Category Archives: Business

Namoale hit out at FDA over laxity in prosecuting fake food and drug dealers

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Former Food and Agric minister, Nii Amansah Namoale, has hit out at the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) over its seeming laxity to prosecute fake drug and food dealers in the country.

He wondered why the FDA has not been active in prosecuting persons who import and sell fake drugs and food, something he said is not helping the fight against fake drugs and food on the Ghanaian market.

“Look at the way Nigeria is fighting fake drugs in their country. They report it and prosecute people, but over here we only report without prosecution,” he told Bright Kwesi Asempa Tuesday on Onua FM’s morning show Yen Nsem Pa.

For him, prosecution of the perpetrators is the only way to winning the fight and restoring public’s confidence in the FDA, saying “until we begin prosecuting perpetrators, the public would continue to lose confidence in the FDA.

“The FDA is here and we are being inundated with fake drugs and contaminated food in our market. These drugs are even in our hospitals,” he claimed.

But the head of communication at the FDA, James Lartey, refuted claims that the Authority does not prosecute offenders.

He said there are instances that the FDA has prosecuted individuals and shop owners for flouting the FDA regulations, hence wondered why some people would claim otherwise.

Meanwhile, Mr Namoale says he’s surprised the FDA claims there are no plastic or rubber rice on the Ghanaian market.

The FDA last Friday refuted claims there is plastic rice on the Ghanaian market, basing its claim on market surveys it said was conducted on samples of the alleged plastic rice. It said the results showed negative and that the rice had higher starch content.

“I was surprised to hear them (FDA) defending the plastic rice, because we have seen the thing and you also say it is not true. What we have seen is not like the normal rice we are used to and so how can we believe you when you come out to issue statements?” he stated.

Mr Namoale said he has stopped eating imported rice after witnessing ‘fake’ rice in his home.

He is thus urging Ghanaians to consider locally produced rice and the farmers to also improve on the quality of their yields.

He said the cost of treating a kidney and liver illness which may arise from eating rubber rice, far exceed the cost of a local rice, hence the public should not complain too much about the cost of the local rice

By Bright Dzakah|Onua95.1 FM|3news.com

Minority demands full scale investigations into BOST petroleum saga

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The Minority in Parliament has called for a full scale investigation into issues surrounding the sale of five million substandard petroleum product onto the Ghanaian market.

There have since been calls for the head of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited to immediately step aside to allow an independent investigation to take place unimpeded.

The product as reported by 3news.com earlier was contaminated when petrol and diesel accidentally mixed when a petrol flow-line was misdirected into a diesel tank during a discharge of petrol cargo into the Accra plains depot.

“It must be mentioned that under proper regulatory and supervisory protocols, under no circumstance should the BOST Co. Ltd experience such high levels of contamination as we are witnessing,” the minority said in a statement to the media on Tuesday.

Below is Minority’s full statement

MINORITY IN PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR FULL SCALE INVESTIGATION INTO BLATANT CORRUPTION AT BOST LTD.

The minority in Parliament has noted with grave concern the sale of contaminated fuel product to the tune of five million litres to a company known as Movenpiina by the MD of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Limited under very dubious and bizarre circumstances in another clear example of escalating corruption in the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government.

Even more disturbing is the explanation offered by BOST to justify the sale of this contaminated product as well as the circumstances surrounding the sale which clearly lacks transparency and integrity.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, it must be mentioned that under proper regulatory and supervisory protocols, under no circumstance should the BOST Co. Ltd experience such high levels of contamination as we are witnessing.

The question to ask is what led to the contamination of these products in the first instance. Why was the particular tank in question not properly discharged and cleaned before the intake of the fresh fuel which led to the contamination? Was it due to negligence, lack of supervision or a deliberate plot by some self-seeking individuals to enrich themselves at the expense of the state and the Ghanaian tax payer?

