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Press highlights plans to overhaul governance structure of rural, community banks, others

The plan by the Bank of Ghana to overhaul the governance structure of rural and community banks and the launch…

The plan by the Bank of Ghana to overhaul the governance structure of rural and community banks and the launch of the first Capital Market Master Plan of the Securities and Exchange Commission are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Graphic reports that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has set in motion a directive that seeks to overhaul the governance structure of rural and community banks (RCBs).

The revised directive, which takes effect from March next year, is part of a comprehensive strategy to make the tier two lenders more responsive to the needs of their customers and the changing times.

Known as the Corporate Governance Directive for RCBs, the document was issued by the central bank this month and, among other things, bars foreigners from taking stakes in the lenders, limits the amount of stakes an individual investor can hold in a RCB and caps the tenure of chief executive officers (CEOs), directors and external auditors for the lenders.

It also tasked the RCBs to develop and operationalise business strategies and board charters as well as ensure separation of powers between the board chairman and the CEO.

It further directed rural banks to develop and implement success plans that would cultivate and nurture a pool of talents to replace retiring managers.

While majority of the requirements were already in existence, it is expected that the issuance of the final directive on corporate governance will herald strict compliance by RCBs similar to what is happening in the commercial banking space.

The nrespaper says that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched its first Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP) to guide the development of a robust capital market in the country over the next 10 years.

The CMMP was developed by a working group drawn from key stakeholders in the financial sector and is expected to make the capital market attractive to raise enough ‘patient capital’ to finance long-term growth.

It will, among other things, guide the SEC to develop an efficient, fair and transparent securities market in which investors and the integrity of the market are protected.

The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, who launched the CMMP in Accra yesterday, said improving access to long-term finance would be a key enabler for achieving the objectives of the government’s ‘GH¢100 billion Ghana Cares/Obatanpa programme’, which is aimed at stabilising the economy to trigger revitalisation and transformation.

He, therefore, pledged the government’s commitment to develop Ghana’s capital market to support its crucial programmes and make it a hugely attractive financial hub for both domestic and international investors.

Mr. Ofori-Atta noted that the capital market was an essential driver for economic growth but the evolution of Ghana’s financial sector had, unfortunately, not placed the market industry at the heart of financial sector development for years.

“Essentially, the capital market has been developing over the years without a dedicated comprehensive coordinated plan and with limited effort on the part of key stakeholders in the industry,” he said.

The Graphic also reports that the upstream petroleum industry regulator, Petroleum Commission (PC), has expressed concern about the continuous dangerous fishing activities within close-proximity of the multi-billion dollar offshore oil installations.

The increasing activities of fishermen within the restricted zones are becoming a threat to the three offshore oil fields – Jubilee, Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) as well as the Sankofa.

According to the PC, that was happening even though the commission had regularly engaged the fishermen on the dangers of their activities.

Many of these fishermen sail to these fields, fish, use the production lines and tie their canoes to anchor chains of the production platforms.

Since the fishermen spend days during their expeditions, they set naked fire to cook with complete disregard for safety protocols.

Speaking at a virtual stakeholders meeting on the seriousness of the practice, the Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr., stated that since the commencement of the country’s oil exploration, one of the key challenges had been the frequent and increasing incursions with its associated dangers.

At the meeting, the Petroleum Commission and the Joint venture partners of the Jubilee and TEN Projects, Ministry of Energy, National Canoe Fishermen Council and other agencies discussed the implementation of the Safe Sea Access Framework and the establishment and operationalisation of the cumulative impact co-management platform secretariat to be hosted by the commission.

The Times says that the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) needs at least $300,000 to be able to participate in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which runs from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

Ghana will participate in her 15th Olympic Games in Tokyo this year and so far 12 athletes have qualified for the quadrennial games.

They include triple jumper Nadia Eke, sprinters Joseph Paul Amoah, Benjamin Azamati, light heavyweight boxer Shakul Samed, flyweight boxer Suleman Tetteh and featherweight Samuel Takyi, swimmers Abeiku Jackson and Zara Forsonand the 4×100 athletics team.

The committee is hoping the likes of weightlifters Forester Osei and Christian Amoah among others would record the qualification marks to raise the number.

According to the GOC, it has managed to secure a training base in the Japanese town of Inawashiro for the Games.

However, what is lacking now is money to take Team Ghana to the Games.

In a chat with the Times Sports, president of the GOC Ben Nunoo Mensah, revealed that his outfit needs a sum of least $300,000 to buy tickets, pay for hotels; pay for per diems, and to accommodate Team Ghana in Tokyo.

“The GOC needs at least $300,000 for the Games. As of now, we are working hard to raise as much as we can from the corporate sector. We are embarking on a sponsorship drive to seek support from corporate Ghana and individuals who can offer any support.”

He said if they fail to raise the needed amount, the GOC would rely on the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) to top up

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