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MTN customers can now browse for free with Opera Mini and Opera News

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MTN customers can now browse for free with Opera Mini

MTN customers can now browse for free with Opera Mini and Opera News

MTN Ghana and Opera, one of the world’s leader browser developers have partnered to give Opera Mini and Opera News users on the MTN network up to 20 MB of free browsing every day.

Through this innovative partnership, MTN Ghana and Opera are joining forces to keep millions of Ghanaians online so that they can read news for free, access their favorite websites without data cost limitations and most importantly, keep them connected with families and friends during this period of COVID-19.

MTN subscribers can now browse on the Opera Mini and Opera News channels for free with a daily cap of 20mb. Users who exceed their daily cap of 20mb will continue to browse from their existing data allocation. Free daily data covers browsing only, while normal data costs will apply to video streaming and file downloads.

How to use:

To enjoy the benefits of the free browsing package, customers will only need to update or download Opera Mini and Opera News apps from the Play Store.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Customer will enjoy free browsing up to a daily limit of 20mb
  • Upgrade / update your Opera Mini and Opera News browsers or download apps from the Play Store.
  • The free daily data covers browsing only while video streaming and file download will attract normal data charges.

Opera News is the most popular news app in Africa and was the most downloaded news app in Ghana in May 2020 according to AppAnnie. The Opera News app provides users with an AI based personalized content stream that serves top news, trendy videos and other daily content from more than forty different categories.

Opera Mini is a small but powerful browser offering unique features that no other browser available in digital app stores can offer. The browser is equipped with data saving, offline file sharing, a smarter download manager, and a native ad-blocker. Today, Opera Mini is the browser of choice for over a hundred million people around the world who choose it over pre-installed browsers on Android mobile devices.

To enjoy the benefits of the free browsing package, MTN customers will have to upgrade their Opera Mini browser, or download Opera News app from the Google Play Store. The free daily data covers browsing only while video streaming and file download will attract normal data charges.

Commenting on the benefits of the offer, Mr. Samuel Addo, General Manager for MTN Business in Ghana said, “The partnership with Opera comes at a time when MTN is creating opportunities for customers to have free access to educational sites.  We are very happy that the free browsing on Opera Mini and Opera News comes to complement what is already being done.”

In his remarks, the EVP of Mobile Browsers at Opera Jørgen Arnesen said, “Together with MTN want to give millions of customers  on the MTN network a free browsing experience every day”

MTN’s partnership with Opera is one of many interventions put in place by the business to support customers in these trying time.  Some of the interventions include the provision of free Internet connectivity to over 100 educational sites for private and public schools students across the country

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Okada riders reject government’s mini cars – Leader of Okada Riders claims

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Okada riders reject government’s mini cars – Leader of Okada Riders claims

The leader of Okada Riders Association, Michael Kofi Owusu claims his people (okada riders) are not interested in exchanging their motorcycles for the new mini-cars the government has introduced.

The government through the Coastal Development Authority (CODA) has imported mini-cars to replace the motorbikes (Okada) on the roads of the country. According to the Authority, the need for this initiative is to fight the growing accidents on our roads that largely involve motorbikes.

Mr. Michael Kofi Owusu holds that these mini-cars defeat the very essence of the transportation needs that they render to people and that the cars will only compound Ghana’s road traffic challenges.

He explained on Citi FM’s Eye Witness News last Friday that the members of the association had not at any point been approached for any stakeholder engagements prior to the introduction of the initiative.

“The people there (at the launch last Friday), they are all okada riders, none of them is ready to use any car for anything because it is not about the car. It is what we get out from that thing (okada) and how our customers always want us to come to their aid and then be of help.

“From where I stand, nobody had any stakeholder discussion with us, nobody called us to say anything. We only heard that that is what the government is doing. Nobody engaged us in any talk ….” he stressed.

On the subject of the illegality of the okada business, he admitted it was illegal but submitted that with the booming nature of the trade, it was time for the government to consider legalizing and properly regulating the ecosystem.

“No I said we are not going for it,” he responded when asked again if his members will go for the cars.

The CEO of CODA, Jerry Ahmed Shaib in a sharp reaction refuted the claims by the leader of the Okada Riders Association and said the programme had been oversubscribed on the day of the launch.

“As we speak, it is overly subscribed, he said, disclosing that 70 riders took their cars home after the October 22 launch”.

He stressed the lifesaving priority the cars provide as compared to bikes, stating: “Are you minded to die, or you are minded to live? Are you minded to operate in a more comfortable, safer environment than an environment that can give you death?”

The mini-car costs GH¢25,000 and the buyers are expected to pay up to GHs41 only each day to offset the cost.

The CEO of CODA also said that it is the hope to bring in 200 more into the system every quarter while aiming to make them better.

Godwin Annor, General Manager of Cadmus Investment Limited, the company in charge of bringing these cars into the country, announced that for the first 1,000 kilometers on the car, no beneficiary will be charged for it.

The fuel tanker of the car can also be filled with as little as GH¢60, he added.

He explained that this is all to make sure that the riders are able to make profit for themselves.

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Why the Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Act makes Ghana the preferred destination for investment

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Why the Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Act makes Ghana the preferred destination for investment

The absence of an effective legal mechanism at par with the current and dynamic trends of business, particularly in the area of corporate insolvency, stifled the growth of private enterprises in Ghana and the economic wellbeing of the country as a whole.

However, the promulgation of the Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Act, 2020, (Act 1015) (the “Act”), is a step in the right direction towards improving the quality of the legal regime for corporate bodies and their administration in the event that they become insolvent. The Act replaces the Bodies Corporate (Official Liquidations) Act, 1963 (Act 180), which was in dire need of reform considering how old it surpassed most Ghanaians in age. The Act also introduces novel provisions that facilitate access to timely, efficient and impartial administration and insolvency proceedings.