The justification by BOST that the contaminated products were sold for use by manufacturing companies is untenable. The norm and practice is that when such contamination occur, corrective treatment of these products are undertaken by the Tema Oil Refinery through blending. Why did BOST not arrange with TOR for the treatment of this particular fuel? Available information indicates that BOST failed to exhaust all means to ensure TOR blends this contaminated fuel. The argument by BOST that the blending couldn’t be done at TOR because the CDU is down is most untenable.

These so called off-spec products are not the slops that are usually sold by BOST, we also wish to state that SLOPS are usually in small quantities. SLOPS are sediments of fuels in a Tank and are usually in small quantities and cannot be compared with 5 million liters of contaminated fuel.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, the claim by BOST that this contaminated product was sold at a competitive ex-depot price is false and cannot be justified.

When was the competitive bidding process initiated and who were the companies that participated? Incontrovertible evidence available confirms that Movenpiina Company was the only company BOST dealt with in the sale of this contaminated product in a sole sourced transaction. It is therefore erroneous to suggest that the sale was done under a competitive process.

Further information available to us indicates that Movenpiina Co. Lt. put in a proposal to purchase the fuel on the 19th of May 2017. Interestingly, checks from the Registrar Generals Department suggest the company was incorporated to trade and transport fuel on the 29th of May 2017. This clearly suggest collusion on the part of the actors. Information available before us indicates the Managing Director took a decision to grant to Movenpiina Co. an Open-Credit sales arrangement against all the advice from his own staff. This means that the company bought the products without paying for it and in turn sold the products to a third-party Company Zupoil at 30% higher. This smacks of high level corruption.

We further wish to know what culminated in the interdiction of General Manager of Terminals, Mr. Fred Adarkwa and the Trading Department Manager Mr. Nana Obeng all of BOST. Was it because they strongly kicked against the clandestine process of selling these products. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have received information that these contaminated fuels which were originally meant for industrial usage by the steel, garment, petrol chemical as claimed by BOST by companies to run their machinery and certainly not for the running of vehicle engines has ended up in the open market against the NPA’s directive not to do so. The resultant effect will mean damage to vehicle engines and its accompanying side effects to the innocent Ghanaian consumer. Furthermore, our checks reveal that the contact number on Movenpiina is the same number of the BOST MD’s private office in Airport Residential Area.

The Gentleman who registered the Company, one Nana Poku Agyemang a generator dealer with a Company General Power is a close associate of the MD and they have been doing business together before the MD was appointed to BOST.

The Minority has also noted with trepidation the revelation that the said Movenpiina Company is currently a Bulk Oil Transporter at BOST carrying huge petroleum products across the Country when they are not registered. This is not only illegal, it is also extremely risky because when those products are lost, it will be at the cost of the tax payer as there’s no insurance covering the said contract.

The Minority will want to place on record that further checks reveal that, BOST has never sold any contaminated products before. They always blend the products to correct it to meet industry specifications as outlined by NPA and Ghana Standard Authority. What BOST has sold in the past is slop and not contaminated products. As we speak BOST imported a full cargo declared by NPA as off Spec. The Company that brought in the product is called Morco Energy. That product is currently being blended at TOR to correct it. We wonder why the 5million litres didn’t go through the same process to correct it.

Ladies and gentlemen, the blatant corruption by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government cannot be allowed to continue.

We demand the following:
1) The immediate interdiction of the BOST MD – Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng
2) Full scale investigation by the regulatory authorities
3) The immediate withdrawal of the contaminated product from the market to protect consumers and assurances that this will not recur.
4) That the financial loss estimated at GHS 14.25 million be retrieved by surcharging the offending officials at BOST in line with the recent Supreme Court decision.
⁠⁠⁠
We thank you for your attention.

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

Eat made-in-Ghana rice to avert eating substandard rice – Ghanaians urged

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Rice consumers in the country have been urged to consume made-in-Ghana rice to avert the potential of consuming substandard rice mixed with unwholesome materials which could have been imported into the country.

