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Galamsey still ongoing despite Operation Vanguard –Minister discloses

Simon Osei Mensah, Regional Minister ,Ashanti

The Ashanti Regional Security Council says it has picked intelligence some unscrupulous persons are still engaging in illegal mining activities in the region despite the presence of members of Operation Vanguard.

“Despite the ban, people are disobeying, and we still have reports from areas some people are doing illegal mining”, Regional Minister and Chairman of the Security Council, Simon Osei Mensah, revealed.

On a local radio station in Kumasi, he warned those unscrupulous people to desist from disobeying orders of the government or incur the wrath of the security agencies.

According to the Chairman of the Regional Security Council, these people are now an impediment to fighting the illegal mining activities in the region, as they prove stubborn to anti-regional illegal mining taskforce.

Galamsey activities have destroyed a lot of water bodies

 The Regional Minister therefore appealed to the leadership of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners to talk to their members to stay away from going to their site,s as the repercussions of their disobedience could be disastrous.

“I will appeal to small miners not to take the law into hands and return to their sites”, Hon. Simon Osei Mensah spoke on Kumasi-based Otec FM.

The Galamsey Task Force ( Operation Vanguard)- despite their presence, galamsey is still ongoing in some parts of the Ashanti Region




Government has deployed over 600 armed persons, made up of the police and military, to combat illegal mining activities in the country. It however appears that most of the illegal miners are impervious of advice to stay off their concessions for government to outline a better way in which the mineral could be extracted without the pollution of water bodies.







Uber has 3000 drivers in Ghana

Data from ride-hailing app Uber says South Africa, Kenya and Ghana are its most lucrative markets in Africa, Kenya’s Business Daily reports.

In Ghana, Uber has provided employment for 3000 drivers, with 140, 000 active riders.South Africa ranks first with 969,000 active riders, while Kenya in second place, has 363,000 active users.Both countries have experienced violent protests against Uber, mostly by taxi drivers, who accuse it of unfair competition.

Ghana is one of the lucrative uber markets in Africa


The company launched its operations on the continent four years ago.The data, which was released by the company on Thursday, says there are 12,000 and 5,000 Uber drivers in South Africa and Kenya, respectively.

Uganda and Tanzania have 48,000 and 53,000 active riders respectively, with each country signing-up 1,000 drivers.

Ghana and Nigeria have 140,000 and 267,000 active riders respectively with about 7,000 drivers using the Uber app in Nigeria while Ghana has 3,000.

The data shows that there are 1.8 million active Uber users in Africa.

Uber’s General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits, said the service has allowed people to have flexible working hours:

Drivers love being as flexible as they like; earning what they want, when they want to supplement their income.”



Starrfmonline.com, with additional files from BBC

NCA fines Radio Gold, Atlantis GHc120m, others lose license

Accra based-Radio Gold, Atlantis Radio and Radio XYZ, are among 131 radio stations sanctioned by the National Communications Authority (NCA), following the completion of a nationwide FM Spectrum Audit.

The sanctions meted out by the NCA ranged from fines to the total revocation of licenses.During the inauguration of a nine-member governing council for the NCA in July, the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu sounded a warning in this regard.

34 of the sanctioned stations had their licences revoked because their authorizations had expired and were operating illegally.Aside the stations having their licenses revoked, other affected stations have also been given 30 days to settle their indebtedness or submit the relevant documentation, as indicated in the letters sent them by the NCA.

Of the notable stations, Radio XYZ has been fined GHc 4,090,000, Atinka FM fined GHc 14,800,000 whiles Radio Gold and Atlantis Radio picked up the heftiest fines with GHc 61,330,000 and GHc 60,350,000 respectively.

A further 13 FM Authorisation Holders have been issued with reprieves as pertains to their authorisations.

In a press release, the NCA said: “Twenty‐one (21) FM broadcasting stations have had their authorisations revoked completely since their authorisations had expired over several years and were operating illegally. They had also failed to apply for renewal 3 months before expiry of existing Authorisation and as stipulated in their Authorisation. The FM broadcasting stations in question also did not respond to a notice the NCA sent to them to regularise their operations earlier this year.”

