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VRA to rely on Ivorian power to avert ‘dumsor’

The Volta River Authority (VRA) is to import about 200 megawatts of power from neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire to augment local production and avert power rationing, otherwise known as ‘dumsor’, following shutdown of the Jubilee FPSO on February 1, 2018 for planned maintenance.

The Jubilee Floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) produces oil and gas offshore Cape Three Points in the Western Region. The gas is then piped on-shore to the Ghana Gas Company’s gas processing plant at Atuabo.

The commodity is then processed and supplied to thermal plants sited at the Aboadze Power Enclave for thermal power production.

Shutdown of the FPSO is therefore expected to affect power supply from the Western Enclave, a situation the VRA believes will be averted with additional imports from La Cote d’Ivoire and running power turbines at Aboadze on Light Crude Oil (LCO).


Economy still fragile – Ken Thompson

Mr Kenneth Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Dalex Finance Company has described Ghana's economy as fragile and bedevilled with huge challenges.

He said the economy could crumble under any major economic shock such as crop failure or sharp fall in commodity prices.

Mr Thompson in a mid-year review of the economy with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, urged the government to marshal all resources to fight against the invading Fall army worm as "it is an economic and security threat to the nation."

The army worm has been found in the Eastern, Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and Western Regions and had destroyed more than 5,870 hectares of maize, cowpea and cocoa since 2016.

He said in 2016, the Fall Armyworm invaded maize crops in Zambia and by January 3, 2017 about 90,000 hectares were affected, according to reports released by the Zambian government's Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit.


Debt levels decline to 62% of GDP

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has disclosed that the country’s debt, as a percentage of GDP, has declined from the 73 percent recorded last year to about 62.7 percent as at end of last month.

The 2017 budget forecasts that total debt to GDP will close the year at 70.9, which makes the latest figure, less than half way into the year, a major decline in the debt levels.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the National Policy Summit, an initiative of the Business and Financial Times, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information, the Finance Minister said: “the Ministry intends to pursue the possibility of using monthly or quarterly GDP so we can compare oranges to oranges.”

Furthermore, he also reiterated government’s commitment to ensure macroeconomic stability through sound and prudent fiscal policy management, guided by the implementation of the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA).


Majority of banks’ systems unsecured- Cyber security expert

Financial institutions in the country would have to increase their investments in cyber security protection to prevent them from cyber-attacks that could cost them fortunes and reputational damages, a cyber security expert and Group Head of Information Security and Risk, Cellulant -Nairobi, Dr. Bright G. Mawudor has said.

According to him, most banks in the country do not have their database well-secured from the public.

“People invest very little in cyber security protection and they lose billions. They don’t report them every day, but they are actually losing a lot of money.

“There is something called “Shodan”; a search engine which helps find vulnerabilities in a country or for an organisation. So, when I searched for a common tool that is used by almost every bank in Ghana, guess what? They do not secure that.


Change of gov’t in Ghana won’t affect bailout deal – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has watered down arguments that conditionalities under its Extended Credit Facility (ECF) agreement with Ghana would be renegotiated should there be a change of government.
Asked by the B&FT whether it is possible, as the opposition NPP has hinted, for some of the terms to be renegotiated, Resident Representative of the Fund, Natalia Koliadina, said it would come at a “cost.”
Her outfit, she said, does not expect any such thing to happen considering the success of the programme.
“It comes at a cost to economic growth if the programme is discontinued. So, who will be interested in undoing what has already been achieved? So, I believe that the government, whoever it is, will continue building on the achievement that has been made in the past two years,” she said.


‘Grant 10-yr Tax Holidays To Beverage Sector’

The Chairman of Joy Dadi Industries, Manfred Takyi, has urged government to give strong consideration to local beverage companies by granting them tax waivers that boost their production and raise more revenue.

Mr. Takyi said government must consider granting beverage companies tax exemptions for a period of at least 10 years.

Addressing members of the Parliamentary press corps at the company’s head office in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, Dr. Takyi said: “The time has come for government to single out the companies doing well in the sector, in order to give them tax holidays as with the foreign companies.

“When you talk of tax exemptions, we have been emphasising them; and we know government is going to listen and give some of the serious companies in Ghana tax exemptions or tax holidays for a minimum of ten years.


Starbow, Africa World Get International Recognition

The two operational domestic airlines in the country, Starbow and Africa World Airliners (AWA), have received the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate -- a measure of the sound safety, management and quality control systems of the two operators.

The IOSA is the benchmark for global safety management in airlines. All IATA members are registered and must remain registered in order to maintain IATA membership.

About 24 airlines operate within the West African sub-region with a relatively young population of about 300 million. However, though operational efficiency and safety is high among various airlines in Ghana and the sub-region, just five airlines are IATA-certified.

Aside from the two Ghanaian carriers, Nigerian airlines Arik and Aero, and Lomé-based Asky Airlines are the other IOSA certified airlines.

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