Nduom battles gov’t over GHc2bn locked up cash

Following the suit filed at the Commercial Court by Gold Coast Fund Management, a Groupe Nduom company to compel the Ministry of Finance, contractors, Ministry of Roads and Highways and others to pay GHc19 million of overdue certificates plus interest, the Ministry of Finance has reacted.

In a letter sighted by 24NEWS, the Ministry of Finance has admitted that it can confirm over GHc30 million in overdue payments for certified projects without interest.

But over the weekend, the Chairman of Groupe Nduom, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, in post on his facebook maintained that “Groupe Nduom insists that certified projects with interest exceed GHc300 million.”

According to him, the certified projects some of which have been outstanding for three years are part of the GHc2.2billion infrastructure projects including completed and ongoing ones.

Dr Nduom said the delay by the government in paying local contractors, some of whom are customers or investors, has led to the lock-up of GHc2.2 billion from the Groupe’s Gold Coast Fund Management, alone.

“When we keep fighting for Ghanaian contractors to be paid, we are fighting for customers/investors to get their money. How much? GHc 2.2 billion is currently locked up in the process from Gold Coast Fund Management alone,” he said.

But, a letter signed by Mr. Charles Adu Boahen, Deputy Finance Minister, and addressed to Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, noted that GHc2, 886,449 has been released to Ministry of Roads and Highways “to enable them pay the amounts validated to the relevant contractors.”

“This letter from the Ministry of Finance is mischievous to the extent that it seeks to create the impression that government indebtedness to Groupe Nduom is only GHc30 million,” an official OF Groupe Nduom told 24NEWS.

“The Deputy Minister is deliberately ignoring the over GHC2.2 billion of government indebtedness to GN under the pretest of validation. What is the meaning of validation? What is entailed in validation? How long does validation take?

“We believe that this validation process is a deliberate attempt to delay payments to GN, create liquidity challenge for the group and for government to have a basis to take away GN operating licenses,” another source at Groupe Nduom told 24NEWS.

According to the source, “we say this because it does not make sense to take three years to validate only GHc30 million out over GHc350 million worth of IPCs most of them issued in 2016.

“Even the so called validated amounts have not been paid since August 2018.”

Completed projects, the source disclosed, are not being certified to allow for IPCs to be issued, asking “so the question is why has it taken government three years to certify over GHC700 million worth of completed government of Ghana infrastructure projects?

“We believe that the answer is that the Minister of Finance does not want to pay GN sponsored contracts so that the company’s liquidity challenges will worsen to create a non-existent basis for regulatory action against the GN and its affiliated companies,” the source said.

BY 24NEWS.NEWS//GHANA

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