Managing Director of Aduanehene Company in Accra, Dominic Duku who gave the advice said “we should eat what we Ghanaians have produced because if you monitor the news and what is trending, you could hear that there are unhygienic rice on the market for sale so why don’t we eat made in Ghana ones to avert buying and eating unhygienic and what could possibly turn out to rubber rice”.

Mr. Duku made the appeal when Aduanehene Company in Accra paid a courtesy call on the Chief Iman, Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu  and presented to the office of the chief Imam twenty bags of Aduanehene rice and 5 bags of Aduanehene maize, valued at GHS3, 500.00.

The purpose of the visit to the Chief Imam was to congratulate him and the entire Muslim community in Ghana for the success throughout the Ramadan fasting.

Plastic rice became a big issue in Ghana recently compelling the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to reject reports of its existence on the Ghanaian market.

Videos of supposed plastic rice have been circulating on social media platforms cautioning people, but the FDA indicated that its investigations across the country have shown no trace of such ‘plastic rice’ on the market.

Mr. Duku however pointed out, ”even our [Ghana] locally made rice is of high standard than those we import from outside, so why should you eat what you know is unhygienic. Even in Nigeria, they have been successful with their locally made products”.

He added that “Ghanaians need to patronize made in Ghana products, specifically rice and maize which they [Aduanehene] produce in Ghana”.

He noted that all the items presented to the Chief Imam who has been taking care of the poor and needy were produced in Ghana.  “None of them is from outside or imported so we will urge Ghanaians to patronize made in Ghana products such as rice and maize”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM|3news.com|Ghana

 

Google hit with record $2.7bn EU fine

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Google has been fined 2.42bn euros ($2.7bn; £2.1bn) by the European Commission after it ruled the company had abused its power by promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results.

The amount is the regulator’s largest penalty to date against a company accused of distorting the market.

The ruling also orders Google to end its anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face a further penalty.

The US firm said it may appeal.

However, if it fails to change the way it operates the Shopping service within the three-month deadline, it could be forced to make payments of 5% of its parent company Alphabet’s average daily worldwide earnings.

Based on the company’s most recent financial report, that amounts to about $14m a day.

“What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” declared Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s Competition Commissioner.

“It has denied other companies the chance to compete on their merits and to innovate, and most importantly it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation.”

Margrethe Vestager

Google had previously suggested that Amazon and eBay had more influence over the public’s spending habits and has again said it does not accept the claims made against it.

“When you shop online, you want to find the products you’re looking for quickly and easily,” a spokesman said in response to the ruling.

“And advertisers want to promote those same products. That’s why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both.

“We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case.”

The decision could now set a precedent that determines how the EU’s civil service handles related complaints about the prominence Google gives to its own maps, flight price results and local business listings within its search tools.

Fast growth

Google Shopping displays relevant products’ images and prices alongside the names of shops they are available from and review scores, if available.

Smartphone

Shopping results often push traditional links off screen when viewed on smartphones photo: GOOGLE

The details are labelled as being “sponsored”, reflecting the fact that, unlike normal search results, they only include items that sellers have paid to appear.

On smartphones, the facility typically dominates “above-the-fold” content, meaning users might not see any traditional links unless they scroll down.

Google also benefits from the fact the Shopping service adverts are more visual than its text-based ads.

One recent study suggested Shopping accounts for 74% of all retail-related ads clicked on within Google Search results. However, the BBC understands Google’s own data indicates the true figure is smaller.

Seven-year probe

The European Commission has been investigating Google Shopping since late 2010.

The probe was spurred on by complaints from Microsoft, among others.

The rival tech giant has opted not to comment on the ruling, after the two struck a deal last year to try to avoid such legal battles in the future.

But one price comparison service has welcomed the fine.

“An entire industry has suffered because of Google’s unlawful, anticompetitive behaviour, and it has become a genuine struggle for survival for the likes of [us],” the chief executive of Kelkoo Richard Stables told the BBC.

“At the same time, Google’s abuse has raised costs for merchants, and it has meant higher prices for consumers and much more limited choice.”

Although the penalty is record-sized, it could have been bigger.

