Monday, October 25, 2010

Revenue Authority spearheads employee policy

An Employee Wellbeing Policy (EWP) document for public and private sectors spearheaded by Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been outdoored.

The document developed in collaboration with German Technical Cooporation (GTZ) and the Ghana Community Network Limited (GCNet) covers health, mental, emotional, social and financial wellbeing of employees.

The policy seeks to enhance the health status of GRA and GCNet employees and dependent, to provide social protection and financial wellness, and also to ensure adequate, consistent and sustainable provision of information and education on health, living with disability, financial comfort and social protection.

The policy features confidentiality of the health status of employees, gender equality, collective responsibility, and non-discrimination in obtaining healthcare.

Mr. Robert Mettle-Nunoo, Deputy Minister of Health said: “the policy is very unique and comprehensive which is in line with government’s goal of providing not only accessible but affordable health care for citizens of the nation. This would ultimately assist government in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.”

“The scope of the policy takes into consideration improved access to health, social protection and financial counseling, prevention, treatment and care and support facilities that are related to infectious and non-communicable diseases should be implemented at all workplaces so that staff are motivated to make maximum efforts to put up their best.”

He indicated that government attaches great importance to the wellbeing of employees in both the public and private sectors and as such several interventions have been put in place to ensure that the nation’s workface stay healthy.

Mr. Mettle-Nunoo mentioned that interventions such as the national health insurance scheme, the national malaria control programme, national AIDS control programme and the regenerative health policies have all helped in improving the health of Ghanaians and that public-private partnership such as this initiative which compliments government’s efforts are very commendable.

He urged all staff of the various agencies to fully participate in the programmes and observe basic measures that will enhance their wellbeing.

Mr. Richard Lanyon, Commissioner, Customs Division, GRA stated that the launch of this policy marks the climax of the EWP which will be the driving force for achieving the programme’s goals and objectives.

“The management of the processes, the procedures and the systems in tax collection, is a very hazardous and stressful endeavour. It is therefore an imperative that a deliberate and sustained programme is put in place to maintain a healthy workforce.

“Management has a duty to ensure the total wellbeing of staff. For this reason, we have totally embraced the EWP,” Mr. Lanyon remarked.

A case of WANT’S MINE

Mining firms are under intense public scrutiny to ensure transparency - prompting calls for a mining policy to enforce ‘publish what they pay’, and for governments to ‘publish how much they receive.

Ekow Essabra-Mensah

It’s a murky world of mega bucks and voracious investment appetites. And it’s shrouded in mystery: convoluted paper trails to dubious offshore accounts that have raised more questions than answers about mining companies’ contributions to local economies in which they operate.

It is any wonder companies have come under intense public scrutiny? Considering mining in resource-rich African countries, recent calls for a public policy to force companies to “publish what they pay” and receive” are not bolts from the blue.

In spite of their apparent contributions to the balance sheets of domestic economies, governments and indigenes continue to perceive mining companies’ contributions to community development and nation-building as limited and lacking full disclosure.

The stakes are high .A new report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PWC) 2009 Global Mining Report on Total Tax Contributions, says mining companies make a large economic contribution to public finances in relation to the size of their operations.

The report involved 22 mining companies operating in some 20 different jurisdictions around the world, employing 302,880 people and paying US$1.7 billion in employment taxes.

The participating companies in the study reported a turnover of US$62.9bn with wages and salaries accounting for US$6.0bn, and a total contribution to government of US$10.1bn.

The average total contribution to government by a company in a country reported on by the study was US$190 million.

On average, the companies that participated in the study paid moneys equivalent to 15.3 percent of their turnover to government, comprising 10.8 percent in amounts borne and 4.5 percent in amounts collected as taxes.

These companies pay many other taxes and contributions in addition to corporate income tax, which on average represents only 40 percent of all the taxes and contributions they bear. For every US$1 of corporate income tax paid, these companies pay another US$1.50 in other taxes and contributions borne, plus US$0.52 in taxes collected.

The Total Tax Contribution study on the global mining industry’s full economic contribution, by providing data on all taxes and other payments made to government, justified mining companies’ long-asserted claims of significant economic contributions to public finances slated for national development.

Africa’s minerals and metal wealth

The study indicates that mining’s total contribution to governments in Africa averages 11.3 percent, with its taxes and contributions borne as a percentage of turn-over for Africa amounting to 7.5 percent.

Africa produces more than 60 metal and mineral products, and is a major producer of several of the world’s most important minerals and metals - including Gold, Diamonds, Uranium, Manganese, Chromium, Nickel, Bauxite and Cobalt.

Although underexplored, Africa hosts about 30 percent of the planet's mineral reserves, including 40 percent of gold, 60 percent of cobalt and 90 percent of the world's precious minerals reserves - making it a truly strategic producer of these precious metals.

The increase in exploration and mine development in Africa has been primarily focused on gold and diamond. Undoubtedly, there is still great scope for these commodities; riding on the back of improving base-metal prices, this sector could see an increase in activities.

Mozambique, Nigeria and Madagascar are but few of the countries that have tremendous potential for base-metal and industrial mineral deposits.

South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) dominate the African Mining industry, whilst countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana rely heavily on the mining industry as a major foreign currency earner.

Major new mines opening in Africa or that are under development are distributed between South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania and Gabon, producing gold and diamonds. Major discoveries over the last year include the potential marine diamond deposits offshore southern Namibia.


Ghana’s mining companies’ contribution to public finance which was paid to government constituted 7.2 percent of their total turnover, the 2009 Global Mining Report has disclosed.

Available data indicate that the mining companies’ combined turnover recorded an excess of US$600 million as at the end of 2003.

The second edition of the PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PWC) 2009, Global Mining Report on ‘Total Tax Contribution’ (TTC) revealed that the country’s mining sector taxes, royalties and other contributions amounted to 56 percent - with property and corporate tax income recording 26 percent - of the country’s total tax income.

The study, which confirmed mining companies’ economic contribution to public finances directed toward national development, also disclosed that the average wage and salary per employee in the country’s mining sector per annum recorded US$11,733 - with employment taxes per employee registering US$3,049.

“One company made a large contribution totalling approximately US$9 million to the government and public finances of the country in 2008. Of this, less than one percent is corporate tax with other taxes and contributions making up more than 99 percent of the total,” the report stated.

Mr. George Kwatia, Tax Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers Ghana, presenting the findings of the study in Accra explained that the contribution of the mining sector is usually not recognised.

