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Ghana To Host First Banking, Insurance And FinTech Festival



Industry players in Ghana’s banking, insurance and financial technology space will for the first time converge to celebrate their collective achievements.

Dubbed Banking, Insurance and FinTech Festival 2018 (biff2018), organizers say the event will seek to empower Ghanaians on not only the acquisition of cheap funds for valid business operations but also safe guards that need to be put in place.

A grand convocation of leading financial and insurance firms, the three-day event will be held from April 23-25 April 2018 at the Accra International Conference Center.

Seminars, Exhibitions, Networking and an an honorary ceremony to award deserving individuals and firms will characterize the three-day event.

Powered by Pedestal, a subsidiary of Coaches Consult, it will be yet, the sector’s biggest gathering in recent history.

The Banking, Insurance and FinTech Festival 2018 (biff2018) will be an annual event to celebrate Banking, Insurance and FinTech service providers for their role in National and personal development and also distinguished names.

Organizers Pedestal says it is to give the companies a platform to showcase their competitive service offers and show off their technological innovations in enhancing service delivery and customer experience.
The company adds that it will also create an opportunity for networking between industry players and prospective customers.

The biff2018 will also offer a comprehensive access to finance and Insurance solutions, and a festival atmosphere for business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals seeking business finance, insurance fintech solutions and options.

The Managing Director for Coaches Consult, Cornelius Ray Attah posed some question which will be answered at the festival.

“Financial Technology (FinTech) is disrupting Banking and Insurance as we know it. Do we understand so as to take advantage of the new wave of money this disruption brings? Businesses and individuals continue to seek funds to run one venture or the other; do we satisfy the requirements and know how to find money for our ventures? Businesses and individuals continue seek funds to run one venture or the other; Do we satisfy the requirements and know how to find money for our ventures?” Ray Attah quizzed.

Head of Productions at Pedestal, Boakye Nhyira said, “This event is going to come out as one of the most well produced events in recent times. With its Executive Lounge and Banking hall style setup and its serene ambiance. The three day event will be professionally produced for broadcast and live streamed on our website and other social media platforms.”

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Suspend Tax Stamp Or We Close Down – Businesses



Businesses say they will be left with no option than to close their factories and make their workers stay home if the Tax Stamp is implemented in its current state from March 1, 2018.

The Ghana Revenue Authority is currently running commercial and sensitization exercises on the Tax Stamp.

But there is uncertainty surrounding the policy as key businesses are calling for its immediate suspension.

According to them, the current state of implementation is poor and need to be readjusted.

They are warning the introduction of the tax stamp will add to the cost of doing business thereby escalating the prices of goods.

The passage of the Excise Tax Stamp Act, 2013, (Act 873) made it compulsory for companies that manufacture or import bottled beverages and water to affix the tax stamps on their products before they are allowed into the market.

Companies are being charged to acquire the machines to aid the process.

The machine is estimated to cost between $100.000.00 – 500.000.00, depending on the size of operation.

Some businesses say the cost of procuring the machine is expensive.

The Executive Secretary of the Food and Beverages Association of Ghana, Sam Aggrey told Starr Business’ Osei Owusu Amankwaah, many bottling companies will have no option than to collapse if the tax stamp remains in its current state.

“We have two companies just waiting to deplete their stock and they will fold up. They have already told their workers. They say, they can’t afford the machine,” Mr. Aggrey said.

The Ghana Freight Forwarders Association also say the move will prolong its operation at the port; making them lose money.

“In the port, anything that extend time increases cost and if cost is increased you and I will be buying it in the market,” said the President of the Ghana Freight Forwarders Association, Nana Ofosu Appiah.

The Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Sampson Asaki and the President for the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), Dr. Joseph Obeng say the current state of the tax stamp will require that products are stamped in the origin of import. This they believe will make their operation cumbersome.

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“Extinction Of Pangolins Will Affect Planting For Food And Jobs”



Ghana’s agriculture sector is likely to be affected if Pangolins known locally as ‘Aprawa’ are extinct.

Pangolins feed on termites and it is estimated that each pangolin eat about 70 million termites a year.

This helps to regulate the population of termites with the potential to affect Agriculture and human activities.

Some termites eat into the taproots of seedlings immediately below the soil surface, destroying the central root portions, and fill the resulting cavities with soil. Termite damaged plants wilt and may die within a few days particularly under drought conditions.

Some termites can attack the roots of maize and sorghum, and crop plants to damage and topple the plants. Termites may also travel up through the roots into the trunk and branches, disrupt movement of nutrients and water through the vascular system resulting in death of the plant.

Therefore experts say, if the population of termites are not regulated the brunt will be on agriculture hence the need to protect Pangolins to play that natural roles.

At the commemoration of World Pangolins Day on February 17, 2018 at Bunso and Nsutem stretch of the Accra to Kumasi Highways in the Eastern region organized by AROCHA Ghana with support from USAID and the Wildlife Division of the Forestry commission, Joseph Yaw Oppong, Public Relations Manager of Wildlife division of Ghana believes extinction of pangolins may have negative impact on farming in Ghana.

“God has given this particular creature very important role to play in our environment or the ecology, Pagolins eat termites and ants. It is researched and established that one of these creatures could eat as many as 200,000 termites a day.

“It means that it control termites and ants on the farm and by nature of their crawling they are also able to dig the soil, to loosen it and support growth of plants. Without them, termites and ants can cause havoc to farming. So their role is to protect termites and insects so that farmers can have little holidays on their farms,” he said.

On his part, Emmanuel Ackom, Eastern regional Manager of AROCHA Ghana said Ghana needs to do more to protect these important species through awareness creation and enforcement of Wildlife laws.

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Petroleum Commission To Up Local Content Requirement In Oil & Gas Sector



The Petroleum Commission has served notice it will by the end of the year increase the local content requirement for foreign companies operating in the oil and gas sector.

The move follows the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) call on the Commission last month to expedite action on developing the required local technical skills that will enable the country take control of the production and management of its oil resources.

Contained in the audit report of the Auditor General on the implementation of local content in the oil and gas space of Ghana, PAC also advised the Commission to support local firms to raise capital to enable them increase their shareholding in future oil blocks.

In November, 2013, LI2204 was promulgated to inter alia promote maximisation of value-addition and job creation through the use of local expertise, goods and services business, financing in the petroleum industry value chain and their retention in Ghana. The Local Content Committee established by the Board of the Commission is required to oversee the implementation of LI2204.

Currently, there are a number of services which have been reserved for locals under the act that established the commission. But many local firms are unable to meet the requirements.

Speaking at the first local content procurement conference in Accra, the CEO of the Commission Egbert Fabille Jnr hinted that the local content requirement will be upped to ensure Ghanaians are playing critical role in the production and management of the country’s oil and gas resources.

Also, he warned that the Commission will not approve petroleum contracts that do not fulfill the three months’ mandatory notice ahead of its implementation.

“…From April 1, anybody in the upstream sector who has any contract of a hundred thousand dollars and above to give up, will have to submit that contract to the Petroleum Commission at least two months before the award of the contract so that we will get to know what is involved and will alert all those companies that could put in bids to do so; the time for short term and knee-jerk approaches is over,” he said.

Touching on the Mr Faibille said, “The Conference is in fulfillment of the commitment of the Board and management of the Commission to ensure transparency in the upstream oil and gas tender process and promote participation of indigenous Ghanaian companies in the provision of goods and services in the sector.”

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