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Aug 23, 2017
The Commercial Taxi Drivers Association Ghana have petitioned the Ministry of Transport against Uber Transport Company operating in the country. The aggrieved drivers complained that the Uber services is unlawful and against the Road Traffic Act LI 2012 Reg.141 (1)(b)2180. The petition said, we the Commercial Taxi drivers Association would want to notify the Ministry about the illegality of Uber services. They have since given the Ministry a three weeks ultimatum or they [commercial drivers] will stop paying income tax. ‘’If the said conditions are not adhered to, all commercial taxi drivers will restrict from paying income taxes, commercial driving license and also road worthy will be paid once in a year,’’ the statement said. The association copied the Commissioner of Ghana Revenue Authority, Chief Executive Officer of DVLA, Director of the Motor Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, the Media and Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). Uber is an American multinational online transportation network, and  launched its operations in Ghana some few months ago.   The service is currently only in Accra. The base fare for the Uber service has been pegged at GHS 1.70 plus GHS 1.30 per kilometer and GHS 19 pesweas per minute. The minimum fare for the service is GHS 5 and it will you cost you GHS 5 if you cancel a booking.    
Aug 23, 2017
The Council of State has, unanimously, informed the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that there is a substantial demand for the creation of new regions, after studying the petitions for the creation of new regions which were forwarded to the Council. The Council has, therefore, advised President Akufo-Addo to appoint a Commission of Enquiry “to inquire into the need and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation of the new regions.” Nana Otuo Siriboe II made this known on Tuesday, 15th August, 2017, when the Council of State held its 2nd meeting with the President of the Republic, at the Flagstaff House. According to the Chairperson, the Council of State, on the 29th of June, received a communication from the President seeking the Council’s advice on the creation of new regions, as stipulated in the Constitution. The communication, he said, contained copies of the petitions from the Chiefs and people of the Western, Northern, Brong-Ahafo and Volta Regions “from where the demands from the creation of new regions had been the most vociferous”. After meticulously going through the petitions, which the Chairperson of the Council of State stated, numbered some 312 pages with accompanying maps and statistical data, the Council was also briefed by the Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, Hon. Dan Kwaku Botwe, on his interactions with the Chiefs and peoples of the four regions. “The Hon. Minister did impress the Council with the elaborate home work he has done on this exercise including the extensive literature review on Ghana’s geo-political structure,” Nana Otuo Sriboe II said. He continued, “Mr. President, the Council of State has the honour to inform you that, having studied the petitions submitted and the detailed briefing by the Hon. Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, it is of the unanimous opinion that there is a SUBSTANTIAL DEMAND for the creation of new regions.” Welcome development Describing the gesture as extremely welcome, and an indication of the Council of State’s determination to work closely with the Executive to the benefit of the Ghanaian people, President Akufo-Addo also thanked the council for the expeditious manner in which it has assisted the Presidency in the task of populating the Executive and State institutions of the country. “I am emboldened in taking this step (creating new regions) by the support that you have emulated in the response to my request. I think that the quality of people who are assembled in this Council of State, expressing themselves unanimously on this, is a very important development in the history of our country, and I have to express my gratitude towards you for doing that,” the President said. Having received a favourable response from the Council of State, the President is mandated by the Constitution to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the need for the creation of the new region. Should the Commission be convinced that such a need pertains, it will recommend the places and issues for a referendum. The matter will then be referred to the Electoral Commission for a referendum to be held according to the recommendations of the Commission. It was President Akufo-Addo’s hope that, when established, “the Commission of Inquiry would also work as expeditiously as you (Council of State) have done. I think that matters like this are matters that ought to be determined with dispatch, so that the body politic of Ghana can gain some stability in knowing exactly what is the next step ahead of us.” The Council of State has, unanimously, informed the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that there is a substantial demand for the creation of new regions, after studying the petitions for the creation of new regions which were forwarded to the Council. The Council has, therefore, advised President Akufo-Addo to appoint a Commission of Enquiry “to inquire into the need and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation of the new regions.” Nana Otuo Siriboe II made this known on Tuesday, 15th August, 2017, when the Council of State held its 2nd meeting with the