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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Make corruption felony offense - Justice Short


Former Commissioner of Human Rights and Administration Justice (CHRAJ), Justice Emile
Short, has called for the amendment of the Criminal Offences Act to make corruption a high
crime rather than a misdemeanor.According to the former commisioner, the
definition of corruption in the Act gives it a very narrow scope that required an amendment to
give it a wider remit to deter culprits.Justice Short in an interview recently said
government would need to pass domestic legislation that would corroborate with the United Nations
(UN) protocol as part of measures to make theage-old canker unattractive.“A felony attracts a much higher sentence than a misdemeanor. The idea is to make the sentence forcorruption much higher to serve as a deterrent.The definition of corruption in the CriminalOffences Act is very narrow.Ghana has ratified the UN Convention against corruption and the African Convention for
combating corruption.“These two conventions, which were ratified in
2005, gave a much wider definition of corruption include things like illicit enrichment and
insider dealings. There is the need for Parliamentto pass domestic legislation to embrace this wider
definition,” he stated.Justice Short further appealed to government to
amend the Asset Declaration Law to ensure compliance.“There is the need to amend the Asset Declaration
Law to make it more effective because at themoment no institution has the mandate to check the
veracity of the declarations which are made and also the declarations are not made public,” he
noted, adding: “CHRAJ only has the mandate toinvestigate noncompliance.If the law is amended, it still could be made an offense(not to declare asse)] to make it more
stringent and effective but at the moment there is no provision that says that it’s a criminal
offense.”
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 INTRODUCTION
This study is intended to find out the impact of CSR activities on Union Savings and Loans competitive advantage. The various findings based on the objectives set out have been analysed and interpreted. This chapter concludes the study and gives recommendations and suggestions for further study.
5.2 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
According to the sampled data collected by means of interviews and questionnaires, a summary of findings is provided below.
Ø  DO CUSTOMERS GET REWARDS DUE TO BENEFITS FROM CSR ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY THE COMPANY
It was the interest of the researchers to find out if customers of Union Savings and Loans are rewarded from benefits the organization gets from CSR activities. Majority of the respondents constituting 78.6% said that customers do not get rewards due to benefits from CSR activities. However, the minority which constitutes 21.4% said customers are rewarded due to benefits from CSR activities. This conflicting response raised the interest of the researchers to find out why a percentage of the respondents said otherwise. Further findings showed that indeed customers do get rewards but not from benefits from CSR activities, rewards given to customers are based on all general strategies and business activities performed by the organization  to maintain their customers. This explains why some respondents said customers are rewarded probably they didn’t limit themselves to the question which focused on CSR. Union Savings and Loans reward their customers on benefits attained from general strategies employed by the organisation but not specifically CSR activities.

Ø  DOES USL ENJOY LOWER LITIGATION EXPENDITURE DUE TO ITS CSR ACTIVITIES
Smith argued that ‘cost and risk reductions may also be achieved through CSR activities aimed at the natural environment. In this case, initial investments tend to pay off over time, due to cost savings from a better and more rational management of natural resources, lower litigation expenditure and lower insurance costs. Cost and risk reductions can also be obtained when CSR focuses on managing community relations’. According to Smith, organizations that undertake CSR activities can reduce its cost and risk such as lower litigation expenditure and other costs. Statistics from the findings of the researchers showed that majority of the respondents consisting of 71.4% said that Union Savings and Loans’ does not enjoy lower ligitation expenditure due to its CSR activities.  However, minority of the respondents which constituted 28.6% said that the organization enjoy lower litigation expenditure. The researchers expected an all-round answer from respondents but the contradiction in the response of the respondents made the researchers to make further enquires to know why some percentage said otherwise though the views of the majority was considered. It was realized that some respondents didn’t understand the question and probably just answered without really going through due to their busy schedule.
The results of this findings contradict with theories by Smith which stipulates that firms that practice responsible business behaviour can reduce the cost and risk of the firm and among such reduction included litigation expenditure. Based on this information, it is possible that CSR activities undertaken by Union Savings and Loans are not acknowledged by the government to enable them enjoy such benefits or the government has simply refused to appreciate the positive business behaviour of the firm. Also the firm may not undertake CSR activities as often as the government expect for them to benefit. There is also a possibility that the country in which the firm operates do not appreciate firms that has the interest of the community at heart therefore conflicting with other theories relating to CSR activities with the business environment.

