The Bank of Ghana has revoked the purchase of shares in ADB.
A statement issued to that effect indicates that Belstar Capital, EDC Limited, Starmount Limited and SIC-Financial Services are no longer shareholders of ADB.
According to the statement, ‘’ Belstar and Starmount have participated in a series of other questionable, unsafe, and unsound related party transactions involving uniBank Ghana Limited to the detriment of Ghana’s financial system and for their financial gain and benefit.’’
Below is a copy of the BoG statement
BANK OF GHANA ANNULS THE ACQUISITION OF SHARES OF ADB BANK LIMITED HELD BY BELSTAR CAPITAL LIMITED, STARMOUNT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LIMITED, SIC-FINANCIAL SERVICES LIMITED, AND EDC INVESTMENTS LIMITED
The Bank of Ghana has today made an Order pursuant to section 55 of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930) to:
(i) annul the acquisition by Belstar Capital Limited (Belstar), Starmount Development Company Limited (Starmount), SIC-Financial Services Limited
(SIC-FSL), and EDC Investments Limited (EDC), of all shares held by them in the ADB Bank Limited (ADB), and all transactions undertaken in respect of
the relevant shares;
(ii) prohibit the exercise by Belstar, Starmount, SIC-FSL and EDC of any of the voting rights or any other rights in respect of the relevant shares; and
(iii) prohibit the directors appointed by the parties specified above to the Board of the ADB from acting as directors of ADB.
The Order takes immediate effect.
Following the Initial Public Offering (IPO) undertaken in respect of ADB in 2016, Belstar and Starmount directly acquired 24% and 11% respectively of issued shares in ADB.
It has come to the notice of the Bank of Ghana that Belstar and Starmount are affiliates, and unknown to the Bank of Ghana, they entered into agreements with SIC-FSL and EDC to acquire additional shares in ADB in its IPO.
These agreements, in addition to the direct acquisitions by Belstar and Starmount resulted in a direct and indirect holding by these companies of over 50% of the shares of ADB without the knowledge and approval of the Bank of Ghana and in breach of section 49 of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).
It has also come to the notice of the Bank of Ghana that the shares acquired by Belstar and Starmount were acquired with funds obtained from uniBank Ghana Limited
(currently in official administration) using emergency liquidity support obtained by uniBank Ghana Limited from the Bank of Ghana in questionable circumstances.
However, the liquidity funds obtained by uniBank were improperly and unlawfully on-lent to Belstar and Starmount to acquire shares (including shares held by the Financial Investment Trust on behalf of the Bank of Ghana) in ADB’s IPO.
Belstar and Starmount have participated in a series of other questionable, unsafe, and unsound related party transactions involving uniBank Ghana Limited to the detriment of Ghana’s financial system and for their financial gain and benefit.
The Bank of Ghana considers that Belstar and Starmount are not fit and proper persons and cannot permit them to continue to hold shares acquired directly or indirectly in ADB.
The request for emergency liquidity support from the Bank of Ghana by uniBank, loans from uniBank to Belstar and Starmount, the loan from Belstar to SIC-FSL, provision of funds to, and the engagement of EDC by Starmount as purchaser and trustee of shares, are inextricably linked and manifest a calculated intention by these entities to act in concert to acquire a majority shareholding in ADB using EDC and SIC-FSL without the knowledge and approval of the Bank of Ghana.
The Bank of Ghana, therefore in the exercise of its powers pursuant under sections 49 and 55 of Act 930, has with immediate effect annuled the acquisition by Belstar,
Starmount, SIC-FSL, and EDC of all shares held by them in the ADB and all transactions undertaken in respect of these shares.
The exercise of any of the voting rights or any rights issue in respect of the shares by Belstar, Starmount, SIC-FSL, and EDC and the payment of any dividends in respect of these shares are also prohibited.
All shares acquired by Belstar, Starmount, SIC-FSL and EDC in ADB which were previously held by the Financial Investment Trust are to be immediately restored to the
Financial Investment Trust until further notice. All directors appointed by Belstar, Starmount, SIC-FSL and EDC to the ADB Board are to cease holding themselves out
as directors of ADB with immediate effect.
Parliament has approved an amount of €47 million to finance expansion works at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).
The credit facility credit facility of €40.6 million is between the government and Bank Hapoalim B.M., while the commercial facility of €6.5 million is also between the government and Bank Hapoalim B.M.
The Finance Committee of Parliament recommended the approval after which a presentation was made before the House.
The Chairman for the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, told the House that, the facilities were to fund the phase two of the UGMC project, which included the provision of strategic income generating services for short, medium and long-term sustainability of the hospital.
"The credit facilities for phase two are both critical and complementary in mobilising additional resources to address the critical gaps in the operations and sustainability of the UGMC and for the completion of the UGMC project", he said.
The credit facility of €40.6 million has a commitment fee of 0.60 per cent per annum, arrangement fee of 0.8 per cent flat of facility, two years grace period and 10 years repayment period.
The commercial facility of €6.5 million has a commitment fee of 0.6 per cent per annum , arrangement fee of 0.8 per cent flat of facility amount, one year grace period and four years repayment period.
