Prime News Ghana

Today's Ghana Business, Banking and Economic news

Aliko Dangote clocks 59 & inaugurates $1 billion cement factory in Okpella

The Dangote Group owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote on Sunday began construction of a $1 billion cement factory in Okpella, Edo state. It was a double ceremony as the billionaire businessman was also born on Sunday, April 10th.


 

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the six million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) Okpella plant and the upcoming six mmtpa plant in Itori, Ogun State will increase the company’s local production capacity to 41 mmtpa annually.

The project which will be completed within 26 months will create 6,000 direct jobs and 45,000 indirect jobs in the community.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dangote said that the project will meet local demands for cement, as well as surplus for export and foreign exchange generation. He also urged other investors to look at other investment opportunities in Nigeria, saying the Federal government have created investor friendly policies to boost investments.

He also said that economic reforms in the areas of tax, innovations in rural finance, and investment in infrastructure made him invest in the state.

Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State said that the investment will reduce the state’s dependence on federal allocation and boosts its internally generated revenue.

The Monarch of Okpella, Alhaji Yusuf Dirisu also pledged support from his community while commending the commitment of the Dangote Group to the establishment of the plant.

Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi and Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah represented by Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Investment who both lauded the efforts of the business mogul to diversification of the economy and overall nation building.

bellaNaija.com

National Fire Service to shut down Odo Rice & Mr. Biggs over poor fire safety measures

Two restaurants in the national capital, Odo Rice and Mr. Biggs, risk closure today if they fail to comply with an ultimatum given by the National Fire Service on fire safety at their premises.


 

A visit by the national fire service to some commercial centres last Friday, revealed non-compliance by these restaurants.

In addition to the unserviceable fire extinguishers at both eateries, Mr. Biggs also had faulty electrical wiring as well as non-functioning early warning systems.

Unsatisfied, with the situation at hand, the Greater Accra Regional Fire Officer, Ebenezer Simpson issued a 24 hour ultimatum for the situation to be rectified.

Speaking to Citi Business News on the next move, Ebenezer Simpson disclosed of a possible shut down of the two premises if they fail to meet the deadline.

“We will be going back to Mr. Biggs and Odo Rice today to find out whether they have complied with the directive we gave last Friday….when we go there and these things are not functioning or they have not repaired them, we will revoke their fire certificate. This will also mean they have flouted the fire regulations Act as such, we will arrange for their conviction.”Ebenezer Simpson noted.

He added, “The place will no longer be safe for public consumption so we are going to close down the place.”

Meanwhile management of Grand View Hotel, located in Accra central, have a week to correct an obstruction to its entrance to allow accessibility in case of an emergency.

Regional Fire Officer, Ebenezer Simpson tells Citi Business News the Fire Service will shut down the hotel if it also fails to meet the one week ultimatum.

“We expect that their entrance will be cleared of any obstruction. The initial thing to do is to ensure that the structure that they are constructing at the frontage of the entrance is cleared to make it more accessible than it is now. So within one week if they have not done anything, we are going to revoke their fire certificate meaning the place is not safe to be used by the public. We will also put measures in place to get the place closed down.”

citifmonline.com

GH¢350 black & white puppy owner dismayed to see black washed off after rain

When an Egyptian expatriate in Ghana decided to acquire a dog for his wards who had been on his neck for a while, he never thought he would be outsmarted but he knows better now.


The man who craves anonymity explained on the first attempt to buy the puppy from dealers around the Accra Mall, he was offered only white puppies of which he wasn’t a fan but when he attempted to leave, one seller promised to get him his preferred Alsatian white dog with black spots the next day should he leave his cell line with him.

Truly the call came through and upon inspection secured the white with black spots puppy for GH¢350.

However when he got home, he realised there was some black spots around where the puppy was lying but he didn't know what it was until the children went to play with the dog when it rained on Easter Sunday.

"Instantly, the dog just changed into a white puppy with all the black spots vanishing," he lamented.

He said careful examination showed that the dog was the spotless white dog he rejected initially. In his opinion, the guys outsmarted him by spraying some dark spots around the dog to meet his request.

He, therefore, decided to call the guy to complain but the number was completely off. He went to the Accra Mall area where he bought the dog to search for him but he was not successful.

The caution is to be sharp when trading on the streets.

graphic.com.gh

Profile of Central bank’s Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku

Newly appointed Governor of the Bank of Ghana, (BoG), Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku  assumed his new position at the central bank last Friday April 1, 2016, a release from the BoG has stated.


According to the statement, Dr. Issahaku is an International Development Economist with several years of experience in economic policy management and development.

