CHIEFS and youth in Preatea, a gold mining town in the Preatea Huni-Valley District of the Western Region have called for investigations into the complete shutdown of the Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited (PSGL) for the past two months, resulting in the sack of about three hundred (300) workers.
According to the people in the area, Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), National Security and Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) inquest of the matter would unravel the truth ,and as well reveal the perpetrators in the financial malfeasance which caused the shutdown of the state- owned gold mining company.
In a statement issued by a group, calling itself Prestea Communicators for Development (PCD) with tacit support of the chiefs and opinion leaders of Prestea, and copied to Today last Friday, March 10, 2017, “cited what they described as “heart-breaking” financial malfeasance” in the company for the past four years.
The statement which was signed by the leaders of the group including Comrade Francis Eshun-President, James Samuel Ackerson-Vice President, Philip Gyan-Secretary, Jonas Kyeremanteng-Organiser and Gideon Kwasi Animah- United Kingdom Correspondent revealed that the company was locked up, due to the non-payment of nine months’ salary arrears to over 300 workers.
The development, the statement stressed has compelled the chiefs and youth to demand thorough investigations into the issue.
The group who provided documentary proof to support its claim lamented that the fate of PSGL, a subsidiary company under Ghana National Petroleum Co-operation (GNPC) continues to be one of the biggest test case for the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, Dr. K.K Sarpong and the incoming GNPC Board of Directors to find solution to, and get the ailing state gold company into production again.
“While it is vital to ensure that, the company is revived for the betterment of the teeming workers, Prestea Community and Ghana as a whole, it is significant also to delve into the happenings in the company over the past four years, and find out why the company is at its current state,” the group in the statement said.
Additionally, the group blamed the poor state of the company on the negligence of the Board of Directors of the PSGL who are; Mrs. Alexandra Amoako Mensah, Board Chairperson; Dr. Kwabena Donkor, Government Rep to the Board; Alhaji Fuseini Mahama, Board Member; Awulae Attibrukusu III, Board Member and Emmanuel K. Addady.
Several mismanagements by Mrs. Alexandra Amoako Mensah-led Board of Directors, the statement alleged have caused the company a colossal sum of money.
Earlier, when Today contacted Mrs. Alexandra Amoako Mensah to cross-check the authenticity of the allegation, she simply told this reporter that “I am in a meeting so I cannot talk to you now on the issue. So you can call me later in the day.”
Again, this reporter called Mrs. Alexandra Amoako Mensah, eight hours later but this time she did not answer her call.
Currently, the statement disclosed that PSGL faces problems including eight months’ salary arrears of junior staff (July 2016-February, 2017) and also nine months’ salary arrears of senior staff (June 2016-February 2017).
The statement also revealed that the Provident Fund (PF) contributions was in arrears for the past thirty three months- June 2014-February, 2017
And to help uncover the truth of the problem, the group appealed to government to set up a committee to conduct forensic audit of PSGL before the dissolution of the board of directors .
“We in the Communicators for Development also wish to appeal to GNPC and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo -Addo to consider including renowned chief (s) and technocrats in Prestea Huni-Valley District as part of the members of the Board of Directors, as it has been proven “no single community can develop without the inclusion of the community’s own indigenes in key leadership positions,” it suggested.
Speaking on same matter in a resolution, leadership of Professional Management and Staff Union (PMSU) of the company attributed the poor performance of the company to gross mismanagement of the General Manager (GM), Mr. Lawrence Kojo Yankson and the Plant Manager, Mr. Patrick Brempong.