The hospital, said to be the first of its kind in West Africa, is a 650-bed facility built at a cost of $217 million raised through loans from Israel. It was one of the last projects commissioned by President John Mahama on January, 4, 2017 during the dying days of his administration.
The Auditor General, Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo has said Ghana spends almost half of its total revenue to pay less than one million people hence his desire to audit the payroll.
Mr Domelevo said, “If we take the 28 million Ghanaians, we are spending about half of our revenue on less than one-million Ghanaians,” he said, adding, “that is why I think we should wage our war into payroll being a major consumer of our resources.”
The Auditor-General together a team of auditors are currently in the Central region to start the audit into the payroll.
He said, Ghana has only about “six hundred and something thousand” people on its payroll, expressing the need for an urgent action to check the country’s payroll. In the Central region, a total of 51,000 workers are expected to be verified at various points to be set up in the various district capitals.
‘’It is unacceptable for the country to spend almost half of its total revenue on an insignificant number of its total population,’’ he said.
“We may have to defend our country, people think donor support will develop Ghana. Nobody is coming to build your father’s house for you, you have to build your own father’s house,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, the Auditor General says he will surcharge all heads of institutions who fail to remove ghost names from their system.
“You are given time for repentance and you yourselves must clean the employee rolls up before our people come and detect it,” he said.
The 85th Ghana Battalion (GHANBATT 85) of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has successfully taken over command from GHANBATT 84 at a colorful ceremony held at the Battalion Headquarters, Obeng Camp at Al Qawzah on Friday, 6 July 2018.
The Battalion with the 64 Infantry Regiment of the Ghana Army as the nucleus is made up of 850 all ranks who arrived in Lebanon on June 30, 2018, to begin a one-year peacekeeping duty under the command of Lt Col Fiifi Deegbe.
In his address to the troops, the Sector West Commander, Brigadier General Paolo Fabbri indicated that Ghana has since 1978 been one of the most critical troops contributing countries in support of the United Nations’ effort in the pursuit of peace and stability in South Lebanon.
He used the opportunity to commended the outgoing Commanding Officer (CO) of GHANBATT 84, Lt Col William Nortey, officers and soldiers of the battalion for carrying out their activities with great competence.
Brigadier General Fabbri also used the occasion to welcome the incoming Commanding Officer, Lt Colonel Fiifi Deegbe, and troops of the 85th Ghana Battalion.
He urged them to continue to show a high sense of professionalism throughout the one-year tour of duty.
The Commanding Officer of GHANBATT 84, Lt Col William Nii Nortey in his address wished the incoming commander and the battalion the best of luck.
Earlier, the Contingent Commander (CONTICO), Colonel Ayitey Ayi superintended a reconciliation conference with both the outgoing and incoming Commanding Officers and their crucial appointment holders at the headquarters.
Colonel Ayi said expectations were high and therefore, called for teamwork among troops to perform all tasks assigned in the mandate.
He entreated all to be professional at all times and demonstrate excellence in every assigned task.
A witness in the trial of Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni has testified that the embattled former COCOBOD CEO directed scientists to reduce the testing period for agrochemicals.
Dr Franklin Manu Amoah, the Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) and the first prosecution witness, told the Accra High Court Monday that Dr Opuni gave the directive shortly after taking office as COCOBOD boss.
According to the witness, Dr Opuni said his directive was to reduce the high cost of agrochemicals and also prevent few companies from monopolizing agrochemicals for cocoa.
As a result of the directive, Dr Amoah said, testing on Lithovit Foliar Fertilizer for matured cocoa sold by Agricult Ghana Limited was reduced to six months instead of the stipulated minimum period of two years
The said fertilizer is at the centre of the trial in which Dr Opuni and the CEO of Agricult, Seidu Agongo have been accused of causing financial loss of GhȻ271.3m to the state.
It is the case of the Attorney-General that Dr Opuni and Agongo allegedly engaged in certain illegalities that led to the purchase of substandard fertilizer and caused the state to lose GhȻ271.3 million.
Opuni and Seidu Agongo, the Managing Director of agro firm, Agricult Ghana Limited, have been dragged to court by the Attorney-General for causing financial loss to the state, after they allegedly acted illegally in a fertilizer deal that cost COCOBOD GhȻ271.3 million
US President Donald Trump has defended Russia over claims of interference in the 2016 presidential election.
After a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Trump contradicted US intelligence agencies and said there had been no reason for Russia to meddle in the vote.
Mr Putin reiterated that Russia had never interfered in US affairs.
The two men held nearly two hours of face-to-face talks in Helsinki on Monday.
At a news conference after the summit, President Trump was asked if he believed his own intelligence agencies or the Russian president when it came to the allegations of meddling in the elections.
"President Putin says it's not Russia. I don't see any reason why it should be," he replied.
US intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russia was behind an effort to tip the scale of the US election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorised campaign of cyber attacks and fake news stories planted on social media.
The Chief Executive officer of the Microfinance and small Loans Centre ( MASLOC), Mr. Stephen Amoah has asked Ghanaians to support his outfit to work with professionalism in their effort to make MASLOC one of the best financial Institutions.
