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Nigerian Traders Appeal To Nana, Buhari.

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Nigerian traders operating in Ghana under the umbrella of Nigerian Union Traders Association (NUTA) have appealed to President Akufo-Addo and his Nigerian counterpart President Muhammadu Buhari to come to their aid.

In a release signed by their president, Chief Chukwuemeka Nnaji and secretary general, Evaristus Nwankwo; they complained about the closure of their shops in both Accra and Kumasi.

The closures they claimed had resulted in their losing of millions of Cedis. Not even their report to the Police about their predicament, they said, had resulted in any change in attitude by the hostile individuals, who they added, were acting in the name of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA).

In spite of the harassment, they now suffer at the hands of GUTA Ghanaian traders in Nigeria, some of them involved in fishing and other business activities were enjoying their stay in that country. Although the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council law prohibits foreigners from engaging in retailing; the law is not applied on Ghanaians.

“We are aware that the Ghanaian business community in Nigeria has not been harassed in any way and they are doing their business unhindered. From Ilorin to Ekiti, Kaduna to Calabar, the Ghanaian community is the second largest in the fishing business as it is from Lagos to Port Harcourt,” they said.

“We are appealing to our president, Muhammadu Buhari to save us and our families from this GUTA intimidation. We do not sleep well again here in Ghana because of GUTA,” they said.

“We want to let the world know that the Ghanaian government has not locked up any of our shops. It is rather GUTA which has been using local street urchins to do their hatchet work of locking up our shops,” they stated.

According to them, in Nigeria some Ghanaians hold executive positions in the local traders association.

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‘I’ll Make Economy More Stable’

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PRESIDENT-ELECT, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said his new administration will put in place measures to make the economy more stable.

President Akufo-Addo, who addressed Ghanaians from his private residence at Nima in Accra, said he was committed to making Ghana the beacon of hope for Africa by building a stronger economy.

This was after Jean Mensa, Returning Officer, declared the results of the 2020 Presidential Election.

According to him, the ultimate goal of his second tenure will be to grow the country in all fronts and improve the livelihood of all Ghanaians.

“My immediate task will be to continue with the process of reversing the effects of COVID-19 effects on our economy and on our lives. And put the nation on course for full economic recovery and development,” the President said in his victory statement.

“Before the pandemic struck, Ghana in recent years was among the fastest growing economies in the world. I give you my word, we will regain that reputation,” President Akufo-Addo emphasized.

The President further noted, “Just as I have been doing since January 2017, I give you my word that I will continue to work very hard to build a prosperous and progressive Ghana for which we are here.”

Forecasts

Various economic forecasts by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and international research institutions and credit agencies have revealed that the Ghanaian economy will grow strongly at about 4.8% in 2021 despite the expected challenges with respect to the fiscal economy.

This is expected to provide opportunity for the economy to mobilize more revenue to take care of budget financing and repayment of debts amongst others.

President Akufo-Addo won the 2020 elections with 51.59 per cent of the votes on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), adding that “the decisive margin of victory in this election constituted for me an endorsement of policies and programmes initiated by my government and put before the electorates. And I am determined to, in all my power, accomplish the task of this new mandate and thereby justify the confidence reposed in me.”

He assured all Ghanaians that he would do his best for everyone, and therefore would not let anyone down and urged all Ghanaians irrespective of their political affiliations, ethnic backgrounds, amongst others to support his government to deliver results for all.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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Govt Considers Investor -Friendly Reforms

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GHANA’S PLANS to overhaul its regulatory system and establish a one-stop shop for investors as part of broader efforts to boost FDI, are explored in a new Covid-19 Response Report (CRR) produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in partnership with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

The CRR charts the steps taken to enhance Ghana’s business environment by promoting transparency and accountability, which include the launch of an online delivery tracker documenting progress of the government’s infrastructure projects.

Other topical issues examined include the national push to improve food security and self-sufficiency, which have taken on added importance since the arrival of the virus and will be driven forward through large-scale agricultural modernization efforts.

The Covid-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (CARES) programme, an expansive GH¢100 billion economic response and development plan, is another key focus of the report. Aspects of this wide-ranging, two-phased initiative analyzed includes the country’s plans to bolster the healthcare system, boost support for businesses, introduce a national unemployment insurance scheme and provide retraining initiatives.