Ghana is endowed with minerals such as gold, diamond, manganese and bauxite as well as other industrial minerals like salt, limestone and kaolin which are exploited small-scale in the country.

Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Dr. Joyce Aryee, explained that the release of the report is timely and validates the mining sector’s huge economic contribution to government and national development.

“Most people believe that extractive companies, which are mostly transnational, are interested in extracting the non-renewable resources, repatriating huge profits and leaving the host country dry. The perception is that these extractive companies milk their host countries dry.”

Dr. Aryee mentioned that mining companies have over the years consistently maintained their position as highest gross foreign exchange earner as well as providing jobs in the country.

Mineral royalties increased from GH¢1.9 million in 1990 to approximately GH¢90 million in 2009.

Data from the Minerals Commission indicate that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the mining sector increased from US$6 million in 1983 to US$427 million in 2007.

The mining industry in 2009 paid an amount of GH¢125 million as corporate tax, while GH¢1.7 billion was collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from the sector.
Mineral revenue for the first quarter of 2010 stood at US$809.89 million - up from US$640.15 million for the same period in 2009.

“Government needs to increase the quantum of mineral royalties that go to the mining communities - and it should be earmarked for specific developmental projects in the mining communities,” Dr. Aryee stressed.

Cotton industry attracts attention

Government is focusing on attracting appropriate investment aimed at revamping the country’s cotton industry, the Minister of Trade and Industry Ms. Hanna Tetteh has stated.

“The policy direction for the cotton industry includes research, private sector investment, seed and textile production, marketing, and transfer of knowledge and skills which would ensure the revival of the cotton industry in the country.

“Experiences and best practices of countries that have been in cotton production will be tapped to ensure that the cotton industry survives the test of time Ms. Tetteh made known, when Ms. Mona Omar, Assistant Foreign Minister of Egypt, called on her in Accra.

“Ghana has great potential in cotton production and would like to collaborate with some Egyptian technical agencies to help the local farmers to market the produce,” she said.

The country’s cotton production has never reached 40,000 tonnes, an amount that is less than one percent of the West and Central African production - although the country has excellent conditions for its development.

The comparison between other West and Central African countries reveals that Ghana lies far behind all cotton producing countries. Even much smaller countries like Togo, where the conditions are far less favourable than in Ghana, are ahead.

While Ghana only managed to produce 36,000 metric tonnes of seed cotton in 2006/7, Burkina Faso produced approximately 700,000 metric tonnes.

Due to the low production of cotton in the country, some textile companies in Ghana import cotton from Burkina Faso though the country has the capacity to produce enough to meet its demand.

Ms. Tetteh explained that Ghana has the opportunity to make some real changes to the economy in terms of exporting some of its commodities to other countries.

“Egypt has been producing long-yarn cotton for the past 200 years and therefore something must be learnt from them. As part of this collaboration, experts from the two countries will establish about 1,000 acres of farm on a pilot basis.”

She indicated that there are options for Ghana and Egypt to have joint ventures in the industrial sector to enhance trade and investment relations.

“The two countries could discuss double taxation issues to promote investment and trade in both countries.”

Ms. Omar revealed that the volumes of trade between the two countries are low, and that there is need for the two countries to look at ways to increase trade.

She mentioned that the two countries have started a process that aims at deepening trade and investment relations, emphasising that “Egypt will partner with Ghana in the fields of research, private sector investment, seed and textile production,
marketing, and transfer of knowledge and skills towards the revival of the country’s cotton industry.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ghana to become a major oil palm producer

An oil palm Master Plan which will boost the nation’s competitiveness in the global commodities market and meet the local demand is being developed by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, B&FT has been told.

The Master Plan will focus on access to financing, certification, land-use policy, technology transfer, and infrastructure development from the farm to the port, as well as pricing mechanism and marketing.

The policy document will seek to outline set of projects and programmes to be executed within the next 15 years and will become the blue print for the sector’s growth. This is aimed at maximising development outcomes for the communities while supporting smaller businesses, as well as alleviating poverty.

Government has up-to-date spent 2.4 million euros on the oil palm project and is expected to commit additional one million euros on its production by close of 2010.

Mr. Joseph Baidoo-Williams, Head of Tree Crops Development Unit, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in an interview with B&FT in Accra said: “This would make it very easy for the nation to attract donor support to enhance palm oil production.”
The country currently requires about 295,000 metric tonnes of palm oil both for its manufacturing industry and for local consumption.

Last year oil palm processing groups projected a production output of 260,000 metric tonnes of palm oil. This indicates a deficit of 35,000 metric tonnes.

The nation spends US$100 million annually on the importation of oil palm to compensate for the deficit.

Approximately, 305,700 hectares of oil palm plantation is being cultivated nationwide and an additional 20,000 hectares of oil palm farm is needed to meet the local demand.

Current forecast suggests the ECOWAS sub regional market is being faced with an unmet demand of up to one million metric tonnes.

Trade analysts say the strategy is timely as Ghana is expected to export 36,000 metric tonnes of palm oil to China next year, following the conclusion of a US$21.6 million deal between Chyuan Chya Ghana Limited and China-Africa Economic Trade Limited.

The oil palm to be exported by Chyuan Chya will mainly be purchased from small and medium-scale smallholder producers across the country.

Mr. Baidoo-Williams disclosed that government is supporting the cultivation of 3,000 hectares of small holder farms in the Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira and the Upper Denkyira and that 1,000 farmers have been supported in these two districts to cultivate 2,300 hectares of farm.

He explained that Twifo Oil Palm Plantation has been contracted by MOFA as the technical operators. The company is also expected to purchase the fruits and provide extension services to the farmers.

“Government provides financial support in the form of loans to farmers for maintenance, fertilizers and planting materials. The loans to farmers are channeled through National Investment Bank of which the repayment starts after five years,” Mr. Baidoo-Williams said.

The rising trend in international demand has been precipitated by increasing demand for palm oil for bio-fuel purposes.

Crude Petroleum Price determinants continue to push upwards pressure on the price, and demand for Crude Palm Oil (CPO) is steadily rising in India, China, Europe and the America for bio-fuel. In view of this development, investors have been diverting their investment portfolios into CPO.

Ghana’s major producers, Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP) and Twifo Oil Palm Plantation (TOPP), Ghana Oil Palm Development and Norpalm, a Norwegian firm turn out around 80,000 tonnes per annum as against 90,000 tonnes demanded by Unilever alone.