The commission has the power to fine Alphabet up to 10% of its annual revenue, which was more than $90bn (£70.8bn) in its last financial year.

Alphabet can afford the fine – it currently has more than $172bn of assets.

Google Shopping

The Shopping service has helped Google make ads appear more attractive photo: GOOGLE

But one expert said the company would be more concerned about the impact on its future operations.

“If it has to change the appearance of it results and rankings, that’s going to have an impact on how it can monetise search,” said Chris Green, from the tech consultancy Lewis.

“Right now, the way that Google prioritises some of its retail and commercial services generates quite a lot of ad income.

“When you consider the sheer number of search queries that Google handles on a daily basis, that’s a lot of ad inventory going in front of a lot of eyeballs.

“Dent that by even a few percentage points, and there’s quite a big financial drop.”


Europe v US tech:

Money

GETTY IMAGES

This is far from the first time the European Commission has intervened to penalise US technology companies for what it views to be bad behaviour.

Others to have been targeted include:

  • Microsoft (2008) – the Windows-developer was fined €899m for failing to comply with earlier punishments, imposed over its refusal to share key code with its rivals and the bundling of its Explorer browser with its operating system. Five years later, it was told to pay a further €561m for failing to comply with a pledge to provide users a choice screen of browsers
  • Intel (2009) – the chip-maker was ordered to pay €1.06bn for skewing the market by offering discounts conditional on computer-makers avoiding products from its rivals. Intel challenged the fine, and a final court ruling in the matter is expected in 2018
  • Qualcomm (2015) – the chip-maker was accused of illegally paying a customer to use its technology and selling its chipsets below cost to push a rival out of the market. If confirmed, it faces a fine that could top €2bn, but the case has yet to be resolved
  • Apple (2016) – Ireland was ruled to have given up to €13bn of illegal tax benefits to the iPhone-maker since 1991, and was ordered to recover the funds plus interest from the company. However, Dublin missed the deadline it was given to do so and has said it will appeal
  • Facebook (2017) – the social network agreed to pay a €110m fine for saying it could not match user accounts on its main service to those of WhatsApp when it took over the instant messaging platform, and then doing just that two years later

The commission is also investigating Amazon over concerns that a tax deal struck with Luxembourg gave it an unfair advantage.


The European Commission continues to pursue two separate cases against Google.

The first involves allegations that the technology company has made it difficult for others to have their apps and search engines preinstalled on Android devices.

The second covers claims Google took steps to restrict rivals’ ads from appearing on third-party websites that had installed a Google-powered search box.

Source: BBC

GEPA urged to take decisive action on export sector challenges

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File photo

Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, has challenged the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to take decisive action to deal with current difficulties in the export sector to enhance growth.

Speaking at a three-day retreat to strategies on effective service delivery for GEPA, Mr Ahenkorah said the many hindrances to exports in the country, including the multiplicity of inspection by various government bodies and a ban on vegetable and fruit exports to the EU, must be addressed expeditiously to boost exports.

“As I speak the EU has banned importation of vegetables and fruits to the EU. They have come twice to assess and we have lost and they are coming again in September,” the Deputy Minister said and urged GEPA to help curb the problem.

Mr Ahenkorah said the Ministry of Trade and Industry on its part had started pushing to get the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, which was responsible for the agency checking the exports, to up their game because it was very demeaning for the country to have its exports returned.

“Very soon we will proactively get the problems resolved,” he said, adding that GEPA must use its authority to also stamp something out”.

The retreat, attended by senior management of GEPA and key strategic partners, seeks to initiate a consultative process on avenues of support from partners, development of an annual action plan, and redesigning of various value chains.

It also seeks to identify priorities and actions needed to enable the planning of a streamlined and cost effective service position for GEPA in the implementation of the National Export Strategy.

Mr Ahenkorah said GEPA must be able to stamp its authority on developments within the export sector.

He called on it to gather the facilitators of exports to come out with the challenges they have so that they could be addressed holistically.

