The West Blue Ghana Limited has sued the Government of Ghana over a supposed GH¢289 million arrears for work done under the National Single Window and Integrated Risk Management System contract executed in August 2015.
The choice of law firm contracted by West Blue, Africa Legal Associates, which was co-foundered by New Patriotic Party (NPP) stalwart and cousin of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has raised many eyebrows.
Some Ghanaians, including a vice chairman of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons, have said that suit swells of an attempt to “create, loot and share” the country’s resources.
He alleged that the suit was filed after an initial attempt to settle the judgment debt on the case failed.
Well, this failed settlement whether right or wrong appears to have set Ghana up to lose more than the GH¢289 million.
Copies of the court document shared by Bright Simon showed two alternative sets of reliefs, West Blue was seeking from the government.
The first set of reliefs had about four recoveries which sum up to over GH¢300 million plus interest and other payments.
The second set of reliefs included a recovery sum of US$425,000, interest payment, damages, and cost of the arbitration.
View the list of reliefs below:
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
The Plaintiff claims against the Defendants for:
(a) Recovery of the sum of One Hundred and Forty-Nine Million, Three Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety-Two Ghana Cedis, Seventy-One Pesewas (GHS149,357,692.71), being the outstanding fees payable to the Plaintiff for services rendered to the Ministry of Finance and the 2nd Defendant under the contract dated 4 August 2015 for the provision of the National Single Window and Integrated Risk Management System (“NSW Contract”) from September 2015 to September 2017, at an applicable rate of 0.35% of the final invoice CIF value of import consignments entering into Ghana through the seaports, airports and land borders.
(b) Interest on the arrears constituting the total amount stated in relief (a) supra at the prevailing commercial bank rate from the dates of default until the date of final payment.
(c) Recovery of the sum of Seventy-Six Million, Ninety-Seven Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventeen Ghana Cedis, Fifty-Eight Pesewas (GHS76,097,917.58), being the outstanding fees payable to the Plaintiff for services rendered to the Ministry of Finance and the 2nd Defendant under the NSW Contract from October 2017 to 31st December 2018, at an applicable rate of 0.28% of the final invoice CIF value of import consignments entering into Ghana through the seaports, airports and land borders.
(d) Interest on the arrears constituting the total amount stated in relief (c) supra at the prevailing commercial bank rate from default until the date of final payment.
(e) Recovery of the sum of Sixty-Four Million, Ninety-Two Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifteen Ghana Cedis, Seven Pesewas (GHS64,092,215.07), being the outstanding fees payable to the Plaintiff for services rendered to the Ministry of Finance and the 2nd Defendant from 18 January 2019 to May 2020 at an applicable rate of 0.28% of the final invoice CIF value of import consignments entering into Ghana through the seaports, airports and land borders.
(f) Interest on the arrears constituting the total amount stated in relief (e) supra at the prevailing commercial bank rate from the dates of default until the date of final payment.
(g) (i) Recovery of the equipment procured by the Plaintiff to perform its obligations under the NSW Contract and the additional services it rendered from 1st January 2019 to May 2020 at the request of the Ministry of Finance and 2nd Defendant, which the Defendants have retained, and
(ii) Compensation for loss of use of the equipment referred to in relief (g)(i) supra from May 2020 until the date of final recovery thereof,
or in the alternative
(iii) Recovery of an amount of Four Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand UnitedState dollars (US$425,000.00) are the value of the equipment procured by the
Plaintiff to perform its obligations under the NSW Contract and the additional
services it rendered from 1st January 2019 to May 2020, which have been retained
by the Defendants, and
(iv) Interest on the amount stated in relief (g)(iii) supra at the prevailing
commercial bank rate from May 2020 until the date of final payment.
(h) General damages.
(i) Costs including solicitor’s fees.
(j) Any further order or orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit.
More than 57% of Ghanaian workers do not enjoy employee benefits – Old Mutual study
A study conducted by pan-African investment and savings firm Old Mutual has revealed that more than half of Ghanaian workers (57%) sampled in a survey do not have or enjoy employee products from their employer.
It found that of those who have employee benefits, health insurance and retirement funds were the most prevalent benefits for most employees in Ghana.
“Health insurance leads in both the formal and informal sector, whilst retirement fund membership is much more notable in the formal sector (52% vs 7% informal). About half of the formal sector workers reported receiving financial information from their employers versus only 18% of informal sector workers, with most being indifferent on it being beneficial,” the study revealed.
Additional highlights of the annual report dubbed; Old Mutual Financial Services Monitor (OMFSM), revealed that financially distressed Ghanaians were higher among the lower income group (72%) and those in the informal sector representing (68%).
Meanwhile, the study indicated that less than 1 in 5 consumers had expressed confidence in the country’s economy.
“This low level of confidence is reflected across the surveyed countries in Africa, namely SA, Namibia, and Kenya,” the OMFSM survey explained.
When it came to financial priority, income security was identified as the top priority for most Ghanaians (as well as across the surveyed countries in Africa).
It further showed that with regards to income, 44% sampled in the survey indicated that they rely on a single source of income, while about 1 in 4 (24%) are PolyJobbers – side-hustling, freelancing, and doing after-hours work in addition to their regular job.
It noted that these PolyJobbers are more prevalent among those earning GH¢3000 or more (37%).
Deloitte Ghana makes 5 recommendations government can employ to grow the economy
The local economy took a downward trend in 2020 after the country was hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war also affected the economy and the government in a bid to restore the economy on track ran to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $3 billion financial bailout program.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, presented the 2024 Budget Statement and Economic policy in parliament.
The Budget Statement was under the theme “pursuing growth & development within a stable macroeconomic environment”.
The budget reading was by Article 179 of the 1992 constitution and Section 21 of the Public Financial Management Act 2016 (Act 921).