Ursula Owusu- Ekuful, Minister of Communications

“Thirteen (13) FM broadcasting stations will also have their authorizations revoked completely since their authorizations had expired and were operating illegally. They had also failed to apply for renewal 3 months before the expiry of existing Authorisation and as stipulated in their Authorisation. This section of FM broadcasting stations responded to the notice but had requested for extension of time to regularise their operations, which the NCA found unacceptable and declined,” the statement added.

This state of affairs came up before the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament where the NCA was invited to explain its actions before the committee earlier on in 2017.

The PAC indicated its displeasure with the way the NCA was regulating the broadcasting space.





Chief bans commercial Charcoal production in Sissala West

Bags of charcoal

From October 1, 2017 residents in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region can no longer produce charcoal in commercial quantities, following a ban by the chief of the area.

The paramount Chief of the Gwollu traditional area, Kuoro Kuri Bugtie Liman IV, issued a stern warning that charcoal business must be halted, warning that and any person found culpable will face his wrath.


Economic trees such as the Shea trees, Dawadawa, Mahogany trees and even rosewood, are not spared in the process of burning charcoal”

“ Economic trees such as the Shea trees, Dawadawa, Mahogany trees and even rosewood, are not spared in the process of burning charcoal” the chief expressed worry  and also warned that chiefs who would aid or remain silent about the activity shall, per the chieftaincy act, act 759 (2008) section 63, have their kinship forfeited.

Kuoro Kuri Bugutie Liman IV and the traditional council suggested the seizure of vehicles and the charcoal, if spotted at any point, and the arrest of persons involved, to face the law.Related image




In a report by Balu Mohammed of Tumu-based Radford Fm, the traditional ruler also bemoaned the harvesting of rosewood and called for an immediate halt.








Voltic Ghana, FDA and others dragged to court

Voltic- dragged to court

Voltic Ghana Limited, producers of natural mineral water, together with six other companies and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), have been dragged to the Kumasi High Court (Commercial Division) over unfair trade practices.

These companies are Nivaansh Manufacturing Limited, A.R. Zare, Adat Water Limited, Straight Gate Ministry, Tasty Urban Water Limited and Right River Enterprise.

It is seeking a declaration that the arrangement under which six sachet water producers with its franchise of Voltic Ghana, have been producing sachet water under the label ‘Voltic Cool Pac’ constitutes “unfair trading, deception of consumers and the public, and passing off”.Additionally, it is asking for an order of injunction restraining them and all other producers of sachet water from further producing sachet water under that label – brand name.

Dragged to court

It also wants the court to award damages and cost.

In its statement of claim, it said Voltic Ghana had been producing, packaging and selling bottled natural mineral water with the registered brand name “Voltic” under license by the FDA.

Nivaansh, Zare, Adat, Tasty Urban, Straight Gate and Right River are all limited liability companies with separate registered offices and licensed by the FDA to produce and sell sachet water.

The FDA, it said, was the regulatory body mandated by law to regulate the safety and provide standards for the sale of food (which by definition includes water) and drugs in Ghana among other duties.

The seven companies have for some time now been producing “sachet water in 500 ml” with the label “Cool Pac”, but on the larger packs containing 30 pieces of “500ml” sachet water, the name ‘Voltic’ is added to read ‘Voltic Cool Pac’.

It said Voltic Ghana claimed to have given franchise to the six companies among other producers to produce, package and market sachet water with the inscription ‘Voltic Cool Pac’

It stated that the process of producing bottled mineral and sachet water was not the same.

It insisted that it was unlawful for “a person to manufacture, label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive as regards its character, nature, substance or quality”.

The arrangement under which the other companies are using the franchise of Voltic Ghana to produce sachet water under the label and/or brand name ‘Voltic Cool Pac’ constituted a deception of the unsuspecting consumers, unfair trading and amounted to passing off.





Miners’ embark on ‘yere bre’ demonstration today

According to the group, the action is to register their displeasure at Gov’t’s unresponsiveness towards them after the expiration of the six months’ ban

The Ashanti Regional chapter of the Small Scale Miners Association is expected to embark on their planned demonstration dubbed ‘Yere bre’, to wit, ‘we are suffering’ today Tuesday, 12 September 2017.

According to the group, the action is to register their displeasure at government’s stance on small-scale mining after the expiration of the six months ban on their legitimate enterprise.

