The business and financial sector recorded some big developments within the year 2022, most of these developments were up for discussion on both traditional and social media.
Below are some of the big issues discussed in the business and financial sectors.
1, 2022 is year of economic misery, inflation for Ghana – Ato Forson predicts
Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson, has said a series of decisions taken by the government since it assumed power will make 2022 a tough one for Ghana’s economy.
The lawmaker for Ajumako Enyan Esiam Constituency posted on Facebook on January 2, 2022 inflation will increase, driven by at least a 30% increase in the prices of goods.Also, the cedi, now trading at almost 6.5cedis to 1 US Dollar, is likely to hit 7 cedis before the end of the year.
2. GUTA intensifies opposition to Benchmark Value reversal
The Association projects that the immediate implementation of reversal will lead to unbearable economic hardship for Ghanaians, especially during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The prices of essential commodities such as food, pharmaceuticals and others will be extremely unbearable for the consuming public, which will also affect turnover and volume of trade in the country, thereby collapse businesses," said Dr Joseph Obeng, GUTA President, in a statement.
The firm's share price has risen by around 5,800% since co-founder and former chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in 2007.
However, its value slipped a little from that milestone, to end Monday's trading session in New York at $2.99tn.
4. Cocoa carriers suspend strike
Cocoa carriers have suspended their sit-down strike after a week of agitation to demand an increment in their wages and better conditions of service.
Cocoa carriers at Tema, Takoradi, and Kumasi abandoned duties and insisted the 62 pesewas they receive per bag they carry should be increased to GH¢1.
Although the Cocoa Marketing Company Limited increased the amount to 82 pesewas per bag, the carriers rejected it and insisted on their GH¢1 per bag demand.
5. Akufo-Addo directs GRA to reverse the cancellation of the benchmark values
President Akufo-Addo has directed the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to suspend the planned implementation of the reversal of the benchmark values discounts for further consultation.
At a meeting with officials of the GRA and other stakeholders, the President gave a deadline of January 17 for all consultations to conclude.
President Akufo-Addo says the move will help all players understand the policy before it is rolled out.
5. NCA outlines four measures to reduce congestion at SIM registration centres
The National Communication Authority, NCA has in a statement said they have taken notice of some public concerns regarding the SIM registration exercise.
According to them, they understand the frustration and inconvenience of customers in their bid to complete the second stage of the SIM Card registration process.
NCA, therefore, outlined four measures to deal with the situation.
5. Paul Adom Otchere responds to allegations of overpriced Christmas trees
The Board Chairman of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Mr Paul Adom Otchere, has said an allegation that he signed for the purchase of overpriced Christmas trees at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is mere propaganda.
According to the controversial media practitioner, the GACL purchased the four Christmas trees for GHS34,000, and not GHS84000 as has been alleged on social media.
He explained further: "The other inspirations were provided by Favors and Arts for a total cost of GHC 84,000 out of which GHC 50,000 was obtained via sponsorship."
He stated the following in his statement on Facebook:
6. FDA recalls Nestle milk products over coagulation scare
FDA has therefore begun recalling some batches of Nestle Ghana’s evaporated milk from markets nationwide following complaints from consumers.
In a press statement, FDA disclosed the root cause analysis indicated that the skimmed milk powder, the raw material used to produce the milk complained of, has poor heat stability.
6. Emirates makes ban on Accra, Abidjan flights indefinite
Emirates Airlines has extended the initial 48-hours ban for flights from Accra to Dubai indefinitely.
“Emirates flight suspension from Accra to Dubai effective December 27, 2021, is now extended until further notice,” AviationGhana quotes the airline.
Emirates gave the notice in its urgent broadcast sent to trade partners on Tuesday, December 28, 2021.
The airline, however, said Dubai to Accra flights will continue for passengers holding confirmed bookings and meet entry requirements for Accra.
7. UAE releases new Covid protocols for Ghanaian travellers
The airline, if Dubai is a traveller’s final destination, requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate with a QR code for a test conducted at an approved facility within 48 hours of departure; validity must be calculated from the time the sample was collected.
The 48hr PCR test, however, was limited to five facilities only: LEDing, Frontier, Airport Clinic, MDS-Lancet and Akai House Clinic.
The increase is coming on the back of the 7.42 percent increase in the price of Brent crude, the 9.46 percent increase in price of Gasoline, the 8.52 percent increase in Gasoil price and the 0.3 percent depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar.
The imminent price increases may force some Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) across the country to sell Gasoline and Gasoil at GH¢7.00 per litre at the pumps for the first time, the IES warned in its projection for the January 2022 second pricing window.
A statement from the GRA on Thursday, January 13, 2022, said the indefinite suspension is to enable further engagements with all relevant stakeholders.
