Telcos are increasing tariffs to stay competitive

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Telcos are increasing tariffs to stay competitive – Ken Ashigbey

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Telecommunications Chamber, Kenneth Ashigbey, has said that the financial constraints brought on by government taxes and other levies, has led to the decision by Airtel-Tigo, MTN and Vodafone to increase tariffs.

He explained that the telecommunication networks  after the implementation the newly re-calibrated VAT, NHIL and GETFUND levies, has no option than to pass on the cost impact to its customers.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Mr. Ashigbey explained further that the impact of government’s decision forced the telcos to adjust tariffs upward in order to stay competitive.

“The Telcos are just applying the law as it was passed in all their service… This is an industry that pays close to 40% of its turnover to the government in terms of taxes and fees in other forms”.

“The industry is highly taxed; you need to be able to be competitive as a business to be able to attract the capital and the investment to be able to expand the services, the under-served and unserved communities. You need to ensure the sustainability of the industry and also to contribute to the development of the country as an industry.”

The government as part of the 2018 mid-year budget review in July separated the National Health Insurance Fund Levy and the GETFund component from the old 17.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) regime, thereby making the two components straight levies of 2.5 percent each.

Ghanaians to pay more for MTN, Vodafone & AirtelTigo services

Barring any last minute changes, Ghanaians will from November 1, 2018, start paying more for the services rendered by the telcos.

The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications which made the announcement in a statement, said the increment is in accordance with the implementation of the new tax laws.

The Chamber said “customers of telecommunication services will be notified by their service providers prior to any changes being made”

By: Jude Mensa Duncan/citinewsroom.com/Ghana

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Employers Association bemoans increasing cost of doing business

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Employers Association bemoans increasing cost of doing business

The National Employers Association of Ghana is asking the government to immediately address what it describes as the numerous economic challenges affecting businesses in the country.

According to the association, the current environment within which they operate is harsh, rendering their businesses unprofitable.

The employers complain that although the government has undertaken some reforms to boost economic growth, the challenges they face persist.

They mentioned high-interest rates as the reason for their inability to secure financial support from the banks.

They also complained about the depreciation of the cedi against the dollar, which they said affects them especially those who import raw materials for their products.

The Ghana Employers Association is, therefore, asking the government and the Bank of Ghana to ensure that banks reduce their rates.

Speaking to Citi Business News during the 58th Annual General Meeting of the association, Former Chief Executive of the GEA, Alex Frimpong, says if the government fails to stabilize the economy many businesses will collapse.

“Businesses are failing; everything is against business owners. Electricity is still high, taxes and another high cost. It is too much and must be addressed immediately, he lamented”

The employers are also unhappy businesses are unable to meet their target due to inadequate revenue, forcing them to cut down on their production levels.

Addressing the concerns of the employers, Deputy Trade Minister, Carlos Ahinkorah assured that the various reforms being undertaken by the government would eventually ease the cost of doing business in the country.

By Nana Oye Ankrah/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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Ecobank hints at increasing support for educational projects

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The Acting Managing Director of Ecobank has just said the bank will continue to support educational projects in the country because it is the right thing to do.

Edward Botchwey told Joy News Ecobank has invested ¢1.8 million on various educational activities and is likely to increase their budgetary support for non-formal education and other education-related projects.

“We are looking at various projects and partnerships and I think that by the end of the year we most probably going to spend more than we did last year.

“For us, it is not just about the figures or the amount we spend but being able to make an impact,” he said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2018 celebrations to mark the International Literacy Day, on Saturday he spoke about the bank’s support for Non-Formal Education.

Mr Botchwey said it is not good enough for Ecobank as an entity and the country to have illiterates.

He explained that is part of the reasons why for their corporate social responsibility they have contributed to the enhancement of quality education to all irrespective of financial or social standing.

“Helping get everyone to read and write is not only good for business but it is the right thing to do. The idea for us is to churn out products that our customers are able to use whether they can read or not,” he said.

According to him, Ecobank believes supporting the non-formal education and education, in general, is a national call that all companies must contribute to.

“While acknowledging the importance of formal education to national development, Ecobank acknowledges the importance of non-formal education. A type of education, which was with us even before the introduction of formal education.

“Non-formal education provides adaptable learning opportunities and new skills development and knowledge to a large percentage of people, some of whom are beyond the reach of formal education,” he added.

Mr Botchwey said what the bank bring on board as an institution is the ability to make financial literacy relatable to all.  

The global theme for this year’s celebrations was ‘Literacy and Skills Development’ and for Ghana, it was amended to include ‘Empowerment’.

In attendance was the Deputy Education Minister, Catherine Appiah-Pinkrah who represented the Education Minister as well as the Acting Director of Non-formal Education, Francis Asumadu. 

 

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