President of the Republic, at the Flagstaff House. According to the Chairperson, the Council of State, on the 29th of June, received a communication from the President seeking the Council’s advice on the creation of new regions, as stipulated in the Constitution. The communication, he said, contained copies of the petitions from the Chiefs and people of the Western, Northern, Brong-Ahafo and Volta Regions “from where the demands from the creation of new regions had been the most vociferous”. After meticulously going through the petitions, which the Chairperson of the Council of State stated, numbered some 312 pages with accompanying maps and statistical data, the Council was also briefed by the Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, Hon. Dan Kwaku Botwe, on his interactions with the Chiefs and peoples of the four regions. “The Hon. Minister did impress the Council with the elaborate home work he has done on this exercise including the extensive literature review on Ghana’s geo-political structure,” Nana Otuo Sriboe II said. He continued, “Mr. President, the Council of State has the honour to inform you that, having studied the petitions submitted and the detailed briefing by the Hon. Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, it is of the unanimous opinion that there is a SUBSTANTIAL DEMAND for the creation of new regions.” Welcome development Describing the gesture as extremely welcome, and an indication of the Council of State’s determination to work closely with the Executive to the benefit of the Ghanaian people, President Akufo-Addo also thanked the council for the expeditious manner in which it has assisted the Presidency in the task of populating the Executive and State institutions of the country. “I am emboldened in taking this step (creating new regions) by the support that you have emulated in the response to my request. I think that the quality of people who are assembled in this Council of State, expressing themselves unanimously on this, is a very important development in the history of our country, and I have to express my gratitude towards you for doing that,” the President said. Having received a favourable response from the Council of State, the President is mandated by the Constitution to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the need for the creation of the new region. Should the Commission be convinced that such a need pertains, it will recommend the places and issues for a referendum. The matter will then be referred to the Electoral Commission for a referendum to be held according to the recommendations of the Commission. It was President Akufo-Addo’s hope that, when established, “the Commission of Inquiry would also work as expeditiously as you (Council of State) have done. I think that matters like this are matters that ought to be determined with dispatch, so that the body politic of Ghana can gain some stability in knowing exactly what is the next step ahead of us.”  
Aug 23, 2017
The Minority in Parliament has urged Bank of Ghana (BoG), GCB Bank, PwC and the Ministry of Finance to ensure strict  adherence to the distinct benefit of the purchase and assumption (P&A) transaction, of UT and Capital Banks so that no single depositor losses his or her investment. ‘’Needless to say, should this happen, it will result in an unforeseen burden on taxpayers instead of the original owners of UT and Capital Banks,’’ the statement from the Minority said.     ‘’Again, we urge BOG to ensure that the acquiring bank (GCB), which is the largest indigenous bank, with both public and private shareholders, is not overburdened unnecessarily with non-performing loans and impaired assets. We recall that the NDC Government, in recent past years, took a deliberate policy action to pay the TOR debt owed to GCB which helped to restore the Bank’s balance sheet to its current healthy status, and also not to interfere in GCB's operations. It is our hope that past and future transactions involved in this indirect liquidation will not be clouded in another secrecy, on grounds of “market sensitivity”, the statement added.   Below is the full statement         For immediate Release. MINORITY STATEMENT ON THE RECEIVERSHIP OF CAPITAL BANK AND UT BANK. Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen of the press. 1. Thank you very much for honoring the invitation at a very short notice. 2. We note that the BOG has approved a “purchase and assumption” (P&A) transaction between UT Bank, Capital Bank and GCB. This can be viewed as a relatively smooth takeover of the banks rather than the earlier speculation of a simple and forced liquidation which would have had a devastating effect on the economy. The P&A transaction follows other precedent approaches that had been used to deal with difficult banking situations in the country, for example, the setting up of the Non-Performing Assets Recovery Trust (NPART), and the winding down of the Bank for Credit and Commerce (BCC) , Bank for Housing and Construction (BHC) and Merchant Bank. 3. We also note that during the press conference on the P&A transaction, the Governor of the BOG, assured the nation that the approach has a distinct benefit where customers will suffer no losses. The acquiring bank (GCB) will increase its market share while the productive financial assets of UT Bank and Capital Bank will be maintained. 4. We take note the news and urge all depositors and customers of UT Bank and Capital Bank to exercise restraint while we patiently monitor the activities of the acquiring bank (GCB), BOG, and the receivers (PwC). 