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Menzgold CEO faces 48 fresh charges



State Prosecutors have pressed new charges against Chief Executive Officer of Menzgold Ghana Limited.

Nana Appiah Mensah who was facing 13 charges last month, has 48 additional charges to answer, bringing it to a total of  61.

The charges include money laundering, unlawful deposit-taking, sale of minerals without a license and defrauding by false pretence.

Some of the persons alleged to have been defrauded include Volkan Basler 350,000 , Kofi Tweneboah 100,000, Godfred Oduro Yeboah 94,500, Evelyn Twerefuor 170,000, Emmanuel Oppong Cobby 200,000, Rachael Siam 28,000 and Frank Konadu Agyemang 26,000.

ASP Sylvester Asare, who is leading the state’s Prosecution, asked the Circuit court Tuesday, for an adjournment to file the new charge sheet.

This is the second time the charge sheet has been amended. It was previously seven before being amended to 13. It now stands at 61. The case has been adjourned to October 23.

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Business & Finance

Ghana’s debt stock at 205.5 billion cedis by July 2019



Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Attah

New Data released by the Bank of Ghana shows that the country’s total debt stock has hit 205.5 billion cedis by July 2019, representing 59.4 percent of GDP.

The data shows that between May and July this year Ghana’s debt stock increased by 5.5 billion cedis.

By May 2019, the debt stock was at 200 billion cedis.

Comparing the debt stock to the same period in 2018, the figure was at 159.7 billion cedis which represented 53.5 percent of the GDP at the time.

A breakdown of the deb stock shows that the external component was at 20.4 billion dollars representing 31 percent of GDP.

The domestic side is made up of 98 billion cedis representing 28.4 percent of GDP.


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Business & Finance

MTN Ghana tackles mobile money fraud with robust security



MTN Ghana has beefed up security to protect mobile money users from fraudulent activities and ensure customers have enhanced experience as the telecommunication company continues to invest in infrastructure expansion and improved services.

Some security measures being outlined by the company to protect its 14 million registered subscribers include re-introduction of ‘allow cash out’ menu, the introduction of agent identification and code as well as increased public education.

It has also fortified its already robust IT system which allows technicians to deal swiftly reported cases of fraud mobile money irrespective of one’s location.

Speaking at a regional Editors’ forum in Wa, the Upper West Regional capital Nii Adortey Mingle, MTN General Manager – Regional Sales Northern Ghana, warned mobile money users to be vigilant and never disclose their four-digit personal identification number.

“I want to add that do not entertain a call concerning your personal accounts, don’t entertain any call about your money,” he said.

He also urged individuals transacting money mobile to double-check the name of any recipient before sending the money through them.

Mr Samuel Koranteng, the Corporate Services Executive of MTN Ghana, said, “It is a crime to pre-register a sim card” and urged the public to report any MTN agent who engaged in the act.

The forum, organised by the country’s leading telco, was to update editors about the company’s operations during the year and highlighted some achievements and challenges over the period. It also made projections into the future.

Mr Koranteng said the company has invested $160 million in infrastructure expansion and improvement in several projects including deployment of 350 Greenfield and 100 rural sites countrywide.

It also paid GH¢1.3 billion as tax revenue to Ghana Revenue Authority in 2018 and GH¢184 million to telecommunication regulators – National Communication Authority and Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications.

The total amount paid to government amounted to GH¢1.48 billion.

“MTN Ghana spent GH¢825 million in improving our IT sector, recorded GH¢1.15 billion from the IPO launched with 127,000 Ghanaians. We have implemented 1,110 3G site and 254 4G upgrades,” Mr Koranteng said.

However, he expressed worry that MTN continues to experience more than 100 fibre cuts every month, disrupting network telecommunication services and hampering smooth operations of businesses.

He said the company spends GH¢6,634.83 to repair a single fibre cut and by the end of January 2019, it had spent over GH¢677,577’63 fixing 102 fibre cut incidents.

He said from January to date, MTN has experienced 822 fibre cuts and projected the figure might climb beyond thousand by the end of the year.

In 2018, the company recorded about 1,142 fibre cuts.

The cuts have been blamed on road constructions which tops with 49 percent whiles while private developers follow with 37 percent.

