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Business News: Feature: Most banks yet to transition after date for Bullion van directive expires



It is almost two months since the directive to banks to procure armoured bullion vans expired. The directive follows a series of robberies targeted at transited vans carrying cash leading to the death of some Ghanaians.
So to what extent has these directives been complied with?.

In the last two years there has been number of robberies across the country which targeted bullion vans transiting cash. Among them were the robbery at Adedenkpo near James Town in Accra in which one police officer on board was shot dead. An onlooker was also shot dead.

The latest robbery attack took place at the North Industrial Area in which the Police thwarted an attempted robbery attack on a bullion van.

The aftermath of these attacks witnessed the police issuing a statement to the affect that until the banks procure bulletproof vehicles, officers of the service will not accompany bullion vans in transit.

The series of attacks also compelled compelled the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery to issue a directive to all banks to procure armoured vehicles or risk being sanctioned which includes stopping the said banks from transiting cash in the ‘improvised pick -up bullion vans’

Deadline for the directive expired in June, 2021 but was extended to July, 2022.
The Bank of Ghana, BOG also issued a similar directive aimed at forcing the banks to comply.

But available information to indicates the banks have reluctantly failed to comply with these directive .

When this reporter hit the streets of Accra to ask Ghanains whether they have spotted any of such armoured vans in town many responded in the negative.

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Kwame Owusu, a resident at James Town recounted that ” Event of the last attack in this town is still fresh on my mind. I saw how my mother ran for her life and another woman dying. I do not wish same on any community because it was terrifying. I have never seen any bank transiting cash in the so called armoured vehicles. I only see the bank of Ghana blue vans moving around with police escorts” he narrated.

Another resident, Naa Ashokor Ashley said ” I am surprised that suddenly this conversation has died and no one is talking about it . The banks are insensitive”. He stated.

Security and Foreign Policy Analyst, Adib Saani is calling for punitive measures against banks which are yet to comply with the directive. He noted the concerns of Ghanains are not being taken serious by the sector agency( Ministry of Interior) and the banks. “I think the banks must place priority and human lives first. I hear the banks have procured some 60 of such armoured vans but that is woefully inadequate because apart from the big cities, we have banks transiting cash at the rural areas and I can tell you for sure that the 60 vans are not even enough to cater for the big cities”.

The Interior Minister must crack the whip by instituting punitive measures to serve as deterent to other banks that have not complied. The Bank of Ghana can also decide that henceforth banks without the vans would be bared from transiting cash”. He angrily stated.

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But President of the Association of Bankers John Awuah is upbeat about his members complying. He said discussions have been going on between the Ministry of Interior and the operators of the bullion vans to purchase more vehicles . He also confirmed that 60 of such vans have been procured and expect the banks to procure more.

Meanwhile, when contacted, the Bullion Van Operators of Ghana say they were initially faced with procedural challenges with the ministry which have been resolved.

President of the association, Alhaji Iddi Sumaila whome this reporter reached on phone said an estimated 400 bullion vans are expected in the country by the end of December.
He was grateful to the Ministry of Interior for ironing out all the thorny issues regarding standardization and procurement procedures. He said after a series of meeting, certification were given and there are more armoured bullion vans at the ports and many more in Dubai awaiting ‘green light from the banks to go ahead and clear them.

The Interior Ministry is however yet to comment on the flouting of the directives and the accompanying sanctions.




National: Oppong Nkrumah calls for more stakeholder collaboration to train journalists in financial reporting




Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has called on stakeholders within the Ghanaian media space to collaborate and help build the capacity of Ghanaian journalists in business and financial reporting.

According to the Minister, training of journalists in business and financial reporting is essential in equipping them with the needed skills and know-how to ensure accuracy in reporting financial issues.

He made the call when he addressed the graduation ceremony of 88 journalists at the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) Financial Journalism Training program on Thursday, October 10, 2022, in Accra.

“As I have mentioned in times past, the media and journalism frontier require collaborations for impact. That is why we appreciate partnerships such as this one between Bloomberg, Strathmore Business School, the University of Ghana Business School and Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) to train more economic and financial journalists and welcome more of such partnerships.

“Trainings such as this targeted at journalists are essential to ensure that the media industry and journalism deliver on their true purpose to our democracy.

“Which is to serve all stakeholders with equal access to the public space to participate in discourse that promotes our best values, our best aspirations and a thought-led good society,” he said.

He said government on its part has put in motion a number of capacity-building programmes to assist journalists to meet the dynamics of the profession.

One such programme he said is the Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP) which was rolled out in January this year. So far, the programme has trained the first cohort of 60 journalists in ethical journalism and related modules with a further 190 set to also be trained in the coming months.

He admonished the graduates to as much as possible apply the knowledge acquired from the training programme in their line of duty and eschew false narratives and the publication of uninformed opinions instead of facts.

