CEO of PEF, Nana Osei Bonsu

The Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) is asking the government to tread cautiously over plans to re-open the country’s airports for international travel.  

Speaking on PM Express Business Edition August 20, it's Chief Executive Nana Osei Bonsu noted that even though all businesses are looking forward to the quick opening of the boarders including Kokota International Airport.

"I don’t want us pushing the government to do this when we are not ready

“I don’t think that looking at the situation right now we what it takes to actually handle the huge traffic as a result of opening the borders,” he said.


President Akufo-Addo during his recent update on the lockdown noted he is currently reviewing proposals for the opening of the country’s airport.

According to the president, he has instructed the Ministry of Aviation, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and the Ghana Airports Co. Ltd., have been working, with the Ministry of Health and its agencies, to ascertain our readiness to reopen our airport.

The President in his address noted that he wants to ensure that we are in a position to test every single passenger that arrives in the country to avoid the spread of the virus.

Akufo-Addo added that the outcome of that exercise will show us the way, and determine when we can reopen our border by air.

“I am hoping that, by God’s grace, we will be ready to do so by 1st September,” the President said.

Reduction in COVID-19 Active cases and easing of restrictions

The Chief Executive of the PrivateEnterprise federation Nana Osei Bonsu maintained that if the latest Covid-19 test numbers are a reflection on the ground they are excited by this development.

“We don’t want to challenge the current arrangements, that’s if the numbers are supported by data."

He added that we definitely want to see our workers and members come to work, there we will support any decision from authorities if it’s supported by data.

On business response to COVID19, he added that some of the businesses have not been strategic, a development that has slowed down their recovery.

Ghana Revenue Authority and the Private Enterprise Federation

It appears the Ghana Revenue Authority is back on the “road” again ensuring that every business meets its tax obligation.

However, for most of the businesses that are yet to fully pick up from the COVID-19 shocks, this is a real challenge.

Speaking PM Express Business Edition, Nana Osei Bonsu maintained that most members of the Private Enterprise Federation are being harassed by the Ghana Revenue Authority, which he believes is not well placed, especially when most of them are yet to recover to from the novel coronavirus. 

The boss of the Private Enterprise Federation Boss noted that they have made some formal proposals to finance ministry and parliament pushing for tier tax payment by businesses in the country. 

He believes that his should to a long way to deal with the numerous challenges faced by businesses when it comes to meeting their tax obligations.

Developments in the Bank sector and Private Business  

The Bank of Ghana recently released a Banking Sector report on fraud cases in the country. 

The report showed that reported cases have gone up by some 5 percent to reach over 2 thousand cases from the 2018 cases. Some have put the blame squarely on the commercial banks, arguing that it has been influenced by the “craze for supernormal profits and unrealistic targets.

But the Chief Executive of the Private Enterprise Federation, Nana  Osei Bonsu does not seem to support all these arguments. He wants to put the blame rather on the supervision of the banking sector.

Mr Osei Bonsu believes that the situation could have better if the regulator was tough on these commercial banks.

Payment of Locked up funds and Businesses

 The Chief Executive of the Private Enterprise Federation noted that it’s just unacceptable over the payment of locked up funds.

He noted that there are some businesses that are still struggling to operate, adding that’s some of their members are considering legal action against government over the release of their funds.

“They are doing this because they are targeting those who appointed him like the Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

This legal action would, however, be based on further delays in payment of the funds.

The PEF boss is also doubting the figures being put out by the receiver in terms of the number of persons and businesses that have been paid so far while questing how the bond payment has also been structured. 

He is worried that the development could affect confidence in the banking sector.

“Remember, that some 56 years ago something similar happened, people with more than 55 thousand cedis in their accounts were considered criminals and a lot of people lost their monies, their relatives don’t want to hear anything about banking,” he said.

However, what is happing now, could remind the young generations of past developments.

 AfCFTA and Private Enterprise Federation

President Akufo Addo earlier this week handed over the African Free Trade Agreement AfCFTA. This is expected to help to aid the full takeoff of the pact from January 20201 by African countries that have signed up to the Agreement.

Nana Osei Bonsu said the deal is what most African countries including Ghana had been waiting, describing as a good initiative for private businesses as well. He however advised that Ghanaians businesses must take steps to build themselves up to take advantage of the expected benefits that come off with this deal.

 Retail Trading in Ghana and Foreigners

 The Chief Executive of the Private Enterprise Federation advised foreign firms and traders to abide by the country’s investment laws, insisting that Ghana does not bar foreign from trading in our retail, but argued they just have to abide by our laws which set conditions for trading in that area.

"There are a lot of foreign firms that are currently operating in Ghana’s retail market just because they are complying with our rules and regulations."

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.