Business News of 2014-02-07

GCNet presents dividend to gov’t

Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) has presented an interim dividend of GH¢4 million to Government for its 2013 operations.

The payment was in respect of Government’s equity stake in GCNet, which is held by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

The payment brings the total dividend payment made to Government through the GRA shareholding in GCNet to GH¢67 million over the past decade.

Besides the GRA interim dividend, Government has also received indirect dividend through interim dividend payments made to the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GH¢2 million) and Ghana Commercial Bank (GH¢ 1 million) from GCNet’s 2013 operations.

The dividend was presented by the Deputy Managing Director of GCNet, Emmanuel Darko to the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Cassiel Ato Forson.

Mr. Darko observed that the 2013 interim dividend payment was relatively low in comparison with dividend payments made the previous years.

He expressed the hope that the declaration of a final dividend would augment the interim dividend paid so far.

He also pointed out that GCNet had over the past two years invested nearly US$25 million in the automation of the Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD) of the GRA and the Registrar-General’s Department.

Although the investment had been funded largely from GCNet internally generated funds, this had affected the quantum of distributable income available for payment to its Shareholders as dividend.

Mr. Darko further pledged GCNet’s support towards the revenue mobilization efforts of Government.

After receiving the cheque for the interim dividend, Mr Forson expressed regret that some state-owned enterprises and public-private partnerships often performed below expectation.

He therefore congratulated GCNet for honouring its obligations and making regular dividend payments to Government.

He also indicated that a revenue target of GH¢57 million had been set in 2014 as non-tax dividend contribution from SoEs and the PPP companies.