Ghana's Inflation drops again

September inflation for Ghana eased for the 15th month in a row, data released by the Ghana Statistical Service said.

Ghana's annual inflation fell to 9.38 percent from 9.44 percent in August, extending a run that has seen consumer price grow more than halve from its June 2009 level of 20.7% and confounding market expectations of a slight rise.

"It is difficult to forecast inflation for the next month -- all depends on how the government handles the pressures," Government statistician Grace Bediako said of moves to implement a new public sector wage structure seen as raising spending.

The move to a Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) is aimed at putting all public sector workers on the same pay scale and is seen as potentially inflationary because many will see their salary bracket revised upwards.

She said September inflation would have been much higher were it not for the impact of low food prices at harvest time.

"With the Bank of Ghana having left interest rates on hold at their September Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, this is hardly a resounding call for further easing," said Standard Chartered's Razia Khan of last month's decision to hold the prime rate at 13.5 percent ,reports Reuters.

"We expect the prime rate will be kept on hold over the coming months," she said of a scenario that would mean a clear break in a monetary easing cycle that has seen 500 basis points knocked off the rate since November 2009.

Lisa Lewin at Business Monitor International said a small 50-basis-point cut was not ruled out at next month's meeting of the MPC but said it was a "watch and wait" situation for now,reports Reuters
"The seasonal effects will wane by year-end, likely presaging a return to double-digit (inflation)," she said.

The continuous drop reflects the effects of government’s relatively tight fiscal and monetary policies in its fiscal economic management and the stability of the cedi against major trading currencies in the past quarter.

The Government Statistician explained that current downward pressures on the CPI were driven generally by both the food and non-food sectors.

The non-food component, which constitutes 55.09 percent exerted much more inflationary pressure with items such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotic recording (19.65 %), hotels and restaurants (17.17%), housing, water, electricity, gas and other utilities (15.99 %) and Clothing and footwear (15.33%) being the main drivers of the current inflationary.

“The four sub-groups recorded inflation rates above the non food group’s average of 11.84 percent.”

The non-food inflation rate has been declining, though still in double digit; falling from 18.79 percent in January 2010 to 11.89 percent in July 2010 before increasing to 12.25 percent in August 2010.

On the other hand, the food and non-alcoholic beverages group, which constitute 44.91 percent of the CPI, had bread and cereals (-4.29%) and oils and fats (3.99%) recording inflation rates lower than the group’s average.

The group has been recording single digit inflation rate since January 2010, falling from 9.08 percent to 4.69% in May 2010, before rising to 6.13 % in June 2010.

The outlook, as assessed by the Central Bank, points to lowering inflationary risks, an indication that the real value of money will continue to rise, implying commercial banks should become more willing to reduce lending rates.


Ghana's 2017 8.5 percent coupon Eurobond GH032376037 traded with a little changed 5.873 percent yield on Wednesday.

Ghana is looking to produce around 125,000 barrels of oil per day from the first phase of its Jubilee field due to start in December, rising to 250,000 bpd by a second phase in 2013 that would place it among the world's top 50 producers.

Economic growth is set to triple from around 5 percent this year to 15 percent in 2011, a prospect that has buoyed the Eurobond and Ghanaian cedi for months. But worries are growing about a rise in public borrowing.

The public deficit is forecast around 9 percent of gross domestic product for this year and the International Monetary Fund this month warned against the risk of Ghana building up an unsustainable stock of public debt.

Some analysts have expressed concern about the lack of detail over terms of some $13 billion of loan deals with Chinese investors announced last month (Additional files from Reuters)

UBA’s AfriCash and AfriTrade unveiled

United Bank for Africa-Ghana (UBA) has officially launched two products aimed at promoting movement of funds and trade within Africa.

The products, AfriCash and AfriTrade, are accessible in 18 countries across the bank’s operations in West, East and Central Africa.

AfriCash is an instant money transfer service designed to enable payment and receipt of funds across Africa. It is targetted at businessmen, parents, students, tourists, individuals, professionals on assignment across the region, and missionaries.

AfriTrade is a 24-hour intra-African trade processing and payment service, facilitating prompt and low-cost processing of trade and payments within Africa - targetting mainly companies exporting and importing from African countries, and traders buying and selling goods in bulk across borders.

Gabriel Edgal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UBA, launching the products in Accra said: “These products not only reinforce our leadership of the industry, but align with our determination to always delight our customers.”

He observed that intra-African trade remains weak with a high dependence on imports from other continents rather than exchange among African states, and in West Africa as much as 80 percent of exports and 70 percent of imports is currently being done with international trade partners.

“Informal trade, which accounts for most of the regional trade, is currently done via cash across borders - with its attendant risks and inconvenience. While formal trade, on the other hand, is in foreign currency - mostly US dollars and euro - through the correspondent banking system, which makes it costly and time-consuming.

“West African economies have not been able to make major strides in market integration, and settlement for trade has continued to be expensive, time-consuming and cumbersome.

“Recognising these problems, and as a means of promoting African economic integration, UBA developed these products to facilitate intra-African trade,” Mr. Edgal remarked.

Total pledges more investment

Total Petroleum Ghana Limited has pledged to deepen its commitment to the growth of the country’s petroleum downstream sector.

“Huge investments will be directed to the country’s new oil sector to sustain its operations and increase customer delivery.

“The company holds huge investments in oil exploration in other countries including Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea and operates in over 56 countries in Africa; these experiences will be replicated in the country’s new oil sector to boost investment.”

Mr. Stanislas Mittelman, Executive Vice-President, Total West Africa, was speaking in Accra at a programme to mark Total’s 50th anniversary celebration in Ghana.

“Africa and the Middle East are an important part of the Total Group’s business, for both exploration and production and downstream operations.

“Through organic growth and a number of mergers, we have become the market-leader in Africa,” he said.

Jonathan Molapo, Managing Director Total, indicated that the Ghanaian environment is complex and highly competitive.

“Total Petroleum Ghana has certainly taken the lead in the areas of strong partnership with dealers, commercial customers and lubricant distributors built on quality service and mutual respect.”

The company will continue to invest in all areas of the business from service stations, commercial customers and logistics, he mentioned.

“Our quality range of Quartz and Rubia lubricants continue to be the favorite of the consuming public because of their sterling qualities of guaranteeing longer life to the vehicles and reducing the cost associated with buying inferior quality lubricants,” he said.