“Following the outcome of a meeting held on Wednesday 12th January 2022, the Customs Division of GRA has been directed to suspend the implementation of the government’s policy directive on the removal or reduction of values of imports on selected items until further notice to enable more engagements with all the relevant stakeholders,” a portion of the statement said.
The West African nation’s dollar bonds have slumped 10% in 10 days, moving deeper into distressed territory as investors judge that re-financing debt in the Eurobond market won’t be an option when the Federal Reserve hikes rates and budget targets remain elusive.
This was against the proposed amount of $75 million offered by the central bank to only authorised Foreign Exchange dealing banks in the country.
The bid amount at the first of six auctions to be held within the first quarter of 2022 was equivalent to 50 per cent of the total $450 million the BoG intends to auction within the period.
The statement said the incident being referred to involves two members of staff whose appointments were terminated for providing fake certificates as part of their employment documentation.
According to the BoG, as part of due diligence processes during and post recruitment, those found to have presented forged documentation are either dropped from the recruitment process or their services terminated if already on-board and on probation.
According to BoG, the public is to note that no other form of identification will be accepted for financial transactions after the effective date.
In a press statement, the SEC said Tizaa Ghana Fund has not been licenced to carry out any capital activity including investing or trading for returns as mandated by law.
15. Special Prosecutor probes banking sector mess
The mess caused the collapse of some banks and financial institutions in the country, culminating in the loss of income, savings and jobs of hundreds of Ghanaians.
“The investigations target alleged corruption and corruption-related offences perpetrated by officials of the Bank of Ghana, banks, specialised deposit-taking institutions and financial holding companies,” the OSP said in a statement issued in Accra on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.
The money which is expected before the end of the month will boost the capital capacity of the Fund to enable it strengthen its core mandate of providing support for small and medium enterprises.
The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr Ofori Tenkorang, made the disclosure at the 5th quadrennial Delegates Conference of the National Pensions Association.
18. EOCO cleared to sell NAM1’s Trasacco estates and 11 Menzgold properties
The Financial and Economic Crimes Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe granted the permission after EOCO filed a motion asking the court to allow it to auction the properties of the defunct company.
According to sources, NAM1's companies that will be sold along with its assets include Brew Energy, G-Tech Automobile Service, Zylofon Art Complex, Brew Marketing Consult, Star Madrid Football Club, Zylofon Music and Media Company Limited.
This follows the acquisition of a Fixed-Base Operator (FBO) licence from the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL).
20. Minority rejects 1.5 E-Levy proposal by Finance Minister
Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta in a meeting with the Minority agreed to reduce the percentage from 1.75 to 1.5.
But the Minority have rejected it and are calling for a 0.5 percent or no E-Levy.
According to Forbes Magazine, Dangote is worth an estimated $13.9 billion, up from $12.1 billion last year following a 30% increase in the stock price of Dangote Cement, his most valuable asset.
15. No more cushion for fuel consumers as Price Stabilisation Levy returns
Fuel prices are expected to increase even further as the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) restores the Price Stabilisation and Recovery levies.
The levies are a key part of what determines the pricing of petrol and diesel but were suspended last year by the government to cushion consumers from the constant increase in the price of petroleum products.
But from today, Tuesday, February 1, 2022, the NPA will bring back the levies.
16. GACL suspends McDan Aviation from using Terminal 1 for private jet services
Management of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), has indefinitely barred McDan Aviation from operating its private jet services at the Terminal 1 of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA)
This comes after airport authorities said there have been operational breaches by McDan Aviation following the inauguration of its private jet services last week.
According to him, he has no knowledge of his sacked letter.
18. Cedi now worst African currency; depreciates 7.6% to dollar
The Ghana cedi is now the worst-performing currency on the African continent just two months into 2022.
This is because it has depreciated by about 7.6% to the dollar from January 1, 2022 to February, 25, 2022.
The local currency has therefore overtaken the Zambian kwacha, which was the worst-performing currency on the continent two weeks ago.
This was the Minority staged a walkout during the second reading of the E-levy Bill.
They walked out after Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said the NDC MPs remain united in opposing the policy.
According to him, they did not want to be associated with any discussion about E-Levy in House.
This was announced by President Akufo-Addo as part of measures to ease the restrictions brought on by the pandemic.
According to him, Covid expenditure, the banking sector clean-up exercise, and payment of excess power in the energy sector as factors accounting for the rising pubic debt.
This was announced in a statement issued by the Information Ministry today, Friday, July 1, 2022.
“The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has authorized Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), inviting the Fund to support an economic program put together by the Government of Ghana.”
He explained that he is not for an IMF programme that gives the country peanuts but imposes conditions that will end up hurting the poor, jobs and businesses more.
The London-listed company will sell its majority stake in Vodafone Ghana to Africa-focused Telecel, subject to certain conditions, a spokesperson for Vodafone said in an emailed statement
Nana Akufo-Addo says many countries across the world are suffering from an economic meltdown.