5. We strongly urge these three institutions, (BOG, GCB, and PwC), and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) that could assume any ultimate fiscal risks under the Banking laws, to ensure strict adherence to the distinct benefit of the purchase and assumption (P&A) transaction, so that no single depositor losses his or her investment. Needless to say, should this happen, it will result in an unforeseen burden on taxpayers instead of the original owners of UT and Capital Banks. 6. Again, we urge BOG to ensure that the acquiring bank (GCB), which is the largest indigenous bank, with both public and private shareholders, is not overburdened unnecessarily with non-performing loans and impaired assets. We recall that the NDC Government, in recent past years, took a deliberate policy action to pay the TOR debt owed to GCB which helped to restore the Bank’s balance sheet to its current healthy status, and also not to interfere in GCB's operations. It is our hope that past and future transactions involved in this indirect liquidation will not be clouded in another secrecy, on grounds of “market sensitivity”. 7. Ladies and gentlemen, it will be recalled that the NDC government introduced a number of structural measures that sought to strengthen the financial sector and to protect depositors. Notably among them is the Ghana Deposit Protection Act, 2016 (Act 931). This Act established the Deposit Protection Scheme (Insurance), the Deposit Protection Fund, and Deposit Protection Corporation. The Act seeks to protect depositors from potential losses resulting from the occurrence of an insured event. It is also to support the development of a safe, sound, efficient and stable banking system in Ghana. We urge the BOG to, as a matter of urgency, start implementing the provisions of this Act without further delay. 8. The NDC government also enacted the Specialized Deposit Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930) to facilitate the development of the financial sector, and provide an appropriate and robust legal framework to deal with emerging risk and vulnerabilities in the banking system. The Act addresses supervisory and regulatory gaps to enable the Bank of Ghana superintend over financial service providers in the micro-finance industry. The Act also ensures financial consumer protection, promotion of innovation, and financial inclusion. 9. CONCLUSION: Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, we wish to end with two observations. First, it is important for BoG to further strengthen its supervisory and monitoring responsibilities. It is unimaginable to think that these two (2) banks had won several enviable awards at recent high profile ceremonies. 10. The minority, as a matter of urgency, will be requesting, through the Rt. Hon. Speaker, that the Minister of Finance, and the Governor of Bank of Ghana be invited to brief Parliament about the development and to give assurance that the depositors will suffer no loss. 11. We also urge Bank of Ghana to conduct an investigation as to what occasioned this development. Thank you. Signed Cassiel Ato Forson Ranking Member, Finance Committee of Parliament 15th August, 2017    
Aug 23, 2017
India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, M.J. Akbar, has applauded the policies and programmes being implemented by the government of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Describing President Akufo-Addo as “a father of democracy in Africa”, Mr. Akhbar indicated that the government and people of India celebrate the ongoing contributions made by President Akufo-Addo to Ghana’s development. “We celebrate also the fact that your programmes and policies, evidenced in your signature policies, about villages, agriculture, are indicative that you are as close to the people of your country as you always have,” Mr. Akhbar said. He continued, “Unfortunately, in human history, sometimes, power distorts the relationship between the powerful and the people. But your commitment to the people, and your constant search for ways and means in which you can improve the lives of your people is the spine around which your government operates.” Mr. M.J. Akbar made this known when he paid a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo at the Presidency, on Tuesday, 15th August, 2017, on the occasion of India’s 70th independence anniversary. The Indian Minister noted that “today is not only a celebration of the last six or seven decades, but is also a celebration of the next 6 decades, and the birth of a new partnership that will make Ghana such a valuable destination for India.” It was his hope that Ghana and India will build bridges in the immediate future, that will have the strength to transform the two countries. “Together, we defeated colonisation. Together, as partners, we must define the future of the 21st century, by lifting our nations and taking them to the economic and equity forefront of the world. Our responsibility is to give the generations of the future an equally dramatic change so that we can also belong to, what is conventionally called, the best of the First World,” he added. M.J. Akbar presented a donation from the Indian government to the tune of $1 million for the renovation of the Flagstaff House, an edifice which was financed and constructed by India. Strong bonds of co-operation Expressing his delight at the visit at of the Minister, President Akufo-Addo noted that the synergy between Indian and Ghanaian freedom was deliberate. “The people who began the struggle for our nation’s freedom were heavily influenced by events in India. Indeed, it was exactly 