs, to produce 38 million metric tons of food, worth $12 billion.

This will include 11 million metric tons of wheat, 18 million metric tons of maize, 6 million metric tons of rice, and 2.5 million metric tons of soybeans” he assured.

The AfDB last week also launched a $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Plan to help Africa produce food to avert a looming food crisis.

News

20m farmers in Africa to benefit from AfDB initiative to avert food crises

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

About 20 million farmers on the continent are expected to benefit from an emergency food production fund project by the African Development Bank this year.

The project, which seeks to avert any looming food crises that may come as a result of the global geopolitical tensions will ensure that staple foods are cultivated annually to serve the continent.

President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina disclosed this to journalists in Accra at a breakfast meeting ahead of its annual meetings in Ghana.

“The Russian war in Ukraine has led to new challenges for Africa, especially in terms of high energy prices, high fertiliser prices, and disruption of food imports. With 30 million tonnes of food imports, especially wheat and maize that will not be coming from Russia and Ukraine. Africa faces a looming food crisis,” he said.

He cautioned that Africa does not need bowls in hand, but needs seeds in the ground.

He maintained that Africa should not be begging for food; but rather must produce its own food, adding that there is no dignity in begging for food.

“That is why the African Development Bank Group, and the African Union Commission, developed the Africa Emergency Food Production Plan. The plan will provide 20 million farmers with improved seeds and fertilisers, as well as other farm inputs, to produce 38 million metric tons of food, worth $12 billion.

This will include 11 million metric tons of wheat, 18 million metric tons of maize, 6 million metric tons of rice, and 2.5 million metric tons of soybeans” he assured.

The AfDB last week also launched a $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Plan to help Africa produce food to avert a looming food crisis.