Total Petroleum Ghana Limited currently has an estimated market share of 28 percent, with a network of 225 service stations evenly distributed across the country.
It is a subsidiary of Total South Africa, the world’s 4th largest oil and gas company and a major player in the continent’s upstream activities of exploration and production of oil and gas.

It occupies a strong position in Africa, with downstream operations in over 56 countries with about 3,800 branded services stations and shares in seven refineries.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Arrears, wages, threaten fiscal plans – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that new arrears to contractors and public wage pressures are likely to threaten the government’s fiscal plans for 2010.

Government’s fiscal plans, as outlined in the 2010 budget, envisage a budget deficit of 7.5% which has subsequently been revised to 8%. The level of outstanding arrears, which stood at GH¢1.43 billion in 2009, was also expected to be substantially minimised to broaden the fiscal space as oil revenues come onstream.

Peter Allum, Division Chief of the IMF’s African Department who made this known in Accra at a media briefing, stated: “The fiscal deficit in the first half of 2010 was 5.3% of projected GDP – slightly above the ceiling under the authorities’ IMF-supported programme.

“Updated projections for the second half of 2010 indicate that the gap relative to the programme targets will widen, reflecting new expenditure commitments and shortfalls in some revenue categories.”

These observations were made following the conclusion of a visit by an IMF mission led by Mr. Allum to the country. The visit involved consultations with the Vice President, John Dramani Mahama, and officials of the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Ghana.

“The economy grew by 4.1% in 2009, with a pick-up to the 5-6 percent range projected for 2010, led by a recovery in construction and strong business services activity ahead of the projected start of oil production around end-2010,” he observed.

He also recognised that inflation has fallen to an annual rate of 9.5% in recent months, and is projected to remain close to this level through year-end, underpinned by the strength of the Ghanaian cedi.

“To sustain and build on these favourable trends in activity and inflation, and to maintain progress toward broader macroeconomic stability, continuing efforts are needed to reduce fiscal deficits and associated public borrowing.”

The IMF mission’s head said his team came to an understanding with government on the importance of tackling government arrears to contractors as well as the bank liabilities of a few public enterprises, which have contributed to sharply higher non-performing loans in the banking system.

“To decisively resolve the government arrears problem, it will be important to strengthen public expenditure management systems, ensure sustained cost-recovery pricing of energy and other products, and reinforce overall fiscal performance,” he advised.

While acknowledging progress made to strengthen revenue administration, improve tax policy and modernise public finance management, he said there have been delays in several areas which call for a reformulation of plans to address setbacks.
The mission also encouraged an early publication of the rebased national accounts, which are expected to show a substantial upward revision to the size of the Ghanaian economy and its per capita income.

This will be important to provide a more reliable assessment of recent economic performance, and better gauge Ghana’s fiscal and debt management situation and challenges.

“While the new data will reduce the level of the fiscal deficit and public debt relative to GDP, a substantial further improvement in fiscal performance will continue to be needed to reduce borrowing and deliver a debt outcome that is sustainable over the medium-term,” Mr. Allum concluded.

Okada Revolution: An illegitimate economic necessity?

The city of Accra is sooner or later going to become a Millennium City in the West African region, and the prospects of this will spark an economic revolution that not only deepens Ghana’s position as a country at the centre of the earth, but also as the Timbuktu of modern-day trade and commerce in actualising its place as the gateway to West Africa.

But, whether we like it or not, there is already a kind of revolution ongoing in our national capital. It is a mixed-blessing revolution that is on one hand seen to be facilitating transportation of people across the length and breadth of the capital, thereby reducing the menacing effects of traffic that serves as a hindrance to business, but also a headache for city authorities.

The mass use of motorcycles is not really new in Ghana. However, it is fast-becoming the cheapest and most convenient means of transport in the three regions of Northern Ghana. And in towns such as Wa, Bawku and Bolgatanga, where taxi services are not as common as they are in the cities of Accra and Kumasi, motorcycles are the only legitimate alternative.

The famous use of motorcycles by both sexes of all age groups in the Northern parts of Ghana not only underscores the economic viability of it, but also acts as a form of tourist attraction to anyone who visits the North - where almost all, youngsters and oldies, have their own motorcycles.

And Accra is not devoid of the use of motorcycles either, as many artisans and professionals ranging from public school teachers to steel-benders use them to manoeuver their way through the chronic traffic situations in the various business districts in our cities.

But the reconstruction of the bridge over the Odorna River three years ago linking the two sides of the city - thereby obstructing vehicular traffic in the city - has led to the temporary alternative use of motorcycles as a commercial means of transport by well-meaning youths of James Town and Chorkor slums to aid transportation.

Today, what was considered a temporary measure to ease traffic jams has graduated into a revolution of illegitimate commercial business engaged in by youth who disregard traffic regulations with gross impunity to make a ‘legitimate’ living.

Okada business, as it is notoriously called, has become entrenched - to the extent that the entire city is gradually being engulfed by motorcycle-riding youth - most of whom have no crash-helmets for themselves or their pillion-riders.

And the lucrative nature of the business, as a result of the high patronage during rush hours, has led to the mass ownership of motorbikes by individuals who engage the services of riders for agreed daily sales of GH¢10 and above.

Today, the reckless use of motorbikes, coupled with lack of crash helmets, is on the ascendency in the three Northern regions of the country - leading to numerous fatal accidents. The story is not different in the Accra metropolis as 22 Okada riders were arrested, and 42 motorbikes impounded on August 4th and 19th respectively by the MTTU.

The case for Okada

There are several logical arguments that go to validate the call for Okada to be legalised in our cities. The unplanned nature of Accra, coupled with the 18th century-model road network that has not made provision for recent influx of vehicles, leads to congested traffic at all times - which frustrate smooth business transactions and demands a legitimate solution.

Our cities are gradually getting engulfed by the culture of lawlessness. And day in day out, most of the major roads linking the business districts are blocked indiscriminately by people without police permits for purposes of festivals, funerals and outdoorings without thought to the economic effects it has on the urban economy.

The Okada business, notwithstanding the flaws thereof, is playing a crucial role in giving employment to the army of unemployed youths in our city slums - who have no formal employable skills to generate regular income for the upkeep of their unplanned, increasing, families.

Okada is also considerably cost-effective for the average civil servant whose old rickety high fuel-consumption car cannot help minimise costs by having to leaving the engine running in traffic; thereby wasting their hard-earned scarce resources on fuel.

