* All our informants report that Ghana Telecom’s performance has got markedly worse. But don’t take our word for it. In a long article in the Ghanaian Chronicle about his frustrations with it Kwaku A. Danso writes:"A man who is working for me as my project manager informs me that it took him about two hours to get an email sent last week at an Internet Café. Within the last year, 2001 to 2002, one may have noticed that phone calls to Ghana are becoming more and more difficult, requiring several attempts, especially during the day time. A five minute call may end up taking an hour of one’s precious time".

"Many of my friends I talk to in the US and even Europe are complaining. "Ghana’s phone lines are hard to get through", is the common discussion. As population increases, one expects an increase in business transactions, an increase in buildings, and hence traffic flow of vehicles and of information along communication lines. It does not take a genius to figure this out. Planning these is part of what government is created for by a citizenry, people are elected, and hired to work for government".

* The ILL loan saga rumbles on with former MD Bernard Longe seeking to put its Directors in court as defendents. A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday refused to vacate its earlier order that a third party notice be issued on 13 directors of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, whom its former managing director, Bernard Longe, sought to be joined as defendants in a suit brought against him by the bank over the botched sale of Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) shares. The bank reportedly lost about $131.7 million (about N10.69 billion) in the botched bid.

First bank had through its counsel, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), instituted an action against its former MD over the loan granted Investors International (London) (IIL), in the company’s bid to buy the telecommunication national carrier. But Longe in a joinder application prayed the court among others to join the 13 directors of the bank as co-defendants. Insisting that everything that was done in relation to the transaction, the subject matter of the suit, was done with the knowledge, consent and approval of all the directors sought to be joined as third parties.

Longe, who said the directors were members of the board with him at that material time, pointed out that if the court decided in favour of his erstwhile employer (First Bank) that he was liable to pay the monies lost in the failed IIL deal, all the other directors of the bank at that material time would be liable jointly and severally pursuant to the provision of section 20(b) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 1991 as amended. Ruling on an objection by the directors last week, trial judge, Justice Abubakar Gumel refused to vacate the order to serve third party notice on the directors sought; and fixed further hearing for May 6.

* Johnnic Communications (Johncom), owners of brands such as the Sunday Times, Gallo Music, Nu Metro, Exclusive Books and I-Net Bridge, is making senior management appointments to pursue its strategy of welding its media, digital and entertainment operations into a more tightly focused operation aiming at growth in SA and Africa, it said yesterday. "Two principles underpin our strategy: to improve profitability and continue to drive transformation," Johncom chairman Mashudu Ramano said.

Johncom’s board said it had no intention of breaking up the group, despite recent media speculation. It has appointed Johnnic Publishing CEO Connie Molusi as Johncom CEO to drive its integration strategy, and further management restructuring would follow soon.