Present at the event were the Deputy Minister for Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour; Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Prof. Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo; Provost of the College of Humanities, University of Ghana, Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori; Dean of the University of Ghana Business School, Prof. Justice Bawole; Dean of the Strathmore Business School, Dr George Njenga, as well as representatives from Bloomberg.

On his part, Mr Fordjour underscored the important role journalists play in promoting transparency, accountability, and good governance. He said journalists over the years have become an important component of our governance system which is why it is incumbent on the graduates to put to use the knowledge they have acquired from the training programme.

Prof. Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo was confident that the training program will go a long way to support the continuous progression of the Ghanaian media and help address the capacity challenges of journalists in the country.

Source: Myjoyonline


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National: Agric Ministry’s sale only a stopgap measure in addressing market failure – Dr. MahamaMahamadMahamadd




Economic Advisor at the Office of the Vice President, Dr. Tiah Abdul-Kabiru Mahama, says the government’s foray into retailing foodstuff from the hinterlands at the Agric Ministry is only a stopgap measure to deal with the current food inflation.

According to him, government has no intention of continuing the project when the situation stabilizes especially with regards to cost of fuel and transportation which is driving the high cost of food produce in markets across urban centres.

“I don’t think that government wants to take the supply of food as part of the mandate of the Agricultural Ministry. Government is just doing this for the meantime whilst we work to ensure that we have some stability in the fuel market,” he said.

He explained that the need for this stopgap measure is to address a market failure.

He noted that while there have been suggestions such as capping the price of goods at the markets, government cannot employ such tactics due to the liberalized market system the country runs.

As such, creating the alternative market is in the hope that it will help bring some reprieve to consumers while also causing other market players to reduce their prices to match government’s competition.

“The assessment of government is that there is some discrepancies between the supply and then the demand and that they cost much. The transfer of cost from the seller to the buyer is that it’s not proportionate to the import cost as has been noted by my colleague Dr. Theo.

“Now how to address it, government will have to come in because the business of government if you’re operating a liberalized system or a liberalized market is sometimes to correct market inefficiencies, to correct the failure of the market.

“So the intervention by the Ministry is purely to correct a terminal problem because two years ago, three years ago, we were not having the Ministry of Agriculture having to force itself into the business of bringing foodstuff into the market centre for people to buy,” he said.

His comment comes after the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday began the direct sale of foodstuffs at its premises.

The move, according to the Ministry, is aimed at cushioning Ghanaians and mitigating the impact of rising food prices.

According to Dr. Mahama, the government does not intend to make the Agricultural Ministry a permanent market, as such other solutions are being interrogated to address the problem long term.

“So you see the core mandate of the Ministry is not to be trading stock, it’s not to be trading foodstuff that is well established. But they’re just coming into this particular stopgap measure to address a problem.

“We listened to your speakers say that this is a harvest season, hypothetically, in a harvest season prices of food stock supposed to be lower but this is the case where food inflation has gone to over 40% and specifically to the 43.4% as you alluded and from the data from the Ghana Statistical Service.

“So it means that there is a problem and of course one of the drivers is the fuel price and we all admit that it feeds into the billing of the farmers or the sellers but that gap has to be addressed.”

Source: Myjoyonline

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Energy | National: Fuel prices to be reduced next week – COPEC




The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has announced that fuel prices are likely to be reduced by Monday, November 14, 2022.

There has been a recent hike in fuel prices, including diesel and petrol. Diesel is currently selling for more than GH¢23, while the price of petrol is hovering around GH¢18.

But speaking to Roselyn Felli on Prime Morning, on Wednesday, the Executive Secretary of the Chamber, Duncan Amoah, indicated that measures are being put in place to help subsidise the rising prices.

“We will be expecting diesel to drop from GH¢23 to somewhere around GH¢21.19, and the petrol will also drop from GH¢17.99 to somewhere GH¢17.10 or GH¢17.00.

“All things being equal, diesel could go down by GH¢2.00 a litre and petrol could go close to a cedi per litre based on the forex numbers that we have picked over the past one week,” he said.

Mr. Amoah stated that the rise is due to the increase in taxes on petrol to around 422% within the year.

He noted that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) should not be blamed for the increase in prices; instead, he believes it is due to mismanagement by the government.

He, therefore, wants the government to minimise the increase in petroleum taxes, saying it may lead to loss of jobs in the petroleum sector.

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mohammed Abdul-Kudus, is of the opinion that the increment in prices should be blamed on the cedi depreciation and not taxes.

According to him, deregulation of the fuel prices distorts the communication between the Authority and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) when some companies’ prices are different.

“Another thing that has not helped us to a large extent has been the instability of our currency. We all know the dynamics in the management of forex around the francophone countries that normally guarantee them a certain stability on their currency,” he explained.

Mr. Abdul-Kudus believes there would not be changes in prices even when the government subsidises the prices of products.


Source: Myjoyonline


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