Two wrongs definitely do not make a right, though. But time is money and a very expensive non-renewable resource. And if the Okada business, illegal as it may be, can be properly managed to help the worker in the Ministry maximise time to contribute to national productivity, there is a need to review it and give the necessary legal backing.

The case against Okada

As much as there are legitimate reasons why Okada should be legalised, there are other equally important reservations because of which city authorities and sections of civil society believe the business must not be allowed to take root in our cities.
A few years ago, motorbikes with unauthorised number-plates were used by armed robbers to perpetrate crimes in several parts of our cities throughout the nation - thereby endangering the peace and security of people and businesses in our towns and cities.

Interaction with officials of the National Road Safety Commission has revealed that the Commission has engaged the services of a consultant on the way forward regarding the upsurge of the practice in the country, as well as strong warnings from neignbouring countries impressing on government not to legitimise Okada due to the dangers involved.

But whether we like it or not, the Okada business has come to stay with us - and the earlier we find a way of streamlining the system to minimise the adverse effects of it on our society, the better it will be for the good of the country.

Apart from the economic impact of Okada on our cities, the practice is gradually gaining nationwide patronage - especially in our rural areas where roads are virtually impassable and vehicles totally non- existent.

It not only serves as a means of transporting goods and services from deprived communities to nearby towns and market centres, but also as a crucial means of transporting the sick, pregnant women in labour, and villagers bitten by snakes in farming communities where health facilities are non-existent, to nearby clinics and health posts.

Facing the reality

We may not all be comfortable with the reality on the ground. But the fact remains that though Okada is illegal in Ghana, it is an economic necessity we cannot shy away from. It is the cheapest and most convenient means of transport compared to taxis; and it is manoeuverable, facilitating easy movement for economic productivity.

Its use for commercial purposes is absolutely illegal in Ghana. But its role as a substitute for non-existent ambulances in conveying sick taxpayers from deprived areas of the country to the nearest hospital or clinic is morally justifiable.

Fighting the Okada revolution is tantamount to fighting a lost battle, because it is fast-becoming the most convenient means of survival for the poor majority whose frustrations are continually deepened by the difficult economic situations of the day.

However, the joint intervention of the National Road Safety Commission and the MTTU in adopting a creative means by which the Okada business is coordinated through stringent registration and licencing procedures, with regular training for motorbike riders, will rather ensure sanity for national productivity.

This recent development may not directly affect our urban economy positively or negatively. But the degree of seriousness we attach to it, and the priority we give, will determine how best we maximise this phenomenon for national development.


Fujitsu corporate scanners unveiled

PFU Limited, a subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, has officially unveiled a new range of professional document scanners in the country aimed at promoting document management solutions.

The scanners have been manufactured to improve the security, storage, retrieval and imagery of documents.

Showcasing the entire range of document scanners beginning with personal desktop scanners ideal for scanning requirements up to 1,000 documents a day, Mr. Adrian Cafferkey, Country Manager, Africa Region, disclosed in Accra that the scanners have been designed to be robust so as to ensure that they deliver the best technology and professional solutions.

He explained that the workgroup scanners are a family of scanners providing unsurpassed functionality and superior performance for the mid-volume scanning market.

The departmental scanners are also perfect for centralised document image capture and all applications that involve high-quality scanning and reliable document feeding. Production scanners particularly deliver the right combination of speed, performance and convenience for the ultimate in production level document imaging capabilities, while the network scanner also has a built-in touch-screen and keyboard for effortless sharing across a network.

“We pride ourselves on our leadership position, which has been built as a result of the outstanding quality and performance of our products made over many years. We have a fantastic reputation in the market, and many of our customers swear by our products and use them for many years without problems.

“We have the widest portfolio of professional scanners, and therefore we have seen great success across a wide variety of vertical markets and businesses,” he said.

“To help improve our brand-image, we will take our products to the market and help end-users understand how implementing document management solutions can be cost-effective for their business,” Mr. Cafferkey remarked.

He explained that Ghana has enormous untapped potentials in the Africa region, which gives the company an excellent opportunity to develop its business.

The event was also used to announce Astel as the official distributor for the range of professional document scanners and their consumables in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Liberia.

Operating in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, PFU Imaging Solutions Europe Limited is a market-leading provider of document image scanners for professional desktop, workgroup and high volume production environments; biometric authentication sensors and dot-matrix printers.

Established in the United Kingdom in 1981, PFU Imaging Solutions Europe Limited, a subsidiary of PFU Limited (Japan), has its head office in the UK with subsidiaries in Germany and Italy.

PFU Limited, a subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, is a US$1 billion global enterprise that designs, develops, manufactures and markets globally computer hardware, peripheral products, enterprise software and systems. PFU Limited has been engaged in the document imaging scanner business over 20 years.

Rotary club launches 25th anniversary celebration

The Rotary Club of Accra Ring Road Central has launched its 25th anniversary with a call to deepen community service in the country.

The celebration, which is under the theme "25 years of Selfless Rotary Service", runs till the end of the next year.

The Rotary Club of Accra Ring Road Central is the third Rotary Club to be chartered in Accra, in 1986. The Club owes its birth to the Rotary Club of Accra West, the Club that sponsored its charter. With a charter membership of 33, the membership strength now stands at 60.

The Club has planned year-long activities including the rebranding of a bus-stop along the Ring Road, completion of the Asempanaye School Project, a presentation of the 4Way Test Plaque, and an Anniversary Gala to climax the activities in June 2011.
Rotary President, Galina Okartei-Akko, said: “the club has indeed come a long way in building communities and bridging continents with the support of all our partners.”

The Club as part of its achievements has supported the provision of clean water to the Osu Vocational School, the Saboba Agricultural Station in the Northern Region, to Supreso and surrounding communities, the Larteh Methodist Junior Secondary School, and Bawjiase Orphanage among others.

The Club also renovated the Kaneshie Cripples Home and Rehabilitation Centre and provided sewing machines and tools to the students.

On education, the Rotary Club of Accra Ring Road Central has supported the infrastructural development of Accra High School; Teshie Presbyterian Junior High School; and offered cash awards to Girl Science Students of the Teshie Secondary School.

The Club is presently focused on improving access to education in Asempanaye, a village in the Akuapem North district. The project comprises the construction of two three-classroom blocks and a head-teacher’s office equipped with furniture, and construction of water and sanitation facilities.