This means Ghanaians will now pay a 27.15% increase in tariff for electricity and 21.55% increase in water tariff.
This comes after utility companies including the Electricity Company of Ghana and Ghana Water Company Limited proposed an increase in tariffs by 148% and 334% respectively.
27. Gov’t receives $750 million loan from Afrexim Bank
The government of Ghana has received the expected $750 million loan from Afrexim Bank.
This is part of the $2 billion loan from different sources expected by the Government to aid in halting the free fall of the cedi.
28. Ghana-IMF $3bn deal to be finalised before end of year
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, has stated that a deal between Ghana and the IMF should be reached and finalized before the end of the year.
In a close door meeting with the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Monday, 5th September 2022, on the sidelines of the Africa Adaptation Summit, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the IMF boss told President Akufo-Addo “we understand the urgency, and we will move as quickly as possible.”
29. External shocks to blame for Ghana's economic woes - IMF boss
The President of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgina has emphasized that Ghana's current economic challenges are not locally generated but are from external shocks.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Fund’s engagements with the Ghanaian delegation, Kristalina Georgieva stated that contrary to the narrative that Ghana is not in these challenges because of any bad policies of the Akufo-Addo administration, the IMF boss stated that the factors are exogenous.
30. Ofori-Atta best person to take Ghana out of economic crisis – Akufo-Addo
The President speaking on Friday (September 2) on Day 1 of his tour of the Central Region stressed that despite public discontent towards Ofori-Atta, he believed in his competencies.
According to Akufo-Addo, although many have called for the head of the Finance Minister over alleged mismanagement of the economy, he is satisfied with Ofori-Atta as he has what it takes to change the fortunes of the country.
This was contained in the World Bank Africa Pulse Report October 2022 Volume.
According to the report, "The worst performing currencies in the region since the beginning of the year include those of Ghana (with a depreciation of 60 per cent), South Sudan (50.8 per cent), Sudan (28.6 per cent), Malawi (25.4 per cent), and CFA Franc (13.3 per cent)".
According to Commissioner–General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, on month-month basis the country continues to see a 20 percent improvement in collection of the levy.
33. NPA sanctions 9 oil companies over unlawful practice
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has fined nine oil marketing companies GH¢2,215,000 for engaging in illicit third-party trading of petroleum products, and unlawful lifting of petroleum products.
The companies are Bello Petroleum, Jas Petroleum, Oval Energy, Kros Energy, Safety Petroleum, Santol Energy. The rest are Riseglobe Energy, Sayon Energy and Cigo Energy.
According to Act 766, employers must make sure that all workers are registered on the Scheme and make regular contributions on their behalf; this entails taking 5.5 percent of workers’ salaries each month and adding 13 percent of the base salary to make it 18.5 percent in total.
During an Employers’ Breakfast Meeting held today in Accra, the Director-General noted that as of August 2022, the total number of compliant establishments recorded was 39,242 compared to 80,434 recorded as liable establishments during the same period. This represents a compliance rate of 49 percent.
35. Supply of medicines to NHIS will be on cash basis only - Pharmaceutical Industry
The Pharmaceutical Industry says all medications supplied to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and Private Health Insurance Companies would, with immediate effect, be on a cash basis until the economy stabilizes.
This, the Association said, has become necessary due to macro-economic indicators such as exchange rate and payment terms. Inflation, interest rates, fuel prices and utilities, among others, have a deleterious effect on the smooth running of the pharmaceutical business in Ghana.
This dismisses the argument that inflation in the country is due to external factors such as the Russian/Ukraine crisis which has pushed prices of some foodstuffs, particularly wheat and cereals up.
The group described the industrial action, which will end on Monday, October 24, as a “pinch” on government to urgently address the depreciating cedi, high interest rate and inflation.
GUTA announced its decision after engaging in a three-hour meeting with some members of the Council of State.
He attributed the situation to “so many malevolent forces” which he said have come together at the same time to cause the current economic turmoil bedevilling the country.
He said these steps are beginning to bear positive outcomes and restoring confidence in the markets.
Addressing the nation on the economy on Sunday, October31, President Akufo-Addo said, “We will not relent until order is completely restored.”
According to him, "If you allow some unidentifiable person to talk down your money, it will go down".
He added that all Ghanaians could play a part in helping to strengthen the cedi by having confidence in the currency, avoiding speculation and keeping it as a store of value.
41. All payments for National Cathedral lawful – Ofori-Atta
The Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has denied allegations that he did not get authorisation to spend on the National Cathedral.
The Finance Minister also said the project was 100 per cent owned by the state contrary to impressions that it was the project of President Akufo Addo.
