The Citizen Watch, one of the leading think tank groups in the country has reservedly kicked against the privatization of the various business advisory centres and calling for its reversal as a matter of urgency.
This, according to the Citizen Watch, forfeits the purpose of their establishment and it would be very prudent if the Ministry of Trade reconsider this decision.
In press statement issued in Accra and signed by Francis Mensah, the Convener of the Citizen Watch said the decision was not well thought through with regard to its implications, adding that it would serve in the interest of everyone if it is reserved.
The statement explained that the various advisory centers are a public place where anyone can go and seek business assistance, but the moment its privatized people would pick and chose who to serve and those with influence would be the ones in the lead.
“Privatizing it means you are denying the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) what their responsibilities are. You can form a partnership with them as a consultant but not take out the role of the government, since the government uses that channel as conduit to meet the private sector” the statement said.
“The government institutions must work with the support of the private and not the other way round. If government machineries are not working and you give it to the private sector, what’s would be the end point, especially when this is the link between the government and the private sector. Government operations are very critical to private sector development. There is suppose to be check between the private sector and the government, so when you give it to the private sector who would play the check role now. There wouldn’t be any social commitment”, the statement said
There are unconfirmed reports that the various advisory boards are likely to be hand over to EMPRETEC –a company which the Minister of Trade and industries Hon Alan Kyeremateng was a founding member.
The Ministry of Trade and Industries (MoTI) as part of a new policy directive is to privatize the operations of various Business Advisory Centers (BACs)/ Business Resource Centers (BRCs) built by Government of Ghana through the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) and other partners under the auspices of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
The Government had secured an undisclosed amount of loan for the construction and upgrading of about 70 BACs. Currently, 67 centers are being constructed to a standard fit for purpose Business Resource Centers (BRCs) in a number of MMDAs in Ghana.
The BACs/BRCs are simply office buildings that one can visit at the district level to obtain any information about SMEs and SMEs development. These buildings contain offices, showrooms and conference halls for the operations of all the NBSSI district agencies. In other words, BACs/BRCs are deemed to be the NBSSI district offices. The BRCs, therefore, are one-stop-shop for business development services at the districts.
The whole idea behind the construction of the BRCs under the auspices of NBSSI was to enable the agency to provide business incubation activities, business counselling and consulting as well as other technical business training for entrepreneurs at the grassroots levels across MMDAs in the country.
The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) is a statutory government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industries (MoTI) which was established by an Act of parliament (Act 434 1981). The principal mandate of the agency was to amongst others facilitate the implementation of business development services for Ghanaians in a way that could help promote Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) development and growth so as to contribute significantly to reducing unemployment and support the country’s economic growth.
Source: Elikem Agbenyegah
How to Apply for Tax Identification Number (TIN) Online in Ghana
As part of their efforts to digitize Ghana’s economy, President Akufo Addo and his administration introduced a new taxation system known as TIN. It promises to revolutionize how taxes are collected in Ghana. This post shall teach you how to apply for tax identification number (TIN) online in Ghana. The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has its motto like “little drops of taxes make a mighty nation”. A smart tagline indeed!
The Government has explained that apart from serving as a medium for tax collection, the new TIN will find uses in many spheres of our lives. Apparently, without a TIN, you can’t register a business, clear goods at the ports, create a bank account — just to name a few. This means it’s important for all Ghanaian taxpayers and would-be taxpayers to acquire their TINs to avoid getting stranded in the last-minute.
An online application for your Tax Identification Number will spare you the inconvenience involved in going to the GRA offices to register for your TIN. In the online application process, you are supposed to scan your ID card and fill some online forms.
TIN is a unique ID number assigned to Ghanaian taxpayers. Launched somewhere in the 2019/2020 academic year, the idea was originally conceived by the Akufo-Addo’s government who mandated the Ghana Revenue Authority to issue the TIN cards to Ghanaians.
What’s TIN Required for?
You will need a TIN number to access services offered by the following public institutions.