It has also for the past two years organised an annual medical outreach in the community. Club members have also contributed immensely to the eradication of polio in Ghana.

Rotary is an international service club organisation first introduced into Ghana in 1958 with the establishment of the Rotary Club of Accra, and over the course of over five decades it has spawned a total of twenty clubs nationwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job-training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service above Self.

Poly Group joins Ghana Club 100 companies

Three firms of the Poly Mohinani Group of companies have made it into the 2009 Ghana Club 100 list.

The Ghana Club 100 Awards, instituted in 1998, is an annual event to celebrate the top 100 companies in various sectors of the country's economy. It is organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

The firms, Poly Products Ghana Ltd, PolyTank Ghana Ltd, and Polykraft Ghana Ltd are multinational companies with regional headquarters in the country.

The Group is diversified with a widespread product range and holds strong market positions in the country and the rest of West, Central and East Africa, offering the best advanced broad-based solutions and high quality products and services in packaging and international trading.

Mr Ashok Mohinani, Executive Director of Poly Mohinani Group who received the awards on behalf of the group said: “we at Poly Group are happy to be part of the Club 100 and endeavor our best efforts to interweave both economic and social aspects in all our business operations by supporting the communities and societies in which we work. We look forward to brighter years ahead with the Ghanaian economy poised for positive growth ahead.”

The Group commands an enviable reputation in the Ghanaian business scene through being the leading producer of LDPE, HDPE and PP films and bags; it also has six-colour print flexible, polyester laminates, colour print shopping and promotional bags, polypropylene woven sacks, polypropylene woven sacks with liners, water storage tanks, plastic septic tanks, dry toilet systems, dust-bins, promotional kiosks, pet bottles and jars, injection moulded containers, HDPE bottles and jerry cans, plastic crates, buckets/pails, corrugated paper carton boxes, food containers and other plasticware to meet the entire packaging needs of the Industries in and around Ghana.

Mohinani Group also operates a successful trade and distribution company with representation of key brands such as LG Electronics, Philips domestic appliances, “Dunlop, Toyo, MRF tyres”, building materials, industrial chemicals, raw materials and real-estate development.

The Mohinani Group is the market leader in the “Packaging Industry” in the country, having been in existence for over 44 years. The group’s products serve as a backbone for many Ghanaian industries and the manufacturing Units are currently Poly Products, Poly Sacks, Poly Tanks (Rotational Moulding and Rigid Plastic Divisions) and Poly Kraft Ghana Ltd. The manufacturing arm of the group comprises seven factories located within Accra , Tema and Kumasi Metropolis and has become the pace-setter in the Plastic and Paper Packaging Industry - not only in Ghana, but the whole of West Africa .

Access Bank launches customer service week

Access Bank Ghana Limited has launched its maiden Customer Service Week in Accra.

This year’s celebration ends on Friday 8th October, 2010 and is under the theme “A Tradition of Service”.

The event, which comes up annually, is a reaffirmation of the Bank’s commitment to ensuring customer satisfaction at all times. It also contributes to boosting the morale, motivation and teamwork of staff to be exemplary customer service ambassadors.

Country Managing Director, Mr Yomi Akapo, at the ceremony said: “The Customer Service Week is a medium for engaging with our customers on an emotional level. It also helps to motivate staff towards achieving and maintaining customer service excellence, which is a key success factor for our Bank. I am excited about the maiden launch and I invite all customers and prospects to visit any Access Bank branch for a new experience in world-class banking service delivery today.”

The week-long programme held in Access Bank branches in Osu, Tema and East Cantonments will see senior management staff serve as tellers and Customer Service Officers in the banking halls. All customers will be treated to hot or cold beverages as desired. Also lined up is ‘Pick and Win’, a mini-raffle draw to reward customers for their patronage.

Matilda Asante-Asiedu, Head, Corporate Communications explained to B&FT that the ceremony is an opportunity to show appreciation to customers and prospective clients for dedicated business all year round, and it also aims at recognising staff who serve and support customers with the highest degree of care and professionalism.

Access Bank Ghana is one of the most capitalised universal banks in the country’s banking industry, with Shareholders’ Fund in excess of GH¢80million. The Bank offers tailor-made financial solutions covering Institutional, Consumer and Commercial, as well as Investment and Private Banking.

The Bank in the 2009 financial year carved an industry milestone as the only new-generation bank to have posted profit within its first year of operation.

Access Bank (Ghana) Limited is a subsidiary of Access Bank Plc. Access Bank Plc is one of Africa’s pre-eminent financial services groups and has a full banking subsidiary in the UK and all monetary zones across sub-Saharan Africa. The Bank is ranked 12th in Africa and amongst the top-500 banks in the world by tier-1 capital as at March 31, 2010.

Caption: Country Operations Officer for Access Bank (Ghana), Chizobam Tony–Nnamah, cutting the cake with some customers at the start of the 2010 Customer Service Week at the Bank’s Osu Branch

Gold Fields, GIMPA train miners

Gold Fields Ghana and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) have launched a joint leadership programme aimed at improving leadership and management skills in the country’s mining sector.

The programme, which is a one-year leadership development programme modelled on core values of safety, responsibility, honesty, respect, innovation and delivery, is to equip participants with the strategic tools and skills to lead transformational change and progress at Gold Fields Ghana.

The programme further seeks to promote the Gold Fields strategic objective of promoting a local content drive aimed at increasing the number of local professionals in the senior management of the company.

Mr. Peter Turner, the Executive Vice-President for West Africa and the Managing Director of Gold Fields Ghana Limited said: “Our industry is constantly adapting to change. “We will require innovative leaders who will drive the industry forward in Ghana. A key tenet of this will be to have a strong capable human resource.

“In realising our vision of being a leader in sustainable gold mining, our most important asset is our people who will form the cornerstone of a sustainable business for the future.

“I believe that this leadership programme that Gold Fields and GIMPA have launched, will give our managers, the requisite skills and exposure to become future leaders of our business.”

Professor Franklyn Manu, Dean of the GIMPA Business School, welcomed the collaboration with Gold Fields as strategic and timely.

“Since leadership development is a core objective in the Gold Fields strategy, GIMPA’s comprehensive programme has been designed to prepare the participants to become future leaders of Gold Folds Ghana,” Prof. Manu remarked.

