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16.06.2005 Business & Finance

Companies present 30bn cedis to Govt


Accra, June 16, GNA - Three companies on Thursday presented cheques, totalling about 30 billion cedis as Government's dividend in 2004. The Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) paid a dividend of 19.1 billion cedis, Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) 7.5 billion cedis and the Ghana Re-insurance, three billion cedis.

Mr Kwabena Gyimah Osei-Bonsu, Board Chairman of GCB, said the Bank through resilience and innovative measures adopted by the Management was able to ensure an impressive performance last year. He said apart from the dividend, the Bank had also paid Corporate and Dividend Taxes as well as National Reconstruction Levy all amounting to 116 billion cedis, bringing GCB's total contribution to national revenue to 135.1 billion cedis for last year.

The Bank made a profit before tax of 234 billion cedis during the year while total assets grew by 10 per cent from 5,094.68 billion cedis in 2003 to 5,607.0 billion cedis in 2004. Mr Osei Bonsu said the Bank would continue to fulfil its obligations to shareholders and improve on its services to clients as well as respond to national responsibility appropriately.

Mr Paul Koranteng, Board Chairman of ADB, underscored the Banks commitment to the promotion of agricultural programmes to meet the country's development agenda. He said the Bank would this year channel a total of 1.4 trillion cedis into the agricultural sector, including programmes on agro-based industrial and agri-business as its contribution to enhance national food security and create employment and incomes in the rural communities.

Mr Koranteng said the Bank was actively considering a special maize production scheme to help build adequate capacity for the production of broilers for the poultry sub-sector and a youth-in-agriculture programme to help address the high level of unemployment in the country. To make the programme a success, he said the Bank would provide all inputs and resources as well as offer assistance to enable the youth to stay and concentrate on agriculture production.

Mr Sampson Nuamah, Managing Director of Ghana Reinsurance Company, said the Company was paying an interim dividend of three billion cedis because the financial statement of the companies had not been prepared due to what he described as 'technical reasons'. Receiving the cheque, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance, said the dividend payment represented a strong signal of good management skills the Boards of Directors of the Companies employed. He said to be able to meet its development agenda the Government needed to harness revenue from all sources to meet its obligations.

Mr Baah-Wiredu lauded the ADB for its programme to boost poultry production, saying it was a signal that the Government had not abandoned the industry and pledged the Government's support and assistance for the programme. Mr Baah-Wiredu urged the three institutions to adopt the best corporate governance and management practices to avoid scandals that had recently hit the corporate world.