Work profile

He has worked with reputable international and local institutions including the World Bank as a Senior Public Sector Specialist; the African Development Bank as a Principal Governance Expert; the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as a Development Management Officer; the Canadian International Development Agency as a Socio-Economic Advisor and Project Coordinator; and the National Development Planning Commission, Ghana, as a Senior Planning Analyst.

Before his appointment as Governor of the Bank of Ghana, he was the Second Deputy Governor and Executive Board member with oversight responsibilities of nine departments including Economics, Statistics, Finance, Legal, Banking Supervision and Financial Stability.

He is Chairman of the Investment Management Committee of the Bank and a member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee.

Dr. Issahaku is a member of Ghana’s Economic Management Team.

He chairs the Finance and Administration Committee of the Ghana Cocoa Marketing Company and he is the Commissioner and Chairman of the F&A Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund, which he restructured and helped restore to operational effectiveness before his appointment to the central bank in 2013.

 Educational Background

Dr. Issahaku has a Doctorate in International Affairs and Development from Clark Atlanta University, MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from Maharishi University of Management, USA, and Bachelors in Business Administration from the International Islamic University, Malaysia.

He has a certificate in Public Financial Management from Harvard University Kennedy School.

Dr. Issahaku has effectively managed and supervised complex projects of international proportions.

He was the Task Manager for Gambia’s Economic Management Programme from 2004 to 2009.

He also spearheaded the Institutional Budget Support Programme for Tanzania from2005  to 2009.

Dr. Issahaku loves writing and has authored several publications including his much-acclaimed research work on the “Political Economy of Economic Reforms in Ghana”, “Capacity Building for Good Governance and Poverty Reduction in Parliamentary Systems” and “Human Rights, Economic Development and Democracy”.

From the Royal Zambang family of Kunbungu, Dr. Issahaku started his education in Tamale and attended Tamale Secondary School where he obtained his GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels.

He was a member of the school’s Debate Society and a Senior House Prefect.  He was a known sportsman at the school and in the Northern Region where he was once the Table Tennis Champion.

Dr. Issahaku is married and has four children.

Bank of Ghana

 

As Wampah’s first deputy takes interim charge, expert say tough times ahead

Ghana’s central bank chief stepped down Friday amid criticism about the country's lackluster economic performance.

Henry Kofi Wampah was named governor of Ghana’s central bank in 2012 to address the country’s fiscal deficit, rising inflation, continuous currency devaluation and ballooning debt stock.


 

Wampah leaves his post four months before the end of his four-year mandate amid criticism over his performance though some concede he was dealt a difficult hand.

Ghanian economist Felix Asante says the new central bank governor must be bold on checking government spending.

“Certainly, that person should be able to say to the sitting government that no there is no money so I cannot answer the cheque,” he said.

Challenges ahead

Wampah assumed his post amid high deficits in 2012. The country had spent a lot on elections that year, including rolling out a new biometric voter system. Ghana is headed to polls again in November, and more high spending is expected.

Asante says that is just one of the factors outside the central bank’s control.

“In Ghana, the main concerns are the exchange rate and inflation," he said. "You cannot fix the exchange rate if you are not in control of what is produced in the country [and] encourage private sector to export. The economy should bounce back into its form where we can produce enough to export and earn foreign exchange. If we do not do that and we keep on importing, every governor will come and will have such a problem.”

Inflation has climbed since 2012, though in February, it dropped slightly to 18.5 percent from 19 percent in January.

Ghana is one of the world's top producers of gold and cocoa.

The country discovered oil in 2007 and in 2011 was named the fastest growing economy in the world. Ghana was a darling of the “Africa Rising” narrative. But commodities-based growth has done little for Ghanaians' standard of living, and Ghana’s economy began to stall in 2013.

Inflation

In Accra, people say their paychecks buy less and less at the market. And even as economists advise the country to export more, exporters like Kweku, a local handicrafts businessman, say inflation is a problem.

“When my remittances are coming in, I cannot withdraw and go back and exchange at the same forex rate that I bought to use for the production, he said. "I have to go and exchange the money at the controlled rates… For every dollar I earn, I lose some cedis on it. With time, I will be eating up my capital.”

Ghana’s president will appoint a new Central Bank governor. Wampah’s first deputy Millison Narh has taken the helm in the interim.

voanews.com

Amber Rose emojis (MuvaMojis) rake in $2 million on first day

Amber Rose has made $4 million from her new emojis after signing a deal with the app's developer, and her MuvaMojis range raked in $2 million on its first day.


 

The 32-year-old star debuted her MuvaMojis, a set of 900 symbols available from Apple and Android app stores, yesterday (31.03.16), and the model is said to be set to receive a cut of the profits after the successful start.

Sources close to the fashion designer also told gossip website TMZ that Amber has already made $4 million out of the app after signing a deal with developer Appmoji.