MASLOC he said is geared towards supporting Small Medium Enterprises SME's) in the country without attaching any political colourisation.
He made the remarks when he interacted with some journalists at MASLOC’s Head office in Accra.
According to him, to help the centre achieve its objective of supporting small scale businesses and also help in improving the well being of Ghanaians, the centre has established various structures across the various Districts to help clients as well as staff to work efficiently.
Mr. Stephen Amoah further indicated that the loan beneficiaries will soon be provided with MASLOC cards to help the Institution track how beneficiaries use loans acquired and to also help them improve on their recovery process.
He again mentioned that the recovery rate has improved tremendously despite an amount of about 100 million Ghana cedis that are in arrears. According to him, the centre was able to retrieve about 16 million Ghana CEDI's in 2017 compared to about 6 million retrieved in 2016 due to some of the measures and strategies put in place by the current government and administration of MASLOC.
''Our beneficiaries will soon get cards. This will help us track them. MASLOc should be like a commercial bank and so we have adopted a lot of measures to help in achieving this objective.''
Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and financial analyst, Mr Kwabena Ntiamoah says increasing the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) does not necessarily matter.
What matters he noted should be the need to widen the tax net to allow every individual to pay tax.
He was however quick to add that, the increment will have implications.
The increment he explained may discourage people and make those who are already paying to pay more and in the worse scenario, some may decline to pay.
VAT is expected to move from 17.5 per cent to 21 per cent.
Some economists believe there is the need for a tax rise to help the government raise the required revenue to fund its ambitious programmes.
But Mr Ntiamoah believes government must find intelligent ways to ensure that more people pay tax through proper monitoring.
He advised government to curtail its excessive expenditure and have proper management system to help save and generate moiré resources.
Government is looking forward to digitising the tax payment system in the informal sector by deploying mobile money tax payment system to increase efficiency in tax collection and compliance; making property tax payment compulsory for all property owners and deploying a number of the Nation Builders Corpse workers to move from building to building to collect these taxes. To make this work, he wants a special court to be set up in all districts to prosecute defaulting property owners to serve as a deterrent to others.
A non-governmental organization, ‘HELP SAVE THE PREGNANT WOMAN (HSTPW) based in Kwahu and its environs is advocating for the well being and welfare of pregnant women.
The NGO is calling on the Attorney-General, Madam Gloria Akuffo and Gender Minister, Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba, to team up and set a legal team to solely take on individuals who trample on the rights and freedoms of pregnant women.
Founder of the NGO, Juliana Aboagye Antwi, known in the music industry as ‘MAMA DESTINY’, in an interview with Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm stressed the agony and pain women go through when they get pregnant.
‘’But it is within this same period that some irresponsible persons including their husbands choose to torture and abuse them physically and emotionally,’’ she lamented.
She expressed shock at how some so professional nurses assault, shout at and neglect pregnant women in labour which sometimes result in their deaths and that of their babies.
Some allegedly go to the extent of selling or exchanging their babies for money, she noted.
However, most of these cases go unreported because most of the victims in such cases are financially handicapped and cannot hire the services of a lawyer.
It is in view of this that they want the state to train special lawyers and enact laws that will protect pregnant women.
She also requested that traditional birth attendants and herbal practitioners be trained on how to properly handle pregnant women as research has proven that, most of the traditional medications administered on pregnant women have dire consequences on the health of the mothers and their unborn babies and causes the death of many new born babies.
The Member of Parliament for Afram Plains, Madam Betty Nana Afua Mensah is heading to court over the decision by the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration to change the sitting of the Donkorkrom campus of the University of Environmental and Sustainable Development to Bunso in Kyebi.
She told Rainbow Radio’s Parliamentary correspondent, Afia Kwarteng that, former President John Dramani Mahama cut the sod for the project and Parliament approved that, there will be two main campuses i.e. the Somanya and Donkorkrom campus in the Afram Plains, but the current administration has changed the original plan and that is why I want to go to court and seek for redress.
‘’I am going to court to seek further explanation on the case that, the previous government; that is the reign of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, made a promise that they were going to build a university our community but the new government is changing that decision.’’
In an interview with her, she said, we [residents] deserve a fair share of the national cake.
She also indicated that during the construction of the Akosombo Dam, they were greatly affected and if people are enjoying the benefit; that is the electricity generated, ‘’we also have the right to enjoy more benefits since we sacrificed our land and comfort for that to take place.’’
The legislator recounted how a member on the side of the Majority made a statement that, Afram Plains was not accessible for the building of a university.
She went ahead to say that it’s the responsibility of the government to make a community accessible so she sees no reason why the new government will change the original plan by the previous government.
The Eastern University, one of President Mahama’s promises during the 2012 election, is to have two campuses, with the main campus being at Somanya and the other at Donkorkrom in the Afram Plains.
In April 2013, President Mahama inaugurated a 12-member committee to develop the roadmap for the establishment of an implementation committee.
According to him, it was the last University that was part of the National Democratic Congress (NDC’s) programme to ensure that every region will have a public university.
By: Rhoda Naadu Ayiku (Intern, Rainbow Radio)