Ø  HAS  USL's CSR ACTIVITIES BEEN ABLE TO REDUCE ITS TAX RATE
Studies from some scholars argued that firms that practice CSR activities must enjoy certain tax advantages and decrease the level of regulations imposed on the firm. (Massino Baltagia et al ,2014) argued that ‘positive community relationships may contribute to attaining tax advantages for firms and to decreasing the level of regulation imposed on the firm, as the firm is perceived as a sanctioned member of society’. 
 Again, the findings showed that the firm does not enjoy lower tax rate from undertaking CSR activities. This analysis was seen in a statistics which confirmed majority of the respondents making 85.7% of the total respondents indicating that the firm do not benefit from tax advantages from the government. The minority which constitutes 14.3% of the respondents indicates that the firm enjoys a reduction in tax rate which contradicts with the majority’s response, probably because the minority had their own understanding of the question. This conflicts with theories above which indicated that positive community relationships contribute to attaining tax advantages for firms as the firm is perceived as a sanctioned member of society. Based on results from this findings and the contradiction to theories related to the study, it could be realized that the firm is lacking certain benefits that it must enjoy from the government which may be caused due to the fact that the firm has not been identified by the government as a firm that support communities or the possibility of the government overlooking the good works done by the firm and depriving the firm of such benefits.

Ø  DOES USL's CSR ACTIVITIES PLAY AN INSTRUMENTAL ROLE IN  YIELDING A HIGHER RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Some scholars are of the view that firms that undertake CSR activities can achieve a higher return on its investment due to the fact that the firm is emphatic and has the interest of the community at heart. Once the firm is seen as a responsible firm by society, it attracts investors thus yields a higher return on its investment. According to Smith , “cost and risk reductions may also be achieved through CSR activities aimed at the natural environment. In this case, initial investments tend to pay off over time, due to cost savings from a better and more rational management of natural resources, lower litigation expenditure and lower insurance costs. Cost and risk reductions can also be obtained when CSR focuses on managing community relations”. In this case, firms that practice CSR activities have the advantage of their initial investments been paid off over time due to their generous activities. Such responsible activities attract donors and sponsors to support the project and that helps the firm to yield a higher return on its investment.
 Based on the findings, majority of the respondents constituting 78.6% agreed that CSR activities undertaken by the firm resulted in a higher return of their investments. This results above corresponds with theories and argument raised by Smith in our study. This response proves that the firm is benefiting from undertaking CSR activities.

Ø  HOW OFTEN DOES USL UNDERTAKE CSR ACTIVITIES
The study aimed at achieving certain objectives and evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of corporate social responsibility as a tool for competitive strategy is one of the objectives which raised the question on how often USL undertakes their CSR activities. Based on the findings of the researchers, it was statistically proven by majority of the respondents constituting 50% of the total respondents that the firm undertakes CSR activities quite often. From further investigation, an interview with some members of the organisation proved that the firm undertakes CSR activities three times in a year thus in every four months a CSR activity is undertaken of which the researches where told by management is very effective. Some of the CSR activities the firm has undertaken include: Provision of equipment to Osu Children’s home, Provision of directional signs at various vantage points to the road safety commission, Donation of items to orphanages and care homes, donations to the Red Cross society, etc.

Ø  DOES USL's CSR ACTIVITIES AFFECT ITS COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
The purpose of this study was to find out the extent to which CSR activities has had an impact on Union Savings and Loans competitive advantage and as such raised one of the objectives of our study to determine how CSR activities affect the firms ‘competitive advantage.  In connection to this quest, the researchers findings centred on solving that puzzle and the findings indicated that CSR activities undertaken by the firm has a positive impact on its competitive advantage. This findings were confirmed by statistical information from respondents were majority making 78.6% said the CSR activities undertaken has a positive impact on its competitive advantage. Since this is seen as a responsible act from the firm by customers and having the community’s interest at heart, the firm tend to gain the loyalty of customers and therefore gives the firm an upper hand over its competitors. Also the firm is privileged to attract investors to support their project which makes the firm business activities more lucrative at the expense of its competitors who do not undertake CSR activities.