The ban was part of government’s move to fight illegal mining, but the group argues their main source of livelihood is being destroyed as long as the ban remains in force.

Speaking to Class News ahead of the demonstration, Assistant Secretary of the association, Kwame Appiah, said: “From day one as patriotic Ghanaians, we all complied with the government’s initiative because we are all witnesses to the sort of pollution that was happening all over the country and on our various river bodies, and also how degraded the land was subjected to, due to the activities of these illegal operators within the sector.

We want government to come out and give us the opportunity to go back to our various places of operations so that we can also contribute our quota to the development of this country.”

“So we all worked hand in hand with government to try to make sure we sanitise the system. That was why, even with our legitimate documents, we complied with government’s directive because we all wanted to achieve the same results in getting the system sanitised for future mining operations.

“But after a series of consultations and engagements, we are yet to receive any positive signs from government. We owe a lot of banks, and the banks are on our necks. We can’t even afford to pay the fees of our wards… so we thought it wise to demonstrate peacefully to make all Ghanaians know the sort of hardship that we are going through. We want government to come out and give us the opportunity to go back to our various places of operations so that we can also contribute our quota to the development of this country.”






President nominates Agnes Adu as MD of Ghana Trade Fair Company

Dr. Agnes Adu

Citi Business News can confirm that President Nana Akufo-Addo has nominated Dr. Agnes Adu, to act as Managing Director of the Ghana Trade Fair Company (GTFC) Limited, pending the appointment of a substantive Managing Director by the Board of Directors.

A letter signed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on behalf of the president, directed management of the company to provide all necessary assistance to the nominee.

Dr. Adu is an Optometrist and lecturer. She is chapter secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Atlanta.

About Ghana Trade Fair Company 

The Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited was incorporated as a Limited Liability Company under the Statutory Corporations (Conversion to Companies) Act 1993, Act 461 in April 1997.

The Company took over the assets and liabilities of the Ghana Trade Fair Authority (GTFA) which was established as a State Owned Enterprise under PNDC Law 215.

Prez Akufo-Addo

The Authority had the mandate to commercially manage the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre as a commercial enterprise.

Before then, the Trade Fair Centre was managed by the Trade Fair Secretariat which was a unit within the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The Government of Ghana owns 100% shares of the Company.









Nana Addo patronises fake African prints – Abraham Koomson

President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo’s beautifully sewn African prints shirts are made from fake textiles.

This was revealed by the General Secretary of the Textile, Garment and Leather Employees’ Union (TEGLU), Abraham Koomson.

He said on Accra-based Asempa FM that, the even though the president wants to promote the purchase of products made in Ghana, he doubts if he purchases them himself.

“The President wants to promote local textiles, for all you know the Ministry of Trade buys the China print for him and he does not inspect it, and goes to sew it and wears it, thinking it’s printed locally. This is what is happening, I wish I could examine what he wears to see if its authentic local print,…but I doubt it is.”

Abraham Koomson,General Secretary of the Textile, Garment and Leather Employees’ Union (TEGLU)

Koomson has been leading the fight against counterfeiting, smuggling, and dumping of fake fabrics onto the Ghanaian market.

The president, who is known for wearing suits, has in recent times developed a new love for African prints much to the admiration of lots of Ghanaians.

This was after the general public criticised President Nana Akufo-Addo for wearing suits in his early days in office.

A textile factory

In a related development, the Textile, Garment and Leather Employees’ Union (TEGLU) has said they will demonstrate on Wednesday, 12 July, 2017 against government’s inability to publish policy guidelines to regulate the importation and sale of African textile prints into the country.

The group has also indicated that it would picket the Ministry of Trade and Industry on 13 July 2017 to press home their concerns.



Mandatory towing levy must be revoked-Abdallah Ali-Nakyea

A tax consultant, Abdallah Ali-Nakyea of Ali-Nakyea and Associates has described the mandatory yearly towing levy yet to be introduced by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) as improper, hence must be scrapped.

Mr. Ali-Nakyea maintained that the law was not properly thought through before it was passed.

Effective July 1, this year, vehicle owners and motorcyclists will be compelled to pay compulsory annual fees, tied to the acquisition of road worthy certificate, to cater for towing services.