He said exports was the only way to be able to reduce the balance of payment deficit that the country had been suffering overtime and also in helping reduce the pressure on the foreign exchange.

Mr Ahenkorah said government had identified certain policy guidelines to address the setback or shortfall and described the meeting as very timely.

On the National Export Strategy, Mr Ahenkorah said the Ministry was going to lead a discussion with stakeholders to see how it fits within government’s strategic plan.

He said the review would look at new developments such as the continental Free Trade area, AGOA, the Ecowas Trade Liberalisation Scheme, the Economic Partnership Agreement and the Common External Tariff and how to position GEPA to be able to tap into the benefits of these programmes.

“To ensure that we maximise the gains, we would also look at the bilateral and multilateral agreements as well as the emerging markets,” he added.

He said the outcome would be dovetailed into the existing national strategic plan.

Ms Gifty Klenam, the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, said beyond the international market challenges, local conditions were equally affecting GEPA’s drive to increase exports.

“Our supply base is seriously challenged so that we are not able to meet huge export orders,” she said.

She said GEPA was adopting measures and strategic realignment to handle the challenges in the export sector.

Ms Klenam expressed the hope that retreat would come out with a clearly defined implementable strategy that would end Ghana the results required.

Source: GNA | Ghana

Fmr. BOST MD, Awuah Darko fingered in dubious deals, other senior staff interdicted

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Massive rot has been uncovered at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) with some former management staff under interdiction including the former General Manager in charge of Finance.

Various sums of monies have been misappropriated either through ‘suspicious’ or over priced contracts which has milked the company’s finances.

The current management of BOST under the leadership of Alfred Obeng Boateng has suspended some of the contracts from being executed and has instituted investigations into them. These decisions by the new management has ruffled furthers of the previous management which was under the leadership of Nana Awuah Darko.

In a statement from BOST, it was evident that several millions of dollars was being paid for contracts that were yet to be fully executed. Similarly some funds were being siphoned through dubious means to the detriment of the company.

Below is the full statement from BOST

THE INHERITED ROT AT BOST!! ALFRED OBENG’S CLEAN UP CAUSES FEAR AND PANIC FROM DIFFERENT FRONTS

  1. Kwame Awuah- Darko created a fictitious account in the name of “Chief of Staff Sundry account” and transferred an accumulated amount of GHS 40.5 million for a period of 13 months with the help of the then Acting General Manager, Finance. The last payment into the account was effected on January 2017 before Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng took over as the MD. The Acting General Manager, Finance is on interdiction in connection with the issue.
  2. Another staff in the Trading department took product procured by the new MD worth over $33million and gave it out without the MD’s approval to honor a dubious holding certificate created by Kwame Awuah- Darko. The staff in question has been interdicted to enable management investigate the matter.
  3. Under the old administration an overpriced contract of $39 million was awarded to Rolider to build BOST head office under sole sourcing. Under the leadership of Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng he directed that the contract be suspended which the company has agreed in principle to reduce the contract price.
  4. A Contract of $19m was awarded to Amandi to construct a pipeline from Accra Plains Depot to Akosombo depot but even though the pipeline to be laid, it is still lying in America, Kwame Awuah- Darko signed to commit the company and took his share. The new MD has suspended the contract to pave way for thorough investigation because he believes that it was overpriced.
  5. Kwame Awuah- Darko signed contract with Merson Capital to source funds for BOST to embark on projects, since 22nd July, 2014 which they failed to bring any money to BOST. Meanwhile, BOST was paying $ 50,000 per month to the company for over 3 years. Surprisingly the former MD paid ‘success fees’ of $ 89,000 for the mere fact that the company arranged a meeting with supposed investor which never materialized, in addition to the sum of $ 1,800,000 paid over the 3 years. The new MD has suspended the contract to prevent further wastage of BOST’s funds.
  6. It is a shame that those who are claiming that the off-spec product which was sold has found its way onto the market have not been able to name even one filling station selling the product. They are doing this to tarnish image of Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng, the New MD of BOST.
  7. It is also important to note that, the recent off-spec product in question occurred in January when Alfred Obeng had not taken office.