 

Few of these novel provisions are discussed below:

 

  • Restructuring/Administration of Companies

Unlike the previous legislations that mainly centered on only liquidation and receivership, Sections 2 – 78 of the Act presents distressed companies with the prospect of engaging in a corporate restructuring/administration process. This means companies have the opportunity to temporarily continue in existence as a going concern, where they can put their affairs and assets in order to enable them rise back to profitability with the help of an appointed administrator and/or restructuring officer. The restructuring officer shall work with a restructuring agreement. This is an agreement executed by the company and the creditors to provide for payments towards the creditors’ debts. The effect of corporate restructuring is that it imposes a temporary freeze on the rights of creditors and other claimants against the company, and allows for the implementation of a restructuring plan, which results in a better return for the creditors and shareholders of the company than would have resulted from the immediate winding up of the company. However, these restructuring provisions do not apply to businesses that are subject to special regulations such as banks and insurance companies.

 

  • Active Participation of Creditors in the Insolvency Process

The Act seeks to balance the interests of all concerned parties during the insolvency process and thereby allows for the active participation of creditors in the insolvency process. Sections 20 – 29 centers on the role of creditors when the company undergoes an administrative process. The administrator is obligated to convene a first meeting with the company’s creditors within 10 days after the administration process commences, wherein the creditors have a right to establish a committee of creditors or replace the Administrator. The Committee of Creditors acts as an advisory unit to the Administrator and deliberate on reports relating to the administration of the company. Additionally, creditors must approve of the restructuring agreement. Under official liquidation, creditors may nominate and appoint a liquidator (section 95 (1)) and must be consulted on matters that substantially affect their interests during the liquidation process.

 

 

  • Cross-Border Insolvency Processes

The Act has provisions in sections 150 – 152 and a schedule that specifically regulates cross-border insolvency proceedings. The main aim is to promote cooperation between courts and competent authorities in Ghana and foreign countries, thereby enabling effective cross-border insolvency proceedings of companies that have assets and creditors in and outside Ghana. The provisions in the Act are reflective of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) model law on cross-border insolvency. It allows for the recognition of foreign insolvency proceedings and reliefs. The Act permits a foreign representative to apply for the commencement of an insolvency proceeding in Ghana and participate in proceedings regarding a debtor or creditor. A Ghanaian insolvency practitioner is also authorized to act in a foreign state on behalf of a Ghana insolvency proceeding, as permitted by the applicable foreign law.

 

  • Establishment of an Insolvency Services Division 

Sections 153 – 162 of the Act provides for the establishment of an Insolvency Services Division (“ISD”) under the Office of the Registrar of Companies. The ISD shall review the law and practice that relates to insolvency in Ghana, supervise insolvency practitioners, oversee administration of companies and other body corporates in Ghana and shall liaise with international agencies in the areas of international insolvency as may be necessary. A person can only act as an insolvency practitioner in Ghana if that person is a chartered accountant, lawyer or banker, with good standing in a recognized professional association; a certified restructuring and insolvency practitioner; and has security or professional indemnity for the proper performance of his/her obligations as an insolvency practitioner.

With the passage of this Act and its progressive measures towards the improved standard of business ethics and corporate governance in insolvency proceedings, Ghana is expected to improve on its ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report. The country currently occupies the 118th position out of the 190 economies compared.

In conclusion, the Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring Act provides a balance between the rights of creditors to enforce their security and the public interest in ensuring the survival of viable businesses, creditors, and the growth of the economy as a whole. Thus, the passage of Act 1015 is good news.

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Fuel prices to drop as government temporary removes certain taxes for two months

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Fuel prices to drop

Fuel prices to drop as government temporary removes certain taxes for two months

Ghanaians are to enjoy two months of relief of reduced fuel prices as the President of the Republic has approved the temporary removal of certain taxes on fuel to provide some sort of relief to Ghanaians as the global fuel prices go up. This covers the removal of Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levies on petrol, diesel, and LPG for a period of two months.

This news was officially released by the communication directorate of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA). The release reads;

 

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) wishes to inform the general public that His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has granted approval to zero the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levies on petrol, diesel and LPG for a period of two months.
The above approval follows the advice of the NPA to the Hon. Minister of Energy to seek government’s intervention to mitigate the impact of rising prices of petroleum products on the world market on consumers. Prices of crude oil and refined petroleum products have seen sharp increases on the world market due to a rise in demand for oil globally without a corresponding increase in supply, particularly from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)and its allies.
Because the pricing of petroleum products in Ghana is deregulated, changes in prices of petroleum products on the world market have a direct impact on prices at the pumps. 
The outlook of prices on the global market shows an upward trend and therefore there was the need to seek government intervention to lower the levies to cushion consumers from feeling the full impact of these rising prices. The purpose of the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (PSRL) is to stabilize prices for consumers and pay for the subsidies on Premix Fuel and Residual Fuel Oil (RFO).
At this time it is important that the PSRL which is currently sixteen pesewas per liter (GHp16/Lt) on petrol, fourteen pesewas per litre (GHp14/Lt) on diesel, and fourteen pesewas per kilogram(GHp14/Kg) on LPG are zeroed to cushion consumers. The NPA will work with the Ministries of Energy and Finance to quicken the legislative processes to give immediate effect to this directive by the President. We are grateful to H.E. the President for granting the request to zero these levies to minimise the effect of rising prices of petroleum products on the world market on consumers in Ghana.
Signed
Corporate Affairs Department
Monday, 11th October 2021
NPA
Ghanaians are expected to enjoy some brief relief after this new development has been implemented.

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