- GRA (Ghana Revenue Authority)
- District Assemblies
- Controller & Accountant General Department
- Registrar General Department
- All government institutions prescribed by legislative instruments.
How to Use TIN in Ghana
Believe it or not, the tax ID number is becoming a must-have document for even the ordinary Ghanaians. So, Who Qualifies to Apply for TIN?
The Ghana Revenue Authority has declared that the following people are all qualified to register for TIN in Ghana.
- Income-earning Ghanaians with taxable income
- Ghanaians who usually clear goods at the ports & factories
- People seeking to register land titles
- Ghanaians looking for tax clearance certificates
- Entrepreneurs seeking to register their companies
- Those who require permits from their district assemblies.
- Those who receive their payments from the Controller & Accountant-General Department
- Customers who want to open new bank accounts
- Passport applicants
Requirements for Online TIN Registration in Ghana
- Full Name
- Email Address
- Scanned Color copy of your valid ID card such as a Driver’s license and a Voter ID. File formats supported — .PDF, . jpeg, .jpg. The file size should not exceed 1 MB.
NB: there is no need for a Ghana Passport
How to Apply for Your TIN Online in Ghana
- Visit the GRA registration portal
- Input your personal details and create a strong password
- Click on the “Add” button to upload your scanned ID
- Click on “Register”. A registration request will be sent to your email
- Check your mail to confirm the request and proceed with the registration
- After the system has verified your email and ID document, you can choose to print a copy of your registration details
- Next, you will receive an email which explains extra info about the registration. Click on the link in the email to continue with the registration.
- Enter your email and the password used earlier. Click on “Register”.
- A page will open up for you to fill in your personal details, contact info, address, ID info, tax info, and an individual summary. Remember to save the details on each tab.
- Once you finish that, click to submit your form. Assuming it all goes well, you should receive your within TIN two weeks or even less.
- Congratulations! You have just signed up for TIN in Ghana.
Things to Note About TIN Registration in Ghana
- If you use your Ghana Card to sign up for TIN, you may get your TIN number with immediate effect. However, it may take a longer time for the GRA to verify other ID documents before issuing you a TIN.
- You can also apply by downloading the TIN form. Next, fill and submit it manually to a nearby Domestic Tax Revenue Office. Or, send it as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org
- For support services, contact the GRA by sending a mail to email@example.com or through telephone number 0302904546.
As long as you are a Ghanaian, it’s better you get a TIN. After all, you can’t predict when and where you will need it.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in Ghana, the government listed TIN as a requirement for people seeking to benefit from the Coronavirus relief fund. That tells you that you need to know how to apply for tax identification number (TIN) online in Ghana. Use the steps discussed here, and you’ll get your TIN right away.
Genevive Ocansey Writes: The Mining Sector During Economic Challenges -Ghana and Emerging Markets
Ghana was called the Gold Coast prior to independence because of its rich deposits of gold and other minerals. Till date those rich natural resources deposits in gold, bauxite and other minerals are present and in 2019, the World Bank reported that gold was included in Ghana’s top three main export commodities.
Mineral and mining activities in Ghana is not only beneficial to the nation but also to investors and stakeholders in the mining industry. The economic challenges faced globally due to the recent health pandemic has negatively impacted many sectors, However, while there are restructuring and plans for recovery for these challenges globally, price and production of gold and other minerals appear to be steadily climbing back to normal trends.
The Ghana Chamber of Mines reported that in 2019, mining and quarrying were products that attributed to the increased GDP for the country and that the shipment of manganese and Bauxite increased in 2019 due to operational improvement.
Investors can be assured that mining production and revenue in Ghana is on target to continue to provide revenue and profit for their investment. As the leading exporter of gold production in Africa (after overtaking South Africa in 2018), Ghana is expected to continue its dominance in Africa after the Ashanti Gold Obuasi mines bounced back in January 2020 after nearly two years of being non-operational. It is also worth noting the importance of small-scale mining, which is reserved for nationals as contributors to mineral production and revenue for Ghana’s mineral sector.