11 days before the 15th of August that they met in Saltpond to begin the battle for Ghanaian freedom, and they did so because they were conscious of what was taking place in India,” he said. He continued, “Many of them, in fact, had close friendships with many of the leading lights of the Indian Nationalist Movement, and thought it would not be right to announce the struggle for Ghanaian freedom after Indian independence. So they did everything possible to assemble in Saltpond, even if it was 11 days before India’s independence.” President Akufo-Addo conveyed the appreciation of the Ghanaian people for close and warm relations enjoyed between the two countries, the symbol of which is the Flagstaff House. He also applauded the impact being made by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, not just domestically but also on the international scene, and also the contribution to the development of Ghana being made by the Indian community resident here. President Akufo-Addo also thanked the government and people of India for the $1 million donated for the rehabilitation of the Flagstaff House. The President was hopeful that in the course of his and the administration of Prime Minister Modi, Ghana and India would explore further “avenues of economic intercourse and development. There is so much our two countries can gain from stepping up the quality of the value of exchanges between our two countries, which currently stands in the region of $3 billion.”     Source: presidency.gov.gh
Aug 23, 2017
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, cut the sod for the construction of a new cement grinding factory, at the Tema Freezones enclave. Congratulating the Board, Management and Staff of CBI Ghana, and their partner, Lafarge-Holcim, for taking the decision to invest in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo noted that laying the foundation stone for the cement grinding factory signals the beginning of a long-term partnership between Ghana and CBI. Since taking office some 7 months ago, the President stated that his government has taken a lot of measures to correct the economic mess inherited, with some of the macroeconomic figures beginning to show some improvement. “We will know we are making real progress when the improved figures lead to an improved business atmosphere and more investment that lead to the creation of jobs,” he stated. The President, thus, indicated that he took it as a veritable vote of confidence in the steps his government is taking to make the private sector flourish, that a company, like CBI, has taken the decision to enter Ghana’s economic space, and, therefore, welcomed them heartily. “As the latest entrant to the sector and supported, as you are, by Lafarge-Holcim, the world’s leading cement manufacturer, we expect CBI to bring the latest advanced cement grinding technology to Ghana. I look forward to the construction of what we expect to be a state-of-the-art cement grinding factory, to diversify the sector, promote healthy competition, and improve product standards,” he stated. The President assured that his government, will, on its part, continue to ensure that the sector gets the regulatory support and the business-friendly environment it needs to thrive. Indicating that cement forms the backbone of infrastructure development, which contributes about a quarter of Ghana’s GDP, President Akufo-Addo noted that the consumption of cement is guaranteed to increase by leaps and bounds as his government deals with growing urbanization, the huge deficit in our housing needs, and the anticipated rise in government and private sector infrastructure development projects. “The local manufacture of cement will help create jobs and reduce the drain on our foreign exchange reserves from having to import cement,” he added. With government indicating that it is considering a transition to the use of concrete for the construction of more durable roads in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo stated that “we shall be needing even more cement than before. I am assured by CBI that the Supacem brand cement is strong and suitable for road construction.” President Akufo-Addo was also comforted to learn that CBI Ghana will be using the highest environmental standards and raw materials in the production of its Supacem cement. He hoped that CBI Ghana will tap into the international expertise of its partner, Lafarge-Holcim, and bring transfer of technology and knowledge to the benefit of Ghana. “With your affiliation to Lafarge-Holcim, the world-leader in cement manufacturing, operating in 90 countries, 30 of which are in Africa alone, we hope to see in-flows of knowledge, global best practices and technical-skills into Ghana’s cement and related sectors,” he said. Stressing that job creation ranks as his government’s highest priority, President Akufo-Addo indicated that “we look forward to the CBI cement factory creating hundreds of jobs, and we are glad to learn of CBI’s commitment to training its employees and to technology transfer.” The President was confident that CBI Ghana “will be a responsible employer that treats your employees with dignity and pays maximum attention to their health and safety needs and the environmental impact of the factory.”     Source: presidency.gov.gh
Aug 23, 2017