Ø       HOW PROFITABILITY IS  CSR ACTIVITIES TO USL
Again, it was the interest of the researchers to find out how profitable CSR activities are to the firm since profitability is the basis for measurement and as such necessitated the need for the question. Based on the findings, it was identified by the researchers that the firm’s CSR activities is relatively profitable, thus, the firm generates profit from other activities such as good customer care, branding, promotional activities, etc, to attract new customers and retain existing ones, developing high demand for product and services among others leading to a higher return on investment. Majority of the respondents consisting of 71.4% said that CSR activities are relatively profitable. But the researcher believe that CSR activities can be very profitable and attractive because CSR activities attract investors, sponsors and sometimes support from government. The firm can capitalize on such an opportunity to undertake more CSR activities which will open doors for more investors which will surely result in higher profitability.
                              
Ø  HOW FAR HAS USL'S CSR STRATEGIES HELPED TO BUILD TRUST WITH CUSTOMERS?
One of the important objectives of the study is to find out how CSR activities have helped to build trust and loyalty with customers.
In an interview with some members of management, the manager Mr Fred Agyare-Mettle when asked about how CSR activities has helped to build trust with customers said that “Corporate Social Responsibility activities has made customers to believe that Union Savings and Loans has the interest of the customers and society at heart and has helped the organization to gain the trust of customers because they see the organization as a responsible one. CSR activities has not only helped build the trust with customers but it has created an avenue for the firm to announce its presence to society which has led to the firm being recognized and it has enhance the reputation of the firm.  What the manager said clearly shows that the firm has gained the trust of customers and has also gained the loyalty of customers and has even possibly attracted new customers probably by word of mouth because of their support to society and communities in which they operate and the good reputation the firm has gained.

Ø  TO WHAT EXTENT HAS USL'S CSR ACTIVITIES GAINED THE TRUST AND SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENT
In an interview with one of the members of management, the researchers asked to what extent the firm has gained the trust and support of government from their CSR activities. Mr Kwabena Osei-Kuffour in his explanations said that, “well, special agencies are created with whom we liase anytime. Also the government involves participation of government officials in organizational ceremonies such as unveiling new branches. From what Mr. Osei-Kuffour Said, it seems the government’s support to the firms’ CSR activities is not very encouraging since they only support during unveiling of new branches. (Massino Baltagia et al, 2014) argued that positive community relationships may contribute to attaining tax advantages for firms and to decreasing the level of regulation imposed on the firm, as the firm is perceived as a sanctioned member of society.  The researchers think the government can do better by financially supporting projects that the firm undertakes which will benefit the community and the society at large and also decrease level of regulations imposed on the firm and give the firm the benefit of enjoying certain tax advantages.

Ø  TO WHAT EXTENT HAVE USL’S CSR ACTIVITIES IMPROVED LONG-TERM SHAREHOLDER VALUES?
As part of the researchers quest to know the extent to which Union Savings and Loans’ CSR activities has led to improvement in long-term shareholder values, the researcher asked the manager and  he said, ‘Union Savings and Loans’ CSR activities has improved our shareholder values due to the fact that the firms customer based has increased making business more lucrative which has resulted in shareholders commitment and trust. Our giving back to society, has positively helped the organization to gain the trust of customers and have again attracted new clients. We hope to win potential clients soon to add more to our customer base. The response from the manager shows that CSR activities has positively affected their business by increasing their customer base which has resulted in improving long-term shareholder value and the researchers believes that this positive impact will surely give the firm an advantage over its competitors and also attract more investors which will boost the business activities of the firm thereby increasing profitability.

Ø  HOW OFTEN DOES USL UNDERTAKE CSR ACTIVITIES?
It is imperative for the researcher to know how often the firm undertakes CSR activities and thus was included in their objectives in other to ascertain effectiveness and efficiency of CSR activities. In an interview with Mr Agyare-Mettle,he said that, “ CSR activities  is done quarterly in a year which is very effective with initial proceedings from our head office at dzorwulu. According to Mr. Agyare-mettle, the firm undertakes CSR activities quarterly that is thrice a year and at most three times in a year. In the researcher’s opinion, the firm does not undertake CSR activities as often as it could have.