But speaking to Citi Business News at the sidelines of a Public Lecture organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana, Mr. Ali-Nakyea argued that the law must be revoked.

“I don’t think it is a fair kind of tax because the point is if your car breaks down you have to pay for it yourself for it to be towed. The kind of system they are bringing to me looks like insurance where we all contribute and those who have a breakdown will benefit,” he said.

“How can everybody be made to pay if you are going to renew your roadworthiness. So if you run the whole year and there is no breakdown and somebody has about five breakdowns, you are financing his breakdown. That will not be an efficient way of managing the system. The person who gets a breakdown must pay for the service to be rendered,” he argued.

He was of the view that the public uproar after the announcement of the levy shows that the law does not represent the interest of the Ghanaian public.

He pointed out for example that some MPs have also kicked against the fee, showing a general discontent for the law.

“If you listen to some of them, you can see that even some of them are now appreciating what they have passed. The law must be suspended,” he said.

He observed that it will be proper for the law to be suspended through parliament to take relook at it for the benefit of the people.

“I think it can be done. They are our representatives and they work for our interest. Laws have been revoked, suspended and reviewed. So why not this one,” he said.




Businesses are compelled to ‘skimp’ as a result of sickening systems – CEOs

Some of Ghana’s top CEOs have revealed they have had to set aside funds to make unapproved payments demanded by some public officials as facilitation for doing business with government.

Doing business in Ghana can be frustrating, hard and challenging, lamented Mr. Akwasi Aquah, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Group of Hospitals; Ken Thompson, CEO Dalex Finance as well as Moses Atobrah, Managing Director of Debbies Products.

The pundits were discussing on the Sper Morning Show on Joy FM Monday, some of the impediments they continue to face as indigenous companies that are less favoured by the system as against the multinational competitors who incidentally, enjoy concessions and tax breaks from the government.

President Nana Akufo-Addo recently told business leaders in Germany that his government has started partnering the private sector to implement the “One-District-One-Factory” programme in a bid to reduce unemployment in the country.

“What we want to do is to facilitate private sector entrepreneurs to take those developments. At the state side, we are identifying bottlenecks at the various districts; whether it is in terms licensing regime, access to land and those basic matters,” the President said.

A number of established businesses are already failing in the country where bank loans attract an interest of over 30% and businesses pay 17.5 VAT coupled with high utility costs among many others.

Ghana’s neighbour Nigeria, which has the largest economy in Africa, has one of the lowest VAT rates in the world. Businesses in that country pay 5% VTA. That makes it pretty easy for goods from Nigeria to enter the country and flood local markets at relatively cheaper costs.

“Sometimes you wonder if somebody sets out with a pen and paper to say that ‘I’m going to frustrate people,’” said the CEO of Dalex Finance, Mr. Ken Thompson.

He observed: “Government as the biggest spender has no money to spend. Productive sector is dead. Interest rates are high [and] there is no demand [because] nobody has got the money to buy anything”.

The Frustration

“Even if I have the money to build a house, there’s nobody to buy it,” he added.

Mr. Thompson believes the situation, however, presents an opportunity for business owners to get closer to politicians at the grassroots, and begin to influence them in order to make things a bit easier.

“We have to find a way to influence the politicians; they need our help [and] we will have to find a way”.

Akwasi Acquah, CEO of Community Group of Hospitals

CEO of Community Group of Hospitals, Mr Akwasi Aquah whose facilities provide service for National Health Insurance Scheme cardholders, said they are sometimes compelled to do something perfunctorily so as to save time and money.

“Imagine NHIA [National Health Insurance Authority] owing you for over a year and so you are not able to pay your workers’ social security contributions but SNNIT [Social Security and National Insurance Trust] will take you to court demanding payment of the money. How do you go about this situation?”

According to him, “It’s become part of the system to ‘cut corners’ to get things done and pass the cost onto the clients, unfortunately.”

State intervention

However, the real issues according to Moses Atobrah, M.D of Debbies Products, have had to do with the unavailability of intervention policies that will go to the rescue of business facing difficulties.

He said: “The challenges are real, they are happening but there must be a way out of all these”.

“The challenge really is because we do not have interventions, we do not have structures [and] we do not have systems” Mr. Atobrah noted adding that when that happens “you are killing the local enterprises”.




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