    The Awutu Traditional Council within the Awutu Senya District of the Central Region is determined to put aside anything including conflict that has hindered them to embark on their colourful annual Awubia Festival.     The festival has been on a halt since the last three years but chiefs say this is unfortunate and should not be allowed to continue, hence, the move to ensure the people embrace the event that brings descendants of Awutu home for merry making wherever they find themselves at the end of every August when there's also abundance of bread in the land out of their good labour.     The decision by the chiefs and elders to celebrate the festival this year, was made possible after the law court lifted an injunction placed on the celebration of Awubia following misunderstandings amongst some factions that might have emanated from the sale of sacred pieces of land including portions of their royal museum to developers.   Speaking to Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, Nkabomhene and chairman for this year's occasion, Nai Kwame Banafo II said,  the Awutu State cannot allow conflict to split its people apart. Based on this, this year's Awubia festival shall be observed under the watch of Tufohene Nai Adawu Duaquaye VII.   He has therefore entreated the children of Awutuland and well-wishers to rush home for yet another memorable occasion from 30th August-6th September, 2017 regardless of where they live across the globe.   "Conflict hinders peace and development so there's no way we can entertain such in our mist. We are poised to unite to forge on as a people of common destiny as ever", Nai Banafo II stressed. This year's festival, which will see its grand durbar on Monday, 4th September, is well packaged with existing activities and is on the theme: Emphasizing Peace and Development.    It will be a week of cultural expression and activity that will celebrate the successful achievement of a bumper harvest, which the people of Awutu refer to as “Bia”, and the ceremonial offering of thanks to the gods and ancestors .   The chiefs and people of Awutu will also use the occasion to mourn and remember loved ones who have passed away during the course of the year and subsequently make merry.     By: Daniel Asuku 
Aug 23, 2017
The Director General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, has revealed that the authority will license private lotto operators to operate ‘Banker to Banker’ in approved jurisdiction areas. According to him, licensing fees shall be determined by the Board in accordance with relevant provisions of Act 722 and LI 1948. He gave the hint at a stakeholder engagement with operators and directors in the sector adding, the authority shall communicate the outcome of the board’s decision in due course. He indicated that NLA shall approve unique specific NLA licensed Banker to Banker Tickets or coupons for each operator in a particular region. ‘’These unique NLA Licensed B/B Tickets or coupons is identifiable to a particular operator in a particular in a particular region,’’ he said. He explained, the NLA coupons shall be printed by the operators but approved by the authority. Meanwhile, a licensed  operator shall not transact lotto business in another region without approval from NLA. What this means is that, an operator who has registered in Accra, would have to register in another region to operate another lotto business since the license is not transferable. The NLA he added shall register all Agents and Writers of a NLA Licensed Operator and shall be given ID cards. ‘’Without an ID card from NLA, you cannot sell Banker to Banker in Ghana. The system will smoke you out and you maybe prosecuted,’’ he warned. The licensing regime he noted shall be self policing and all NLA licensed Banker to Banker Operators shall in conjunction with NLA, smoke out all recalcitrant Banker to Banker Operators. He urged operators who have not registered to pick up application forms available at their regional offices, website and national office, to do so. Over 200 operators he stated have since registered and it is estimated that, the number would increase to over 500 in the next four months. An amnesty of four months has been given to the operators who have not registered to do so or face the possible sanctions. The Director General expressed his resolve to smoke out illegal operators and has called upon stakeholders to join that fight. According to Mr. Mensah, activities of the illegal operators are not only crippling their business but depriving the state of the revenue.   “The revenue which should otherwise end up in the Consolidated Fund for national development currently goes into individuals’ pockets as these illegal operators do not pay taxes aside from refusing to pay-up on the wins of some patrons many a time” he said.   On his part Chairman for the Ghana Lotto Operators Association, Dan Boso, described the move as a good one and expressed their readiness to assist the Director General to ensure sanity in the system.     He emphasized the need for the NLA through the new director to enforce the sanctions where necessary.     The monopoly in the lotto business is our major challenge and from the consensus reached, the illegal operators will be no more, he said.
Aug 23, 2017
Some market women at Kumasi Race Course and Suame markets, have hit the streets in protest against activities of prostitutes who they say have taken over the markets. According to the market women, the prostitutes ply their trade in the evening after the traders have closed from work. Reporting from the location, Abdul Malik Anokye said, the traders told him that used condoms are left in front of their shops every morning by the prostitutes a situation they say, has affected their sales.   They are therefore appealing to authorities to intervene.
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