Electricity Company of Ghana and Ghana Water Company accounted for seven percent of cable cuts.

Source: GNA

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Airports staff petition Akufo-Addo over privatisation moves



File Photo: Terminal 3 at the Kotoka International Airport

Workers of the Ghana Airports Company have petitioned President Akufo-Addo over plans by the Aviation minister to privatise management of  airports in the country.

According to the workers, despite verbal assurances by the minister and government, there are still signs and overtures that suggest the privatization effort with the Turkish company TAV Airport Holding is still on the table.

In a petition to the President sighted by Starr News, the aggrieved workers said the suspicion of government plans to privatise the company has already depressed staff of the firm.

“Your Excellency, The Minister of Aviation’s press statement dated April 17th, 2019, in a response to a leaked cabinet memo detailing government’s intention of handing over the management of the Kotoka International Airport(KIA), to a private partner, has left the teeming workers in a complete state of despondency knowing what privatization had done to several organizations in this country .

“Mr President, the management of the GACL has demonstrated a clear understanding of the airport business.  This is evident  in the consistent posting of profit since 2011 in spite of the financial challenges  on inception of the company.

“Mr President, so for the minister to suggest that the ministry is considering an offer to partner with Ghana Airports Company Limited to provide management services to manage the financial and operational functions for the development of the company, has no basis at all,” the petition said.

It further raised concerns over the decision by management to private the Important Persons Lounge (CIP) of the airport.

“Mr President, we find it difficult to understand why the commercially driven company like the GACL will outsource a facility that will directly generate revenue for the company.

“The design and construction of the flagship, Terminal 3, provided for a Commercially  Important Persons(CIP) lounge. The objective of the CIP is to attract patronage from business/affluent community who will enjoy a range of services including a seamless facilitation at premium fee”.

TAV Airport Holding Company Limited per a  cabinet memo in possession of will be in charge of the “day to day operations, including facility maintenance and fees collections.”

The aim of the proposal, according to the leaked cabinet document, is “to help bring about physical development of the airport enclave and transform the KIA into a world class airport with improved managerial efficiency.”

The document prepared by the Aviation Minister for Cabinet consideration said under its Concession Agreement clause that: “As payment for their services, the concessionaires receive a percentage of the gross revenues from the operation of the airport but are required to pay the airport owner the greater of this percentage amount or a minimum annual guaranteed amount.”


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Business & Finance

Zenith Bank Listed Amongst Top 3 most Credible Banks In Ghana



Zenith Bank Ghana has emerged the second most credible bank in Ghana, according to Credmap Technology Ghana Banking Credibility Index.

The inaugural “credibility-rating” engine is capable of combining crowd-rating and data mining to generate “credibility scores” of individuals and institutions using pooled data about their track record, history, commentary, biography, popular sentiment and reputation.

The assessment which covered the 2018 financial year saw Standchart, Zenith Bank Ghana, Ecobank Ghana, UBA Ghana and Barclays Bank placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.

The other banks are Societe Generale (6th), Stanbic Ghana (7th), Fidelity Ghana (8th), Access Ghana (9th) and GCB Bank (10th).

All 30 of Ghana’s tier one/universal banks were subsequently benchmarked against Credmap’s measures, compared to each other, and then ranked in what became the GBCI, a process that was overseen by a team of senior technical analysts at Konfidants, a management consulting company based in Accra, Johannesburg and Geneva.

Among the remaining 20 banks, CAL Bank was ranked 11th followed by UMB Bank, Bank of Africa and FBN Bank Ghana at 12th, 13th and 15th respectively. GT Bank placed 16th whilst FNB was 17th, GHL Bank was 19th and Republic Bank at 20th.

Some major criteria in the computation of the GBCI included executive track record of the board and management membership, educational qualifications of board members and senior management personnel and the emphasis on continuous professional development with the studied banks.

Others were reputational factors, degree of board independence from shareholder and management control and influence and consistency and accuracy in board management communications as ascertained from comments in the media, advertising, and publications, including official documentation and reports.

In this inaugural index, the primary focus was on the quality of bank boards and senior management personnel.

The Konfidants team was of the view that in the wake of recent developments in the banking sector, corporate governance and management competence have emerged as, by far, the most critical factors in determining bank performance and success.

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