Govt to review taxes and duties on some food imports

Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Saturday served notice that government will in the near future review taxes and duties that were taken off some food imports in order to allow local farmers to compete. Speaking at the 20th National Marketing Performance Awards of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG), Mr Mahama said government's aim was to reduce drastically the food import bill, especially in areas that the country had the comparative advantage to produce. He said the Small and Medium Enterprises sector was in danger of losing out on the gains that it had made over the years because of the current adverse economic environment caused by lack of prudence in the management of the economy in the past three years. He reiterated government's commitment to maintain fiscal discipline to ensure a stable and predictable environment for the local private sector, adding that the steps taken since January had begun to yield results. Touching on the awards, Vice-President Mahama charged award winning companies to examine their operations carefully and determine the metrics that was the most appropriate for their specific organizations. He said the chosen metrics must enable executives to gather and analyse basic market data, measure the core factors that drive their business models, analyse the profitability of individual customer accounts and optimize resource allocation among increasingly competing and fragmented requirements. The Vice President lauded the efforts of the institute in instilling best marketing practices and pledged government's support to enable the CIMG complete the process of localizing the marketing profession so that members played a much more relevant role in achieving the country' vision. Besides, government would also assist the CIMG incorporate into the curriculum new marketing standards and course content that would reflect the aspiration of companies in the country. Mrs Josephine Okutu, National President CIMG, said the turbulent world economies required that countries adopt appropriate policies that would protect their economies against the shocks being experienced the world over. She said CIMG had constantly appraised the selection procedure and other areas of the awards scheme to respond to changing situations within corporate Ghana. In response, there have been visible improvements, culminating in a new addition of marketing Practitioner Award in order to give recognition to the efforts of marketing practitioners. Mr Kwame Achampong-Kyei, Chairman GLICO Group of Companies was adjudged the marketing man of the year 2008 while Mrs Norkor Dua, Managing Director Lowe Lintas took the coveted price of the Marketing Woman of the Year 2008. The award for the marketing student of the year went to Mr Cedric McAddy, Head, External Marketing of the Ghana Commercial Bank. Mr George Andah, Chief Marketing Officer MTN took the Marketing Practitioner of the year 2008. Three companies were also inducted to the CIMG Hall of Fame, which is reserved for organizations that have won the awards for three times. The 2008 inductees were Toyota Ghana Limited, Melcom Limited and State Insurance Company. There were no awards for the ICT and Retail companies of the Year because of the inability of the nominated companies to meet the required criteria.