Legal and Fiscal Regime Contributions
In Ghana, the mining industry is regulated by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. The implementation and administration of policies that govern the industry is the responsibility of the Minerals Commission.
For a foreign investor interested in conducting business in the Mining industry, they must first comply with the Ghana Investment Promotion Center,(GIPC) Act 2013 (Act 865), thereafter the main legislations are the Ghana Minerals and Mining Act 2006 (Act 703) as amended by Minerals and Mining Amendment Act (Act 900), and the Minerals and Mining Regulations LI 2167 (2012).
These legal frameworks provide great incentives to investors and additionally protects small-scale mining. These laws have provided investors with the stability that a country needs to attract investors, thus despite the challenges that other sectors have had to grapple with, the mining sector will continue to perform and have a positive impact on the GDP and economic growth.
With African countries relying heavily on their natural resources for economic development, an attractive fiscal regime is key for foreign investment.
Equatorial Guinea, one of the top oil-producing countries in Africa, has recently granted mining concessions to foreign companies to begin the prospection and exploration of minerals following the country’s successful first mining bidding round held last year. It’s a legal framework, the Mining Law of Equatorial Guinea (2006) and recently published a new regulatory framework is focused on providing investors with the fiscal environment they seek before investing in a developing country.
Foreign Investors must ensure prudent procedure and due process is adhered to when making the choice to invest in Africa, for example in Ghana Article 268(1) of the 1992 Constitution requires that Parliament must ratify any mining lease granted to a mining company. Ghana’s Supreme Court in the case of Republic v High Court, Accra Ex parte Exton Cubic Group Ltd J5/40/2018 (unreported), recently affirmed this, thus resulting in a purported mining lease to Exton Cubic being declared invalid.
To the extent that mining has resultant environment considerations, a holder of a license or lease before undertaking any mining activity must additionally obtain the necessary permits and approvals from the Forestry Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency (which ensures environmental health and safety standards are adhered to), and the Water Resources Commission.
Mining companies are subject to fiscal regimes such as corporate tax of 35%, capital gains tax of 15%, a withholding tax of 15% and a capital allowance of 20% for 5 years. The ground rents, property rates and mineral right fees are payable as prescribed by Regulations. Royalties of 3-6% of mining revenue obtained are also payable.
Mining Companies are given exemptions from paying customs duty, Value Added Tax (VAT) and National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) on plant, machinery, equipment and accessories imported specifically and exclusively for the mineral operation. The staff of mining companies may be granted exemption from income tax payment if their furnished accommodation is provided at the mine site and expatriate employees may also be exempted from tax payable on money transferred outside Ghana.
In order to realize the full benefits from the mining sector, the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act, 2018 (Act 978) (the “Fund Act”) was passed. The Act was passed to hold and manage the mining company equity interests of the Republic, receive mineral royalty revenues due from mining operations, and provide for the management and investment of the assets of the MIIF.
In 2019, the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) was established. GIADEC commenced a three Round Investor engagement process aimed at identifying strategic investors for the three main sectors of the Aluminium industry namely, mining, refining, and smelting. This is to enhance private sector participation in the sub-sector and revamp the entire Aluminium value chain in the country.
Local Content is prevalent in the mining industry. Excluding foreign participation in small-scale mining provides great opportunities for indigenous Ghanaians and that has served as a guaranteed employment source in these critical times. Ghanaian companies are also given preference in the supply of goods and provide services to the mining companies.
Social Responsibility is a very important and critical role of Mining companies. Mining Companies must not only ensure compliance of all regulations, they must be involved in the responsibility of developing the communities they operate in and should participate in the funding of projects in their communities.
Ghana continues to play an important role in the global production of minerals and mining and one expects nothing less in 2020 despite the challenges from the pandemic. Investors can be assured of a robust and stable environment to operate.
(Managing Partner; G&G and Associates)
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