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Ghana, UAE Pledge To Deepen Bilateral Ties; Sign 5 Co-Operation Agreements.

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Ghana and the United Arab Emirates have signed five (5) Co-operation Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, in different sectors of their respective economies, aimed at deepening the ties of co-operation and the bonds of friendship that exist between the two countries.

The agreements were signed on Monday, 18th November, 2019, after the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, paid a day’s official visit to the United Arab Emirates, at the invitation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces

The agreements signed are “Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Ghana and the UAE on exemption of entry visa requirements”; “Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments”; and “Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income between the Government of Ghana and the Government of the UAE.”

The others are “Agreement between the Government of the UAE and the Government of Ghana in the field of manpower”; and the “Agreement between the Governments of Ghana and the UAE on co-operation and mutual assistance in customs matters”.

Speaking with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, prior to the signing of the eight (8) Agreements, President Akufo-Addo noted that the relationship between Ghana and the UAE, over the years, have been excellent.

The President explained that effective co-operation with the UAE and investment in the Ghanaian economy are extremely essential to helping deliver progress and prosperity to the Ghanaian people.

With all macroeconomic indices pointing in the right direction, coupled with the creation of one of the most business-friendly environments in Africa, he described Ghana as a safe haven for investments, and encouraged members of the UAE private sector to invest in Ghana.

Additionally, President Akufo-Addo told Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan that his Government has embarked on aggressive public private partnership programme to attract investment in the development of the country’s critical infrastructure needs, especially road and railway infrastructure.

“We have resolved to build a progressive and prosperous country, and are drawing inspiration from the success story of countries like the United Arab Emirates. We have also decided to walk hand-in-hand with the private sector and the business community in this journey,” the President added.

On his part, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan praised President Akufo-Addo for the tremendous progress the country has made over the last three years, since he assumed the reins of office, resulting in Ghana being one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

He assured his Ghanaian counterpart of enhancing trade and investment co-operation between the two countries.

The meeting was attended, on the part of the UAE, by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court; Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation; Ali Saeed Matar Al Neyadi, Chairman of the Federal Customs Authority; Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority; Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi; Khalifa Yousef Mohammed Al Zaabi, UAE Ambassador to Ghana; and Issa Saif bin Ablan Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces.

The delegation accompanying President Akufo-Addo included Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration; Nana Bediatuo Asante, Secretary to the President; Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, Ambassador of Ghana to the UAE; Francis Asenso-Boakye, Deputy Chief of Staff, and a number of other officials.

Source: presidency

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Government Release GHC6.49 Billion To Settle Depositors Of Defunct Microfinance Companies

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The Government of Ghana in statement has revealed that it has released GHS6.49 billion in cash to fully settle depositor claims of 347 defunct Microfinance companies, 23 Savings and Loans firms and Finance Houses.

According to the statement from the receiver of the defunct firms the money will be ready for the depositors from Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

Find below the full statement

IN THE MATTER OF THE BANKS AND SPECIALISED DEPOSIT-TAKING INSTITUTIONS ACT,2016(ACT 930)

AND

IN THE MATTER OF THE RECEIVERSHIPS OF 347 MICROFINANCE COMPANIES AND THE 23 SAVINGS AND LOANS AND FINANCE HOUSE COMPANIES

AND

NOTICE OF CONVERSION OF GOVERNMENT BACKED NON INTEREST BEARING COMMERCIAL PAPER (“BONDS”) INTO CASH AT NO DISCOUNT IN RESPECT OF PAYMENTS TO AFFECTED DEPOSITORS OF RESOLVED MICROFINANCE, AND SAVINGS AND LOANS AND FINANCE HOUSE COMPANIES WHOSE CLAIMS HAVE BEEN VALIDATED IN THE RESOLUTION PROCESS

In line with Government’s commitment to protect depositors funds and to shore up public confidence in the financial system, Government made available to the Receiver of the above resolved companies, as well as the Official Liquidator of the Micro Credit Companies in official liquidation, a combination of cash and Commercial Paper totalling approximately GHS6.49billion to fully settle the valid depositor claims on these institutions.

As the Receiver/Official Liquidator brings the processing and payment of valid depositor claims to closure, a total amount of approx GHS6.07billion has been paid to some depositors of these resolved companies, leaving an amount of approx. GHS402million to be paid to the remaining depositors, to fully settle all valid depositor claims in the resolution process. It should be noted that these claims include validated claims previously assessed by the Receiver/Official Liquidator as Late Submission claims owing to the fact that they were submitted after the extended deadline for the submission of depositor claims in the resolution process.