Tax waivers for the local textile industry, agricultural machinery and vehicles, and inflation expected to remain within the IMF program’s Monetary Policy Consultation Clause (MPCC) of 29.4 percent, among others were some of the highlights of the budget presentation.
Speaking at the 5th edition of Deloitte Economic Dialogue in Accra on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, the Country Managing Partner of Deloitte Ghana, Daniel Kwadwo Owusu, gave 5 recommendations the government can adopt to grow and stabilize the economy.
According to him, the government can curb the high unemployment rate in the country due to the contraction of the industrial sector in 2023 by enhancing the agro-processing sector.
The sector, he said, needs to move to value addition to create employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.
Below are the 5 recommendations made by Deloitte Ghana:
Intentional focus on agric and industries
He called on the government to enhance agro-processing leading to value addition, industry growth, and employment opportunities for the youth.
Lack of stable currency affects planning and confidence in investment
According to Mr Owusu, currency stability is very crucial, therefore, the government needs to stabilize the currency as the industry looks forward to projections and investment decisions.
Halt harassment of industry players
Deloitte recommended an approach that identifies industries as partners in economic development.
Sustain monetary and fiscal policy to keep moving inflation to the targeted levels.
Remove nuisance taxes
Remove some of the taxes that industries have termed nuisance taxes such as the COVID-19 levy.
Also, the government must consolidate indirect taxes into the VAT regime.
These when adopted, Mr Owusu said, will help build a better future for the local economy which will subsequently drive Ghana to a sustainable economic recovery.
Volta Fair: Unveiling the concealed beautiful bride
The Volta Trade and Investment Fair is a platform to reveal the hidden treasures of that eastern part of Ghana, aiming to attract capital for the overall growth of the national economy.
It is one of the country’s best-kept secrets that needs to be revealed as one of the best investment destinations, with vast fertile lands, extensive water bodies, captivating tourist sites, and richly diverse ethnic heritage.
To many, the Volta Region is a microcosm of Ghana because whatever is found in other parts of the country can be found in the Region.
Abundant Arable Land
Stretching from south to north, the Volta Region boasts expansive fertile land cultivating a variety of crops, from specialized ones like rice, shallots, carrots, lettuce, and cabbage, to staple tubers such as yam, cocoyam, and sweet potatoes.
Cash crops such as coconut, cocoa, coffee, cotton, and sugar cane are also grown in the Region. The potential for commercial farming is immense, with numerous untapped virgin lands capable of transforming into vital food sources, addressing even global food insecurity.
Diverse Water Bodies
The region is blessed with diverse water bodies, ranging from the pristine sea and clean beaches to lagoons, rivers, lakes, streams, and waterfalls. These bodies support essential economic activities such as fishing, aquaculture, irrigation, and water sports. The Volta Region’s water bodies not only yield delicacies renowned in Ghana but also present opportunities for expanding fish farming and fostering tourism along beautiful waterfronts. The Region is home to some of the biggest fish farms on the Volta Lake but that vast water body can accommodate a lot more.
Enchanting Tourist Attractions
The Volta Region unfolds with magnificent tourist destinations, from the majestic Afadza mountain in the north to the brook and feel of the gentle breeze of the coast. Amedzofe offers a heavenly view and fresh air, complemented by a newly constructed canopy walk by the Ote Falls, creating an unparalleled experience.
Notably, the region boasts the highest waterfall, Wli, and about 10 other falls, contributing to the awe-inspiring beauty of the landscape. The Region also boasts one of the best crocodile ponds located in Ave Dakpa, a monkey sanctuary in Tafi Atome, and a snake village at Liati Soba. The coast bears witness to historical landmarks related to the slave trade, adding another layer of cultural significance.
Cultural Wealth – Kete Weaving
The region is renowned for its kete (kente) designs, woven in towns such as Agbozume to the south, Agotime Kpetoe in the middle, and Tafi Abuife towards the north. Each town has a unique story behind its intricate designs, showcasing cultural richness and craftsmanship. These rich kete designs are completely priced thereby attracting many wholesalers from different parts of Ghana and beyond.
Contrary to popular belief, the Volta region is linguistically and culturally diverse, with various languages spoken by the natives, extending beyond the commonly known Ewe. There are languages such as Siyase spoken by the people of Avatime, Nyangbo-Tafi spoken by the people of Tafi, Ikpana spoken in Logba, and Adangbe spoken by the people of Agotime.
The region also embraces diverse religious practices, including Christianity, Islam, and various traditional beliefs, fostering an environment of cultural harmony. Some traditional worships such as Kunde in Kpando, and others in Klikor and Dagbamatey as well as the Roman Catholic Grotto in Kpando-Agbenorxe attract international visitors.
Why Volta Fair?
The Volta Fair catalyzes Ghana’s economic growth, offering a platform to raise awareness about the region’s vast investment potential. The fair has already seen successes, positioning the Volta Region as one of the preferred holiday destinations, attracting conferences, and generating interest from foreign investors in commercial farming and resort development.
As the next Volta Trade and Investment Fair approaches, anticipation grows for a showcase of diverse products and services. This year, the exhibition is drawing interest from across the African continent, aligning with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). Municipal and district assemblies will have the opportunity during the fair to present their investment potential, in a bid to attract investors.
In the quest for economic growth and resource discovery, the Volta Region stands as a captivating bride, beckoning not only international suitors but also urging Ghanaians to explore and invest in their hidden gems.
Make time and visit Ho from the 26th of November to the 10th of December and be part of the Volta Fair. Visit Volta and Experience Ghana.
The article is by Fred Avornyo, a Marketing Communication Specialist and COO of Volta Fair.
Source: Frederick Avornyo
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