Agric takes centre-stage

Dr. Joe Abbey, Executive Director, Center for Policy Analysis, has warned government to pay critical attention to the manufacturing and agricultural sectors as the focus may shift towards the oil and gas sector.

“There are signs that all is not well for the country’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors, and that when we enter the oil economy they will lose their performance.”

Current data released from the GSS estimates economic growth rate of 5.9 percent in 2010, compared to government’s end-of-year target of a 6.5 percent growth-rate.

However, officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) are optimistic that government’s interventions in the agricultural sector are landmark concepts aimed at revamping the agricultural sector, considered as the mainstay of the economy.

Speaking to the B&FT, the officials said: “government's interventions in the agricultural sector coupled with the level of food production going on nationwide, indicate that the country is on course to revamp the agricultural sector - which is the main driver of the economy.”

Government increased budgetary allocation for the Youth-In-Agriculture programme by 500 percent, raising the amount from GH¢10 million in 2009 to GH¢60 million this year.

This is to encourage medium and large-scale food production among the youth, especially in areas of comparative advantage, to triple food production within the next three years.

Government has also established agriculture mechanisation centres throughout the country to assist in the acquisition of tractors at affordable rates for groups and individual farmers to maximise production.

The Ministry is as well embarking on extensive production of rice and maize in some strategic locations in the country.

To this end, an amount of GH¢3.6 million has been provisioned to support the procurement of machinery and equipment to support farmers who are into rice production.

Farmers who are into the production of crops such as maize, rice, sorghum and soya beans in seven regions of the country - namely Northern, Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Volta, Upper East and Upper West - are also benefitting from the budgetary allocation. Fourteen thousand hectares of land are expected to be cultivated under this initiative.

Additionally, approximately 41 dams are being rehabilitated in the three Northern Regions to support dry-season farming.

The agriculture sector, which recorded the lowest growth of 1.2 percentage points below targetted growth of 6.0 percent, relinquished its position as the largest contributor to the economy from a share of 36.5 percent to 35.6 percent of total Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

The relatively low growth of the sector can be explained by the downward review of the crops and livestock subsector from the targetted 7.0 percent to 5.0 percent.

The manufacturing sector, too, shows marginal growth after its negative growth in 2009. The provisional growth estimate is one percent for the sub-sector.

The figures state that the services sector contributed 36.1 percent to GDP, compared to 35.6 percent by the agriculture sector. Industry’s contribution was 28.3 percent, but however recorded the highest growth of 7 percent - better than the 6.1 percent growth of the services sector and 4.8 percent recorded by the agric sector.

“This review took into account actual data for the first half of 2010, which are extrapolated to cover the whole year. Provisional estimates therefore give the expected performance of the economy at the end of the year by annualising actual data for some months of the year,” the GSS stated in its release.

Performance of the sectors

The overall growth of the industrial sector is 7.0 percent and it contributed 28.3% to GDP. The mining and quarrying sub-sector grew more than projected (10.5%), with all the minerals recording positive growth.

Manufacturing shows marginal growth after its negative growth in 2009. Provisional growth estimate is 1% for the subsector.

Electricity production and distribution increased by 17.7%, whilst Water production and distribution grew by 3.3%, yielding an overall subsector growth of 13.3 %.

The source of increase in electricity production was from a 9.2% growth in hydro-generation and 38.3% increase in the output of the thermal generators.

Exports of electricity for the first half of 2010 constituted 11.5% of total production. Also, road and building construction activities are on the increase - showing a provisional growth of 7.9%.

From the provisional estimates, this sector has the largest share in GDP (36.1%) - displacing agriculture as the largest contributor to GDP. Growth of the sector is 6.1%.

The Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services sub-sector recorded the highest growth of 13.9%. Of the activities in the sub-sector, Business service activities (consultancy and other professional services) recorded the highest growth (38.7%).

All the other sub-sectors in the Services sector had reductions in growth compared to projected growth figures. The largest drop in growth can be found in the Wholesale, Retail Trade and Hotels and Restaurants sub-sector. The provisional growth is 3.5% compared to the projected growth of 8.0%. Transport and Communication sub-sector growth has not been revised due to the delay in data response.

The sector recorded the lowest growth, 1.2 percentage points below targetted growth of 6.0%.
The sector relinquished its position as the largest contributor to the economy from a share of 36.5% to 35.6% of total GDP (at factor cost).

The relatively low growth of the sector can be explained by the downward review of crops and livestock sub-sector from the targetted 7.0% to 5.0%.

2010 Population and Housing Census

On the eve of 26th September 2010, Ghana began its population and housing census to confirm the nation’s 24.5 million population estimate. Ekow Essabra-Mensah looks at the issues.

At midnight on Sunday, 26th September, the siren of the General Post Office clock in Accra sounded - apparently to click an imaginary camera that took a picture of all people resident in Ghana at the time and therefore qualified to be counted no matter their nationality, profession, sex or mental condition.

This was to ensure the enumeration of the floating population included guests in hotels, passengers of all modes of transportation, and people without permanent residential structures such as head-porters, the destitute, vagrants and lunatics.

The Population Census, which takes two-weeks and ends on October 12, is to be a completed process of collection, reception, assessment, analysis, publication and distribution of demographic, economic and social data which relate at a given moment in time to all the residents of a country or of a well-defined partial geographic area as reflected in the Population and Housing Censuses Handbook of the UN, 1992.

The United Nations defines the essential features of population and housing censuses as "individual enumeration, universality within a defined territory, simultaneity and defined periodicity", and recommends that population censuses be taken at least every 10 years.

In most countries of the world, a population census is conducted once every ten years. In a number of countries such as Japan, Austria and Canada, a census is held more frequently, once every five years.

In the '50's of the 20th century, 80% of the world's population was estimated by censuses. Today, almost the entire world's population is enumerated once every decade by various types of censuses, and in some cases once every five years (e.g., Australia, Canada, Japan and Sweden).

The word "census", which is from a Latin verb 'censere', which means - contrary to what's expected - not 'to count' but rather 'to assess', or in a term closer to the world of statistics, 'to estimate' (the Encyclopedia Americana, 1951). The term itself was developed during the Roman Republic; the census was a list that kept track of all adult males fit for military service.

As strange as it may sound, despite the great progress made in this field there is no practical method for determining accurately and completely the size and characteristics of any large population. The census, therefore, proves only an agreed-upon estimate - but it is a good estimate.