Of the total amount of approximately GHS6.49billion required to fully settle all valid depositor claims in the resolution process, about GHS3.56billion of these claims in value representing approx 55% of total claims payable are being settled with Government of Ghana backed Non-Interest bearing Commercial Paper (“Bond”), with the remaining approx. 45% in value of claims payable, worth approx. GHS2.93billion being settled with Cash.

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Fuel Prices to Rise Slightly in The 1st Half of September

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The Institute of Energy Security (IES) is predicting a slight rise in fuel prices in the first half of September 2020.

The IES explained that this is so because “taking into consideration the appreciation in the prices of International Benchmark – Brent Crude (2.45%) and refined product – Gasoline (6.23%) as well the 0.17% depreciation of the Cedi against the U.S. Dollar; it foresees prices of fuel on the local market losing stability and going up marginally.

However, competition between Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to control and gain market shares could result in the selling price of fuels remaining unchanged within the first pricing-window of September 2020.

IES said fuel prices on the local market remained stable in the pricing-window under review.

Petroleum product prices within the second pricing-window of August 2020 saw majority of the OMCs maintaining the prices of gasoline and gasoil.

The current national average price of fuel per litre at the pump is pegged at GHS4.80 for both gasoline and gasoil.

Over the past two weeks, Santol, Benab Oil, Nick Petroleum, Radiance, Champion and Cash Oil, joined Zen Petroleum as the OMCs spotted by IES’ market scan, as trading with the least rates for gasoline and gasoil within the downstream oil market.

In the world oil market, Brent crude price remained above the $44 per barrel mark for the pricing-window under assessment.

On 25 August, Brent crude rose to $45.86 a barrel, the highest since March 6th.

This steady gain, according to Raymond Nuworkpor, Research & Policy Analyst of IES, can be attributed to declining inventories, recovery on the stock market and the continuous easing of restrictions on economic activities around the world.

Following this, he said Brent crude appreciated by 2.45% from $44.13 per barrel recorded at the end of the first pricing window of August to close at $45.21 per barrel on average terms at end of the second pricing window in August 2020.

“S&P’s Platts benchmark for fuels shows average gasoline price appreciated by 6.23% to close at $407.86 per metric tonne, from a previous average of $383.94 per metric tonne. Meanwhile, gasoil declined by 0.11% to close trading at $370.55 per metric tonne, from a previous average of $370.96 per metric tonne.”

Touching on local forex, data collated by IES Economic Desk from the Foreign Exchange (Forex) market shows the cedi depreciated by 0.17% against the U.S. Dollar, trading at an average price of GHS5.74 to the U.S. Dollar over the period, from a previous rate of GHS5.73 recorded in the first Pricing-window of August 2020.

Source: adomfmonline

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Government set to increase price of Ghana’s cocoa

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Deputy Agriculture Minister in Charge of Perennial Crops, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, has hinted of a rise in the price of cocoa from October in a bid to offset low exports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The government currently buys one bag of cocoa beans from farmers at ¢515.

COCOBOD CEO Joseph Aidoo said since the cocoa sector was the backbone of Ghana’s economy they have taken ‘a bold decision that will protect the welfare of the 1.2 million cocoa farmers in Ghana’.

Addressing the audience at the NPP Akyem Swedru Constituency campaign team launch, Kennedy Osei Nyarko indicated that government has earmarked an incentive package to increase productivity.

“By October, we will announce a new price. Government is also saying that if you are a farmer and your cocoa trees are diseased or no longer bear fruits, then at the beginning of the new cocoa season, should COCOBOD be allowed to cut them down, they will pay for every tree.”

He also explained that “the total amount will be divided into three and paid over some time. Also, the government will replant all the trees that had to be cut down and will also plant other crops on the land for you for free”.

Ghana’s cocoa sector employs some 800,000 rural families and produces crops worth about $2 billion in foreign exchange annually – considering the ravaging effects of the Coronavirus on economies, COCOBOD fears the future of small-holder cocoa farmers could be bleak.

According to COCOBOD, the fall in cocoa prices due to the Covid-19 crisis has cost the country so far $1 billion.

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