Home Business Beige Group spent over GH¢1.8m on publicity – Witness

Beige Group spent over GH¢1.8m on publicity – Witness

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Mr Michael Djanie, the 15th witness in the ongoing trial of Michael Nyinaku, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the collapsed Beige bank, says the Beige Group (TBG) spent GH¢1,899.273.83 on publicity.

He said it was as part of activities marking the transition of the Beige Capital Savings and Loans (BCSL) to the Beige Bank (TBB).

Mr Djanie, Head of brands and communications department of the TBB, made these known during his evidence-in-chief at the High Court presided over by Mrs Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, Court of Appeal Judge with additional responsibility at the High Court.

Giving the breakdown, the witness said GH¢5,904.92 was paid to the Daily Graphic on August 8, 2017, to inform the public about the new status of BCSL into a universal bank.

He explained that the advertisement cost GH¢6,307.53 but payment was made minus withholding tax, adding that the advertisement was placed in the newspaper on July 25, 2017.

A part payment of GH¢11,325.60 was made to the Daily Guide, specifically for the front page called “strip advertisement,” explaining that the money was paid on August 16, 2017, for the advert to last for a month and the entire publication was estimated at GH¢24,195.60.

Again, out of the GH¢38,275.5 budgeted on office branding, GH¢11,000.00 was spent as honourarium for media engagement, GH¢1,150.00 as Staff reward and the rest on painting of some agencies under the group, among others, Mr Djanie said.

Witness said a part payment of GH¢13,200.00 was made on December 11, 2017, to Websoft Solutions, for design and development of a new site to replace the BCSL website with that of TBB, saying, the entire amount was GH¢17,625.00.

To get a live Facebook streaming of the launch of TBB for the worldwide audience, a part payment of GH¢2,775.00 was paid to Echohouse Ghana Limited on December 19, 2017, though the entire activity was to cost GH¢3,000.00, the Court heard.

He said a total of GH¢285,257.06 was allotted for the fabrication and installation of signages and branding for certain branches in the country.

A sum of GH¢2,400.00, for instance, from GH¢443,651.75 set aside for the production and installation of community facial signages in parts of the country, was paid to the Shama District Assembly for permit for erecting them, the Court heard.

He told the Court that “Think Mohogany Limited,” an event planning organisation was also paid GH¢9,409.32, instead of the entire GH¢34,849.35, for a rental logistics and decorations work done to make the event venue attractive and colourful.

Mr Djanie also told the Court that one Mr George Nii Lantey, was on December 15, 2017 and January 9, 2018 paid GH¢45,056.50, each, for the production of branded souvenirs which were distributed to all customers, guests and participants that graced the occasion and to show appreciation to all customers and patrons who visited any of the bank’s branches nationwide.

In all the transactions with the various companies, vendors of TBB automatically had to open an account with the bank to support the growth of TBG.

On the other hand, witness with the brands department informed the Court that GH¢964,255.32 out of the over GH¢1.8 million was used for billboard advertising.

He explained that all the five payments made to DDP Outdoor Limited, for rental of billboards on different occasions were used for the advertisements at various locations nationwide.

Breaking it down, he said between February 28, 2017 and April 25, 2018, GH¢74,893.62, GH¢93,617.02, GH¢280,851.06, GH¢514,893.62 and GH¢35,106.36 were paid to DPP Outdoor Limited.

He added that the GH¢35,106.36 paid on April 25, 2018, was a refund of amounts withheld from previous payments made to it in respect of rental billboards, adding that those amounts when withheld were paid to Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) as withholding taxes.

“However, GRA allows such funds to be paid to the institutions to whom the funds were due as long as the institutions were able to present evidence of them being exempted from withholding tax,” he stated.

He said the refund was part of advertising expenditure incurred on behalf of and for the benefit of the Bank.

Nyinaku has been charged for stealing, money laundering and fraudulent breach of trust.

He has denied all charges, and he is currently on bail pending trial.

Source: GNA

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