Ø  HOW PROFITABLE IS THE STRATEGY (CSR) TO USL?
One of the important objective of the research was to find out if CSR activities is profitable to the organization. This question was answered by one of the members of management. According to him, CSR activities is relatively profitable because it has led to the firm acquiring a good image and reputation which can be used as a good marketing tool. However, CSR activities does not solely generate profit for the organization. Other strategies and activities are put in place which generates profit for the firm. Among such strategies are customer care, developing high demand for product and services, branding, etc.

Ø  APART FROM CSR AS A STRATEGY EMPLOYED TO GAIN COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE, WHAT OTHER STRATEGIES ARE EMPLOYED BY USL TO INCREASE PROFITABILITY?
In order for the researchers to get information to solve the problem that necessitated the study, the question above was considered an important objective. When the researchers asked the manager of other strategies that are employed to increase profitability apart from CSR activities, he explained by saying, ‘ Union Savings and Loans has various strategies they apply in increasing profitability, we develop a high demand for our products and services. That is to say that we make our offers more attractive and appealing to our clients which gives us an upper hand over our competitors and also we are able to make a good brand. Customers like to hear and see good things that will benefit them so we make sure that we are able to meet the needs of our clients and satisfy them profitably. Per the information given by the gentleman, it could be realized that Union Savings and Loans focuses on customer satisfaction which the researchers believe is an advantage because there is a saying in marketing that ‘ the customer is the business and also the customer is always king in business.’’ The researchers believe that the firm undertakes an intensive research into the market to know what their customers need and this has helped the firm to gain competitive advantage over its competitors which has resulted in the firms’ increase in profitability.

Ø  HOW DO USL’S CSR ACTIVITIES GUARANTEE BRAND LOYALTY?
One of the objectives of the study was to find out how CSR activities guarantee brand loyalty. In an interview with the marketing manager, he said, ‘corporate social responsibility activities has helped the organization to be recognized as a responsible member of society and has gained the loyalty of existing customers and new customers.
The organizations CSR activities is targeted at communities and surrounding communities where it operates and that has led to the firm enjoying brand loyalty from customers. The response from the marketing manager shows that indeed CSR activities has been helpful to the firm and has also improve the brand of the organization.

Lastly the findings show that, through CSR activities undertaken by the firm, they have gained the trust of customers, increase their customer base, and has succeeded in achieving a good brand name and developing a high demand for products and services which has resulted in the increase in profitability.

5.3 CONCLUSION
Based on the aims and objectives of the research, it could be concluded that Union Savings and Loans CSR activities has a positive impact on its competitive advantage and it is relatively profitable. Thou the firm does not generate a great percentage of profits from CSR activities and also does not enjoy certain benefits from government such as tax advantages, lower litigation, etc., it has succeeded in obtaining a good brand name and reputation. The firm has also through its responsible business behaviour achieved a sense of fulfilment in giving back to society in which it operates. Most importantly the firm has through its CSR activities gained a competitive advantage of its competitors as the firm has been able to achieve brand loyalty, increase its


customer base and also improve its relationship with shareholders in a way of long-term shareholder values.
In a nut shell, it is imperative for the firm to be up to date with their CSR activities and undertake CSR activities as often as possible and also maintain the customers they have gained by meeting their needs and also providing attractive offers that will keep the customers and always have a competitive edge over other competitors.

5.4 RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on the findings from this study, CSR activities is done quarterly by the firm. The firm should increase how often they undertake CSR activities. CSR activities could be undertaken once in two months making it six times in a year which would cover almost all the regions in which they operate. This may help the firm to meet the needs of the larger society and also create an opportunity for the firm to enjoy all benefits they are lacking from the government such as tax advantages and lower litigation costs.
The government should support organizations that undertake CSR activities by sponsoring such firms and also put up an initiative that will reduce the tax rate of such organisations since their CSR activities goes a long way to benefiting the society and relieving the government of those responsibilities.
We will also edge the organisation to research thoroughly into benefits they can derive for undertaking CSR activities from the government. They are probably not enjoying these benefits perhaps because they do not know about it.
We will suggest that the organization should involve customers in their CSR activities at least that will put money in the pocket of people and create employment for the unemployed. For instance, the firm can hire customers to help in attending a CSR activity such as cleaning a particular community and is much easier since Union Savings and Loans is part of the Jospong group of companies which includes Zoomlion Company limited, where workers of Zoomlion receive their salaries directly from USL, making them customers of the organisation. This will be an opportunity for these workers who earn lower income get extra monies into their pockets when included in most of these clean up exercises.




