Press highlights setting up of centralised cyber security system by BoG, others

The setting up of a centralised cyber security system by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) as part of its enhanced…

The setting up of a centralised cyber security system by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) as part of its enhanced effort to deal with electronic fraud and cyber risks in the banking sector is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that a centralised cyber security system has been set up by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) as part of its enhanced effort to deal with electronic fraud and cyber risks in the banking sector

Known as the Financial Industry Command Security Operation Centre (FICSOC), the system is to be hooked up to the individual security information and events management (SIEM)/security operation centres (SOCs) of banks and other institutions to receive real-time reports and trigger actions, when necessary.

The Governor of the BoG, Dr Ernest Addison, said at a news conference last Monday that the system would help the BoG undertake real-time monitoring of transactions in all banks and other deposit-taking institutions.

The establishment of FICSOC was completed this year by Virtual Infosec Africa (VIA), an indigenous company, allowing banks and other institutions regulated by the BoG to start connecting their systems to it.

It is expected that the successful operationalisation of the centralised command centre would help reduce electronic fraud such as theft and duplication of automated teller machines (ATMs), which more than doubled last year.

To get the system started, the central bank has named the Agricultural Development Bank Limited (ADB) as the first institution to be connected to FICSOC to help check malpractices in electronic and financial technology transactions.

The ADB has thus become the first bank to be hooked up to the system after successfully setting up its SIEM/SOC earlier this year.

The newspaper says that the government has initiated processes to acquire a new and bigger aircraft for presidential use in addition to the existing French-built Dassault Falcon 900 EX-Easy aircraft, acquired during President John Agyekum Kufuor’s era in 2007 but was delivered for use in 2010.

The Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul is handling the processes and expected to announce details later on.

The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin gave the hint at a press briefing at the Jubilee House on Monday, September 27.

“Government is already in the process of acquiring a bigger jet for use.”

“The Minister of Defence has made it clear that government has decided to buy a bigger jet to save us from all these troubles. I wouldn’t want to go into details. I am sure when the Minister of Defence has the opportunity he will do that,” Mr Arhin said.

Mr Arhin was answering a question on whether the government intended buying a bigger aircraft to accommodate the President and his entourage on official foreign trips as the current presidential jet had proven inadequate for the purpose.

He explained that the move to get a bigger fit-for-purpose aircraft was part of a cost saving measure on the travels of the President and other key state functionaries.

Mr Arhin did not give the specifics of the aircraft deal, but said the Defence Minister would shed light on the development at the appropriate time.

The Graphic also reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commenced consultative meetings with ministers of state at the Jubilee House to ensure that they continue to be in tune with his agenda for the second term in office.

The three-pronged meeting also include discussion of their budgetary requirements ahead of the presentation of the 2022 Budget Statement and to assess their work programme for the remainder of the year.

The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin, disclosed this during a briefing of the Presidential Press Crops at the Jubilee House on Monday, September 27.

As of press time on Monday, President Akufo-Addo, who returned earlier in the day from a one-week trip to the United States for the 76th United Nations General Assembly, had met 14 of his ministers.

They were the Ministers of Trade and Industry, Energy, Employment and Labour Relations, Fisheries and Aqua Culture, Public Enterprises, Youth and Sports, Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs.

Other ministers are expected to appear before the President today and tomorrow.

The Ghanaian Times says that a new gold refinery for the state is set to be ready by November this year, the Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister, George Mireku Duker has announced.

The refinery, which is 85 percent complete, has become possible due to a bilateral partnership between Government of Ghana and the Indian government.

In October 2019, the government reaffirmed its commitment to establish a state-owned gold refinery through the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC).

When completed, it will become the third Gold refinery in Ghana in addition to the already two private refineries in operation: the Gold Coast Refinery and the Sahara Royal Gold Refinery.

Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister, George Mireku Duker, said value addition to gold would become paramount when the refinery was completed.

“…We have partnered the Indian government to put up a refinery in Ghana, and that refinery is 85 percent complete and by November we should start operating. If we start refining gold in Ghana then obviously it will put more value on the gold that we sell.”

The minister revealed this on the side-lines of a workshop on the digitisation of licensing of small-scale mining in Kumasi.

Ghana is currently the leading gold producer in Africa and sixth in the world – producing about 4.2 million ounces annually since 2018.

Mr Duker was positive the country would be able to generate enough revenue from the natural resource through processing.