42. Gov't launches YouStart District Entrepreneurship Programme, application portal
The government through the YouStart programme intends to build an entrepreneurial nation by providing some of the key enablers that make entrepreneurship a success.
These include access to finance and markets, mentorship, strategic partnership and digital linkages, technical assistance and business advisory support service.
43. Agric Ministry to sell foodstuff at affordable prices today
As part of the efforts to control prices of foodstuff, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is set to begin selling foodstuff within its premises to serve people in Accra.
Though the move has been criticized by a section of the public and other stakeholders, a pilot exercise takes place today.
Sector Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto reiterated government’s intention to transport food from the rural production areas to Accra in Parliament on Wednesday in a bid to deal with rising food inflation.
The increase in the rate forms part of the government’s seven-point agenda to revitalize the country’s economy, the Finance Minister told parliament on Thursday while presenting the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to parliament.
He told the Adhoc Committee of Parliament hearing the censure motion to remove him, that expenditures in respect of the National Cathedral were made from the Contingency Vote under the “Other Government Obligations” vote.
45. 2023 Budget: Govt's seven-point agenda to tackle economic challenges
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said that the 2023 budget is anchored on a seven-point agenda aimed at restoring macro-economic stability and accelerating our economic transformation as articulated in the Post-COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PC-PEG).
These comprise an agenda to Aggressively mobilize domestic revenue; Streamline and rationalise expenditures; Boost local productive capacity; Promote and diversify exports; Protect the poor and vulnerable; Expand digital and climate-responsive physical infrastructure, and Implement structural and public sector reforms.
46. 2023 Budget: Gov't reduces E-levy charge to 1%
The Government of Ghana has announced a reduction on the electronic transfer levy (E-levy) charge from 1.5% to 1%.
This was announced by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta when presenting the 2023 Budget on Thursday, November 30 in Parliament.
47. I’ve not been reckless in managing economy – Ofori-Atta
Finance Minister Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta has denied allegations that his “recklessness” has contributed to Ghana’s economic crisis.
“I have not been reckless in the management of the fiscal operations of the government,” he told the Ad hoc Committee of Parliament hearing the censure motion brought against him.
According to the embattled Minister, he’s fully aware of the difficulties Ghanaians are experiencing as he personally feels their pain.
49. Parliament approves 2023 Budget
Parliament on Tuesday approved the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 2023.
This was after a heated debate between Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, and Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, witnessed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on the floor of the House, in Accra.
50. BoG upgrades GHC1 coin with enhanced security features; what you need to know
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) through a statement have announced that they have upgraded the GHC1 coin with enhanced security features.
According to the BoG, the circulation of its enhanced GHC1 coin will begin on Monday, December 12 adding that both the old and the new notes will be used concurrently until the old ones are phased out.
51. Transport fares reduced by 15.3% effective December 19
The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) have announced a 15.3 percent reduction in Transport fares from Monday, December 19, 2022.
According to a statement issued by GPRTU, the move was influenced by the recent reduction in Prices of Petroleum products at the pumps.
52. Ghana inflation rate hits 50.3% in November 2022
Ghana's inflation rate has surged to 50.3% in the month of November 2022 from the previous 40.4 %.
The month-on-month inflation between October and November 2022 was 8.6%.
53. EOCO retrieves 37 suspected stolen luxury vehicles from garages in Accra
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have arrested 10 people for allegedly stealing luxury.
In a statement, EOCO explained that the 37 luxury vehicles it has retrieved from some members of the vehicle and asset traders association are stolen vehicles.
The authorities’ strong reform program aims at restoring macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability while protecting the vulnerable, preserving financial stability, and laying the foundation for strong and inclusive recovery.
55. Gov't extends deadline for domestic debt exchange programme again
The Government has once again extended the deadline for the domestic debt exchange programme.
A statement from the Ministry of Finance dated December 24 said the new deadline is January 16, 2023. The previous one was fixed for December 30, 2022
56. Gov't exempts pension funds from debt exchange programme
Government have exempted pension funds from the debt exchange, Prime news can confirm.
The decision was arrived Thursday,, December 22 following a meeting between the government, represented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta and Minister for Employment Ignatius Baffour Awuah, and Organised Labour being represented by Dr Anthony Yaw Baah.
57. Databank shuts offices, staff to work from home due to threats
Databank have announced that it is shutting its office effective today, Thursday, December 22, 2022, for staff to work from home until January 10, 2023.
Management said it took the decision because several of their clients have been abusing their staff physically and verbally, and also threatened their lives as well as their families. “As such, we have no choice but to move to a work-from-home option.”
58. GEA disburses GH¢10million to 103 SMEs
The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) has disbursed about GH¢10 million to 103 small businesses that applied for a portion of the Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP) grant.
The beneficiaries were selected after meeting the rigorous criteria designed by the GEA, the World Bank and other development partners of the government.