5.5    CHAPTER SUMMARY
This chapter deals with the findings of the study which answers the objectives of the study, conclusion and recommendations which will help overcome the lapses in the study. It is the believe of the researchers that, these recommendations will go a long to solving the conflicts between our findings and objectives and literature review

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Nice tourist site Ghanaina need to visit this Month

The month of March is Ghana's independent month Ghanaian need to see the beautiful site  of the country by visiting lovely tourist site in the country .
West Africa's highest waterfall sprinkle into a small pool. next to the waterfall some 600 straw-white bats nest. Volta region
The Volta Region is one of the ten administrative Regions in Ghana. The Region is unique in the sense that it is the longest of all Regions considering its North-to-South-extension.
It contains all types of landscapes and vegetation that can be found in other parts of Ghana such as coast, lagoons, southern savannah, northern savannah, mountains, waterfalls and a large part of the Volta Lake. Because of its natural and cultural diversity, the Region is also called Ghana’s Microcosm.
Administrative Capital Ho, estimated population: 84,066 in 2010
Regional Population 2,118,252 in 2010, annual average intercensal growth rate: 2.5%
Political Administration 25 Municipal and District Assemblies
Location • 5°45’N and 8°45’N
  • borders: North – Northern Region, South – Gulf of Guinea, West – Volta Lake and East – Republic of Togo
Main settlement agglomerations
Ho, Hohoe, Kpando, Denu, Aflao,Kete Krachi, Peki, Kadjebi, Juapong, Sogakope, Jasikan
Land and population
20,570 km2 (5th largest Region), 8.6 % of the total share of population (8th largest Region), pop. density: 103 per/km2, rural pop.: 66.3%, average household size: 4.2
Climate and Vegetation
Tropical climate, characterized by rainy and dry seasons and moderate temperatures, 21-32° Celsius (70 – 90°F) for most of the year. Rainy seasons are from April to July and September to November.
The Region spans all the vegetation zones of the country:
  • Mangrove swamps and adjoining arid coastal plains in the south
  • Semi-deciduous forest zone and savanna woodland in the centre
  • The Northern Savanna or Guinea Savanna
TOPOGRAPHY
Middle and northern belts mainly mountainous, spotting Ghana’s highest peak Afadzato (885m). South is flat with marshy and sandy portions. Coastal areas have low-lying altitude from less than 15 meters above sea level.
Drainage
Volta Basin as the Region’s most important drainage system with 8.500 square km. The northern and middle belts have rivers Oti, Asukawkaw, Menuso, Dayi all flowing into the Volta Lake. The river Alabo and Tordzi are in the southern belt.
Soils
Major soils: savannah ochrosols, sandy coastal soils, tropical grey earth and regolistic groundwater laterites, topohydric and Luthochronic Earth. Soil type’s ranges: between heavy clay to sandy loams, heavy clay loams, sandy loams and alluvial soils

PHYSICAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT TOPOGRAPHY
The Region is divided into three geographical belts. The middle and northern belts are mainly mountainous where the highest peak in the country; Mount Afadja (885m) is located. The southern belt is flat with marshy and sandy portions.
These coastal areas have low-lying altitude from less than 15 meters above sea level. The major kinds of land use in the Region are: • Forest reserves/water sheds 732.30 sq.km
• Volta Lake and water bodies 3360.00 sq.km
• Lagoon Areas 330.00 sq.km