Amber's app features many designs, including one glittery emoji stating 'Free Kesha', in support of the 'Tik Tok' hitmaker who is currently involved in a very public legal battle with her record label to be released from her contract over allegations of sexual abuse she has made against producer Dr. Luke.

Announcing MuvaMoji, Amber said: ''Hey, you guys. It's Amber Rose, and I've got a new app - MuvaMoji. Download it on iTunes and Android. Have fun, Rosebuds! I love you guys! (sic)''

Some supporters have likened her app to Kim Kardashian West's Kimojis app, but the star is said to be adamant she didn't imitate the 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' beauty.

A source told the gossip website Amber is confident her emojis represent her personality.

 tv3.ie

Political pressure didn’t force my resignation – Wampah

The exiting Bank of Ghana (BoG) Governor, Dr Henry Kofi Wampah, has told the Daily Graphic that political pressure did not compel him to resign.

Dr Wampah will leave office at the end of March after declining to seek as second term. 

Proposed one month rent payment hurtful to landlords - Real Estate Broker

Mr Narteh Tetteh, a real estate broker, has advised against the adoption of a proposed rent law that would force landlords to charge not more than one month rent.

A statement signed by Mr Fidel Amoah, the Content Manager, Lamudi Ghana and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said Mr Tetteh, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Realty Connections, believes the proposed Rent Act amendment will do more harm than good.


 

He admitted that such an amendment would suit tenants favourably as it would enable them meet their rent obligations but it will at the same time be a disincentive for real estate developers.

In a poll conducted by real estate expert, Lamudi Ghana, revealed that 12 per cent of respondents said they were looking to change accommodation because of rent-related issues.

Mr Narteh said that any amendment to Ghana’s Rent Act has to suit real estate investors as much as tenants, else, it risks worsening the housing deficit in the country.

“The proposed amendment would make housing more affordable for tenants and people in search of accommodation,” he said.

“There is the need for change with the existing situation because some landlords are charging rent advance of more than two years. It makes it difficult for many house hunters to afford such agreements.

“However, we need to look at the situation holistically because this proposed amendment would affect real estate investment negatively,” he said.

Mr Tetteh underscored the importance of real estate investment, stating that the country was grappling with a huge housing deficit.

He said the proposed amendment of one month rent advance would be a disincentive for real estate investors, culminating in a worsening housing gap.

He suggested that the Rent Control Department should be resourced adequately to ensure that the constitutionally approved six months rent advance was adhered to.

“The best solution for Ghana’s rental problem is to enforce the six months rent advance to the letter. Reducing it to one month could lead to further problems,” he said.

“For instance, a landlord could claim that an individual has offered to pay one year’s rent advance so would only give out his accommodation to another house hunter willing to beat the offer.”

GNA

Parliament passes law to counter fraudulent SIM box operators

The country is still faced with the menace of SIM box operators with reports suggesting as much as $900,000 was lost to the state in 5 months.


 

Collaborating with foreign counterparts, telecom experts contend the state could counter the gains of the gangs should there be functional regulatory measures.

To help address the challenge of SIM box fraud which has costs the nation several millions of Ghana cedis and other peculiar challenges facing the telecommunications sector, Parliament has passed into law the Electronic Communications (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The new law is expected to streamline and rationalize activities of the various players in the telecommunications industry and provide a fairer atmosphere for industry players whiles prohibiting the possession of unregistered SIM cards in the country.

 

businessdayghana.com

White settlers in Zim land told to sell or give up 51 percent of shares to black Zims by April 1

Companies owned by foreigners face closure unless they sell or give up 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans by April 1, announced Indigenization Minister Patrick Zhuwao.

“Comply by that date or close shop, comply by that date or face the full wrath of the law,” Bloomberg quotes Zhuwao, who is also President Robert Mugabe’s nephew.

This month, the IMF asked the Mugabe administration to clarify the country’s policy on black empowerment. Zimbabwe has agreed to major reforms including compensation for evicted white farmers.

Harare says it expects an IMF loan in the third quarter of this year, the first since 1999, after repaying foreign lenders $1.8 billion by the end of June.

President Mugabe is known for evicting white farmers. In 2010, the Guardian reported that Mugabe used land reform to reward his allies rather than ordinary black Zimbabweans. The newspaper’s sources reported Mugabe and his supporters owned about 40 percent of the land seized from white farmers.

The white farmers received no compensations after being evicted.

“If white settlers just took the land from us without paying for it, we can, in a similar way, just take it from them without paying for it,” said Mugabe.

However, Mugabe’s allies have hinted that at least some of the evicted farmers can return.

Zimbabwe is known for its mineral resources. It has the world’s second-biggest deposit of chrome and platinum after South Africa.

rt.com