These are a few of the issues why some people are attacking the Managing director because he is doing the right thing. They are using off-spec product sales which is part of our normal trading activity to create an impression as if he has committed a crime, all in an attempt to destabilize him to shift his focus from the right things he has started

By Martin Asiedu-Dartey|3news.com|Ghana
Twitter: @NewsyMartin

Sale of contaminated fuel: ACEP wants investigations, BOST boss step aside

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The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) is demanding full-scale investigations into the issues surrounding the sale of five million substandard petroleum product  onto the Ghanaian market.

It also wants the Head of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited to immediately step aside to allow the independent investigation to take place unimpeded.

The product was contaminated when petrol and diesel accidentally mixed when a petrol flow-line was misdirected into a diesel tank during a discharge of petrol cargo into the Accra plains depot.

The product has since been released for sale to consumers, although experts say it is “unfit to run in any automobile engine.”

ACEP has described the situation as worrying especially coming on the back of a clean fuel campaign geared to get the sulfur content of petroleum products from the current 3000ppm to 50ppm, effective from 1st July, 2017.

Click here to read the full statement by ACEP

By 3news.com|Ghana

Dr. Bawumia secures $15bn from China to boost Ghana’s economy

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Vice President expresses optimism over 15 billion dollars Chinese partnership agreement aimed at transforming the country’s infrastructure

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has expressed optimism over a 15 Billion Dollars funding partnership agreement and commitment reached between the Government of Ghana and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China. The funding partnership with China, the Vice President explains, is not based on the traditional model of borrowing and Aid. The new model he says is based on the bargaining power of the country’s natural resources such the 2.8 billion metric tonnes of iron ore deposits, 960 million metric tonnes of bauxite, 413 million metric tonnes of Manganese and not to mention Gold and Cocoa.

The Vice President disclosed this when he addressed a press conference at the VIP Lounge at the Golden Jubilee Terminal upon arrival from China after leading a high powered government delegation on a four day official visit.

National Resource Reserves of Ghana

Dr. Bawumia says the country needs about 20 billion dollars to embark on a massive infrastructure development and it is only appropriate to develop a financing model that leverages  a small fraction of the country’s resources in order to secure the needed funding for the infrastructural development ambition of the government of Ghana. The Vice President added that the Chinese government has welcomed Ghana’s proposed financing model and has committed 15 Billion dollars to support the several projects that government intends to undertake. A further 4 billion dollars partnership agreement will also be signed in due course after a few negotiations are concluded in a month’s time the Vice President added.

Industrialization in Ghana

In the area of industrialization, the Vice President announced that the China National Building Materials and Equipment Import and Export Cooperation signed a facility with representatives of Ghana’s Private Sector led by officials of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) which will see the Corporation offering direct financial support and material support for the one district one factory policy of government.

Renegotiation of China Development Bank 3 Billion Dollars Loan

The Vice President additionally announced the renegotiation  and reactivation of the China Development Bank 3 billion dollars loan agreement reached earlier by the Mahama Administration. Some one billion was released for the construction of Atuabo Gas Plant , however the remaining 2 billion was frozen due to some concerns the Chinese had with the Previous administration. The Vice President confirmed that the concerns of the Bank has been addressed and the country will soon receive the remaining 2 Billion Dollars.

Railway Development Agreement

Dr. Bawumia indicated that the China Railway International Group has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with government to commit 10 billion dollars to the railway infrastructure development agenda of government. The President in the rundown to election 2016 promised to revive rail transportation in Ghana and the said agreement the Vice President believes would help greatly to develop the railway industry in Ghana.

Construction of 90 Bridges

As part of proposals presented to the Chinese government during the visit, the construction of some 90 bridges across cities, towns and villages of the country was discussed. The Chinese government has agreed to constructed all 90 bridges  and the first interchange at point 7, an area in Tamale in the Northern Region.