TOURISM
Main tourist attractions of the Region The Volta Region, also called Ghana’s microcosm, contains an impressive variety of natural and cultural attractions, though it is yet relatively underdeveloped for tourism.
Tourism is growing in the Region as visitors discover the Region’s beauty and variety. Fascinating mountainous landscapes with overwhelming views over the Lake Volta, beautiful waterfalls, natural game reserves, lagoons and sandy beaches make the Region unique. The Voltaians are known for being welcoming and friendly to their visitors.
Only 2 hours away from Accra, the Region is especially interesting as a recreational destination for short and weekend trips as well as conference tourism. It is important to note that several tourists use the Aflao Border in the Ketu South District as a transit point.
Ho The Regional capital serves often as a starting point for tours to the attractions in the surrounding area. The town has good value hotels and gastronomy. The recently renovated Regional Museum gives a closer insight into the history of the Region.
The Kalakpa Resource Reserve and the Adaklu Mountain fascinate nature lovers.
Wli/Agumatsa Waterfalls
One of the most important tourist attractions of the Region are the Wli Waterfalls. These waterfalls are said to be the highest and most spectacular in West Africa.
The Wli Falls are located a twenty-minute drive away from Hohoe at the edge of the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary. The water falls from a height of about 1,600 feet, into a plunge pool where swimming is permitted.
The Volta Lake Lake Volta and, to a lesser extent, the Volta River dominate the Region. It is an area of great scenic beauty, with river and ocean beaches and picnic spots shaded by palm trees.
Overwhelming views fascinate visitors. The attractive small town Kpando has the Region’s most important River port.
Mount Gemi/Amedzofe
The former German mission Amedzofe is situated in the Avatime Hills with around 40 km distance of Ho. Mount Gemi one of the highest mountains in the country can easily be climbed and offers amazing views over the width as far as Lake Volta. Another highlight is the Amedzofe Waterfall.
Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
This Sanctuary is one of the most successful examples of community based tourism development in the Region. The sanctuary has a large number of Mona Monkeys which are considered sacred.
During guided nature walks through the reserved forest, you will be able to meet the monkeys and feed them as well.
Mount Afadza Afadzato
Is the highest peak in the country (885m above sea level). It hosts a remarkable variety of butterflies, relic populations of mammals and bird species. The tour to the top will take you on the average 2 hours depending on your speed and strength and you will be rewarded with great scenic views. The close Tagbo Falls are also worth a visit.
Golden Beaches
The Region’s 60 km coastline stretches from the Volta River to the Togolese border and boasts white, palm fringed and sandy beaches. Fort Prinzenstein, a former slave castle is situated in the beautiful town of Keta which is worth a visit. Cape St. Paul at Woe is said to be the oldest lighthouse in the country.
Keta Lagoon/Ramsar Site The Keta area includes the Keta Lagoon, Ghana’s largest saltwater wetlands, designated as a “site of international importance”. It is 40 km long and 8 km wide and is the most important site for marine birds in Ghana. It is therefore a birdwatcher’s paradise.




Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Angry NPP Chairman Nana Asafoatse Badu threw away food for pupils

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Amenfi East Constituency Chairman, Nana Asafoatse Badu shocked people present at Wassa Akropong Presby Primary school, when out of anger he threw away food that had been prepared for pupils under the school feeding programme.
According to reports, Nana Asafoatse Badu had a brawl with his wife who happens to be the caterer for the school early in the morning before she left home for work.

The respected politician is said to have claimed that since he secured the catering job for his wife, he’ll teach her a lesson as she has disrespected him.

He reportedly stormed the school in a fit of rage, arriving at a time that the food had been cooked and just about to be served to the children and started throwing the food away, much to the surprise of on-lookers.

His unfortunate action left the pupils having to starve as no food was left for them.

The NPP Amenfi East Chairman of Council of Elders,” Nana Amuni who confirmed the incident in an interview with Kasapa FM, condemned the Chairman’s reprehensible action.

“There are certain things or action that when you’re a public figure one must never do. It’s so shameful that a whole constituency chairman couldn’t comport himself and rather behaved in such manner. Why should innocent pupils suffer and study on empty stomachs just because he has a problem with his wife. This is so bad and must be condemned in no uncertain terms.”
Meanwhile, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) branch in the constituency are calling on the NPP to immediately sanction the chairman for his action.