Ghana’s infrastructure projects and the opportunities they present for investment are also given extensive coverage. Subscribers will find details of the many major initiatives in the pipeline, led by the six-phase Railway Master Plan, road developments, bridges, hospitals and homes.

The CRR includes interviews with high-profile personalities from across the public and private sectors, including Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice-President of Ghana.

In an interview, Dr Bawumia shares his thoughts on the economic sectors most in need of investment, the part that digital solutions will play in transforming Ghana and how the country can leverage its location as the headquarters of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat.

“We believe our country has the potential to be a hub in many areas such as petrochemicals, financial services, education and digital services,” he told OBG. “We have achieved a lot in recent years regarding digital services in particular. We are now at a stage where we have all infrastructures in place and will be connecting it in 2021 to achieve a fully interconnected system across the country.”

Yofi Grant, the CEO of GIPC, added that “with the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement set to commence in January 2021, our strategy will be geared towards impact investment and targeting investors in sectors that will give Ghana the competitive advantage needed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Karine Loehman, OBG’s Managing Director for Africa, said that while fallout from the pandemic had weighed heavily on Ghana, exacerbated by declining oil prices and significant global trade reductions, a survey of C-suite business executives in the country conducted by OBG in September and featured in the CRR suggested companies were resuming their operations and upbeat about the future.

“With a combined 63% of companies already operating at or above 60% capacity, 79% of business leaders expected their company to be operating above those levels by January 2021,” she said, adding, “Company revenue forecasts for the next 12 months are also encouraging, with 40% of respondents expecting returns to be steady and 25% indicating higher or much higher revenues.”

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1D1F: Akufo-Addo commissions Bodukwan Multifruit processing Factory

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President Nana Akufo-Addo has commissioned the Bodukwan Multifruit processing Factory, a project operating under Government’s 1-District-1-Factory initiative.

The fruit processing plant, which has an installed capacity of 72 metric tonnes per day, will process seven varieties of fruits and vegetables including mango, pineapple, watermelon, and tomatoes into concentrates for exports and for use by the domestic market.

Commissioning the factory on Tuesday, on day two of his three-day tour of the Ashanti Region, the President told the gathering, which included the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, that the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative is in fulfilment of a 2016 campaign promise, whose aim is to establish, together with the private sector, at least one industrial enterprise in each of the administrative districts of the country.

He used the opportunity of the ceremony to mention some of the 1D1F factories he has personally visited, as part of his regional tours since 2018, including the Ekumfi Fruit Juice Factory in Ekumfi District; Kasapreko Beverages Limited in Kwadaso Municipal; Birim Oil Mills Limited in Kwaebibirem Municipal; Casa de Ropa Limited in Gomoa West District; Motor King in Tamale Metro; Leefound Company Limited in Ningo Prampram District; and Springs & Bolts Limited in Asokwa Municipal.

The others are Keda Ceramics Limited in Shama Municipality; Atebubu-Amantin Agro Processing in Atebubu Amantin Municipal; Weddi Africa Limited in Berekum Municipal; Best Fertilizer Company Limited in Asante Akim South Municipal; Rhovanni Royale Limited in Tano South; Rider Iron and Steel Ghana Limited in Asante Akim Central Municipal; Vester Oil Mills in Bosomtwe District; and Agro Africa Limited in Asante Akim South Municipal.

President Akufo-Addo added that, currently, there are 76 1D1F companies that are operational, and have created job opportunities for over 140,00 people across the country.

One hundred and seven (107) projects, he stressed, are under construction and are all expected to be completed by second quarter of 2021.

The President commended Otumfuo Asantehene, Ghana EXIM Bank and the Ministry of Trade and Industry for their collaboration in establishing the GH¢45 million project, which is expected to provide direct employment for over one hundred (100) people and generate at least one thousand (1,000) indirect job opportunities particularly for the youth of this area.

Already, the promoters of the factory, Bodukwan Holdings, have established 600 acres of mango plantation, and intends to source the additional required raw materials from out-growers in Ashanti, Eastern, Volta, Bono East, Bono as well as the Ahafo region.

He urged the Management of Bodukwan Holdings to take advantage of various Government interventions such as Planting for Food and Jobs and the incentives available to all 1D1F companies under his administration.

 

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