Work begins on multiple agreements signed

The Vice President reiterated the need for hardwork to begin immediately to ensure that the commitments, agreements, loans and grants are accessed and used to implement all identified projects and programmes by the government for the benefit of the Ghanaian people. He added that various groups will quickly be setup to start work.

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

A/R: GRA gets tough on 8 companies owing over GHC11m in taxes

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The Ghana Revenue Authority has embarked on an exercise to retrieve over GHC11million in tax default in the Ashanti Region.

Eight institutions, which have not settled their tax liabilities between 2013 and March 2017, are being targeted in the exercise.

They include Naa Achiaa Estate Limited at Esereso owes over GHC2 million, Mediterranean Project Limited also owes over GHC 4millon, and Fabrication Workshop owes over GHC 7million,

Their action is in breach of section 134 of the Internal Tevenue Act[Act 592 ] which requires that persons assessed shall pay the tax due within 30 days from the date of service of notice from assessment.

According to the Ghana Revenue Authority, its Special Revenue Mobilization Taskforce has intensified tax Compliance and Debt Recovery activities throughout the country.

These exercises, it said, are geared towards ensuring full compliance with the provisions of the tax laws and to shore up tax revenue to meet the 2017 target of GHC34billion.

Meanwhile the taskforce in collaboration with the Tax Offices, recovered tax revenue amounting to GHC66,337, 842.20 spanning January 1, 2017 to June 16, 2017.

The coordinator of the Special Taskforce, Henry Sam, said they had earmarked a list of eight delinquent taxpayers, who owed the state over GHC11 million in Ashanti Region.

According to Mr Sam, the exercise was the last tool of mobilization that GRA could use to collect monies owed to it.

He urged the tax payers to voluntarily comply with the tax laws by filling all tax returns, issue VAT invoices for taxable supplies and effect payment of all relevant taxes on or before the due date to avoid embarrassment .

In a related development, operations manager of Rockson Kofi Nsiah company limited, Michael Nartey, is fighting back accusations that they owe the GRA over GHC7 million Ghana in taxes.

He said he would contest the matter in court.

By Benjamin Aidoo|3news.com|Ghana

Local farmers produce only 5% of chicken consumed in Ghana

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Local poultry farmers only produce five per cent of chicken consumed in the country with 95 per cent imported, an official has said.

Chairman of the Western Regional Farmers Association Napoleon Agyemang Oduro,  who is also the National Vice Chairman for the National Farmers’ Association, said the situation has created a lot of problems for local producers, leaving some farms ideal.

Mr Agyemang Oduro made this known in an interview on Connect FM’s Asem Nyi Dzi Ka.

Chicken is a type of meat enjoyed and loved by many including the young and the old.

It is also the most common type of poultry in the world.

Ghanaians use chicken for all kinds of delicacies like fried rice, yam, cabbage stew and many more.

Early this year, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) upon a survey came out with a finding that Ghanaians consume more than two million locally-produced chickens, a total of two hundred metric tons every year.

Though this number may seem huge and portrays local producers as making great business out of it and helping in the economy of the country, the consumption rate raises a lot of concern.

Mr Agyemang Oduro said before Ghana accepted trade liberalisation in 1985, poultry farmers were feeding the citizens of the country and farmers were able to feed the entire population.

“People might think importation of chicken is much cheaper than ones produced here,” he said.

“The truth is that comparing the United State and Brazil who have been running the poultry business for centuries to Ghana; those two countries have a lot of advantages over us. Unlike Ghana, where premium is placed on the thigh of the chicken, they rather place it on the breast.  And because of that, they don’t mind how much they pay for a full chicken there. And so after selling the breast at the premium price the rest of the chicken cost nothing and when we import them we think it is cheap.”

Asked what successive government has done to help increase production level of poultry both locally and nationally, Mr. Agyemang Oduro said that little has been done and the demand on the foreign produce will surely increase if nothing is done about it.

By Akosua Wiafe|Connect 97.1FM|3news.com|Ghana