Archive for the ‘Economic Reporting’ Category

VLTC FerriesTHE HEALTH status of the Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC) is in shambles, as liquidity challenges continue to stare in the face of the once viable company.

The workers have expressed the fear that the company may soon fold up if immediate steps are not taken to revamp its operations.

Key equipment and machinery that help to generate funds for the upkeep of the company are in a deplorable state. Apart from the dilapidating nature of the two pusher tugs – MV Volta Queen and Buipe Queen – the story is not different with the ferries operated by the company. A thorough assessment on the ferries has revealed that the MV Ndewura Jakpa and Nana Bessemua are semi-functional, as each operates on only one engine, instead of two, making the journey on such ferries very dangerous.

That of the MV Yapei Queen has rusty rail guards, posing a danger to the crew and passengers. The metal floor of the passenger lavatory is also rusty, whilst the glass in the window of the third cabin is broken and exposing passengers to the vagaries of the weather. The compartment for firefighting hoses and materials was empty, with one of the engines of the vessel also malfunctioning.

The Yapei Queen, which plies the Volta Lake from Akosombo to Yeji every Monday, also operates with only one steering instead of two, with its radar system broken down. The faulty engines of the three ferries have also affected the time which they use to make their journeys from one community to the other. For instance, a journey from Yeji to Makango that a ferry with two engines makes in 45 minutes now takes two hours.

So, instead of the ferry making four trips per day, it is now doing two trips, with lots of difficulties. One of the crew members, who did not want his name mentioned for fear of victimization, said the ferries were no more attractive to passengers due to their present conditions. The situation, he noted, had hugely affected revenue inflow, but failed to give some details as how much the MV Yapei Queen makes per trip from Akosombo to Yeji, and vice versa.

The ferry-crossing service was set up by the VLTC to provide safe, efficient, and reliable ferry services at Yeji (Brong-Ahafo), Kete-Krachi and Dambai, both in the Volta Region, and Adawaso in the Afram Plains. The ferries serve as bridges where the lake has cut across the road network. Without these services, communities around the ferry stations will be cut off from the rest of the country. Both passengers and cargo are transported from the stations.

“We pride ourselves as providing safe, efficient and reliable ferry services, but my brother, those days are gone. Our ferries are no more efficient and reliable, and they keep on breaking down. Our lives, including that of passengers, are always on the line when making a journey from one point to the other. Management knows the problems, but we don’t know why they are not addressing them. Maybe, they don’t think about our safety and that of passengers who use our services,” argued the crew member.

The situation, The Chronicle learnt, has existed for two years, with management showing little concern in giving the company a facelift. The Managing Director of the VLTC, Eric Kweku Yarboi, when contacted on the issue, acknowledged the numerous problems confronting the company, but noted that lack of funds had made things difficult in addressing them.

He said the company had received some engines from the World Bank, but had no money to contract engineers to fix them. Asked whether revenue generated internally was not enough to pay for such services, he answered in the negative, noting that ferry services the world over was not a profit venture.

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From 2nd Left, Ufikile Khumalo, Scaw Metals Group, Dr. Siaw Agyepong, Jospong Group, and Robert Gumede, Guma Group

From 2nd Left, Ufikile Khumalo, Scaw Metals Group, Dr. Siaw Agyepong, Jospong Group, and Robert Gumede, Guma Group

Three African business giants, Jospong Group, Scaw Metals Group and Guma Group, Wednesday, announced investing US$40 million in the Ghanaian economy. The investment is tailored at stimulating growth in the local steel industry to produce metals to service companies in the West African region, especially, those in the mining sector. (more…)

Ghana's Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah

Ghana’s Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah

Ghanaians are singing the blues under John Mahama’s Better Ghana agenda. Nationals who twisted their mouths trying to echo the ‘ Ede Bi Keke’ slogan of the then presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) all the way to the polls, are now turning their heads in anger at the tax, tax and tax again policies of the John Dramani Mahama administration. (more…)

Mikhail Margelov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on Cooperation with African Countries

Mikhail Margelov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on Cooperation with African Countries

Russia on Monday declared Africa as a true continent that has been able to overcome poverty and instability that was underpinning its growth.

“The times when the global community considers Africa to be a continent of instability and poverty are already over. Modern Africa has transformed into a continent of dynamic economic growth,” noted Mikhail Margelov, the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on Cooperation with African Countries. (more…)

Minister for Finance & Economic Planning, Dr. Kwabena Duffour.

The Ghanaian brewery industry has been granted tax relief but under a condition of using a high percentage of local raw materials in their production. (more…)

The Director of Finance and Administration of the Narcotic Control Board (NACOB), Michael Addo on Wednesday narrowly escaped the wrath of the Public Account Committee (PAC) of Parliament for failing to pay his outfit’s internally generated fund into government treasury for the year ended December 31, 2010. (more…)

Members of Parliament from both sides yesterday stood their grounds and halted a $9 million loan being pursued by the government to finance agriculture in the country. (more…)