Ghana’s post-independence census development

Ghana's first post-independence population census in 1960 counted about 6.7 million inhabitants. By 1970s the national census registered 8.5 million people, about a 27 percent increase, while the most recent official census in 1984 recorded a figure of 12.3 million--almost double the 1960 figure.

The nation's population was estimated to have increased to about 15 million in 1990 and to an estimated 17.2 million in mid-1994. With an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent for the period between 1965 and 1980, a 3.4 percent growth rate for 1981 through 1989, and a 1992 growth rate of 3.2 percent, the country's population was projected to surpass 20 million by the year 2000.

Increasing population is reflected in other statistical representations as well. Between 1965 and 1989, a constant 45 percent of the nation's total female population was of childbearing age. The crude birth rate of 47 per 1,000 of population recorded for 1965 dropped to 44 per 1,000 of population in 1992.

Also, the crude death rate of 18 per 1,000 of population in 1965 fell to 13 per 1,000 of population in 1992, while life-expectancy rose from a 1970-1975 average of forty-two years for men and 45 years for women to 52 and 56 years, respectively, in 1992.

The 1965 infant mortality rate of 120 per 1,000 live births also improved to 86 per 1,000 live births in 1992. With the fertility rate averaging about seven children per adult female and expected to fall to only five children per adult female by the year 2000, the population projection of 35 million in 2025 becomes more credible.

A number of factors, including improved vaccination against common diseases and nutritional education through village and community health-care systems, contributed to the expanding population. The rise in the nation's population generated a corresponding rise in the demand for schools, health facilities, and urban housing.

The gender ratio of the population, 97.3 males to 100 females, was reflected in the 1984 figures of 6,063,848 males to 6,232,233 females. This was slightly below the 1970 figure of 98 males to 100 females, but a reversal of the 1960 ratio of 102.2 males to 100 females. The fall in the proportion of males to females may be partly attributed to the fact that men have left the country in pursuit of jobs.

Also significant in the 1984 census figures was the national age distribution. About 58 percent of Ghana's population in 1984 was either under the age of twenty or above sixty-five.

Approximately seven million people were represented in this category, about four million of them under the age of 10 and therefore economically unproductive. The large population of young, economically unproductive individuals appeared to be growing rapidly. In the early 1990s, about half of country's population was under age 15.

If the under-twenty group and those above the age of 60 are regarded as a dependent group, the social, political, and economic implications for the 1990s and beyond are as grave for Ghana as they are for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.

The last population census held in 2000 recorded a population of 18,912,079, with an estimated 24.5 million people expected to be enumerated in the 2010 census - while approximately 35 million people are expected by 2025.

Importance of population census

Censuses are an important source of information on the population of the country, and on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population at the national and local levels.

It is one of the most important sources of information that provide a basis for the official statistics of the country. It provides the fullest and most reliable picture of the country's population and its characteristics at the "Determinant Date" (a particular point in time to which the census relates).

In the census, data is collected at a specified time from the entire population - in contrast to other surveys in which information is collected from only a small part of the residents, and from which conclusions are reached regarding the general population.

These organisations safeguard the uniformity of census definitions in order to make possible international comparisons which assist in understanding the demographic and social conditions in specific countries.

“There is no doubt the Population and Housing Census is a unique data source that provides benchmark information for effective planning and good governance at all levels,” Dr. Duffuor said, adding that the private sector stands to gain tremendously from properly documented demographics in their long-term planning.

Dr. Grace Bediako, Government Statistician, stressed that the census will provide current socio-economic data, vital for effective planning both at the national and sub-national levels, including data from newly-created districts.
2010 Census and Matters Arising

Investment and commitment from public and private sector

The Census was estimated to cost at some US$50million (GH¢70million) of which government was to provide about 90 percent of the funding.
Of this amount needed, the 2009 Budget made a provision of GH¢8million and the current budget allocated GH¢32million – in all representing about 58 percent of the total financial requirement.

The country’s development partners also contributed just over GH¢5.5million, bringing the total amount to just over GH¢45million.

Industrialists persistently argued that government policies have not gone far enough to support local enterprise to be competitive against their foreign counterparts, contending that successive governments have rather sought to outdo each other in attracting foreign direct investments while counting on ever-dwindling development partner support for national development.

These were made known by the private sector towards supporting government in closing a gaping GH¢25 million hole in the budget for the National Population and Housing Census,

“Considering that we undertake the exercise every 10 years, we could have been making provisions towards it in every annual budget since the last exercise, and that would have eliminated the current pressure.”

For the major exercise, over 45,000 volunteers - mainly students from the tertiary institutions -were recruited by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and they are to be deployed nationwide to do the counting.


Shortage of materials

The 2010 Population and Housing Census has been facing challenges including logistics, materials, questionnaires; and in some cases lack of funds to carry out the exercise have been reported as inadequate.
Complains revealed that some enumerators experienced shortage of materials among other problems.

Again, eight days into the Census, enumeration in some parts of Tema, Ashiaman, Kpone and the Ledzokuku-Krowor areas seem to have been halted following shortage of logistics.

Senior Census Officer at Kpone, Samuel Akpeng, said most of the enumerators do not have enough questionnaires to complete the exercise.

This, he said, hinders the solicitation and recording of accurate information as some of the enumerators abandon the exercise mid-way with a promise of continuing at a later date.

He also complained about the unwillingness of some residents to provide detailed information and the ejection of the enumerators by some residents from their homes.

Enumerators in Tema suffer a similar fate as they face logistical constraints daily.
An enumerator in the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipality, Seth Tsey, said the exercise was halted over the weekend due to inadequate questionnaires.

However, the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal Statistician, George Agbenyo , said some of the materials for the exercise have been supplied yesterday and are being distributed to the enumerators to continue working.

Three enumerators in the Gomoa East District of the Central Region are alleged to have absconded with GH¢600 and materials for the exercise.

The three were said to have absconded with the money which covers transportation allowances for field enumerators and supervisors and materials for the exercise.

Going forward

Ghana, over the past half decade, has been struggling to roll-out a national biometric identification that will enable the proper tracking of the national demographics.

Analysts have contended that the current census is of critical importance, given that the country will become a net oil exporter by the close of the year - and expectations are that there will be an influx of immigrants from neighbouring countries. There is therefore need to have an accurate figure for the population to help in assessing the expected added pressures from migrants.

Processing of census data is expected to be completed in early 2011 and dissemination of the data then commences immediately - and is expected to run through 2012.