BlackShield And The Minister of Finance Again?
On Wednesday 13th November 2023, the Minister of Finance Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta told Parliament this:
“Mr. Speaker, in addition, a provision of GHC4 billion has been made in the 2024 Budget to address National Investment Bank (NIB), distressed SDIs, and other outstanding legacy challenges in the financial sector. Notwithstanding the ongoing litigation commenced by shareholders of BlackShield Capital Management Limited (formerly Gold Coast Securities Limited), the SEC will continue to engage the Official Liquidator and clients of the defunct BlackShield to reach a consensus on a framework for a bailout intervention and an amicable resolution of the impasse.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. It is SEC that contracted the Registrar General to liquidate BlackShield. It is this misguided and wicked lawsuit that SEC and the Registrar General are using to deny BlackShield customers their funds.
Why would a Finance Minister go and stand in front of the representatives of the people and lie like that? For what purpose? The Minister must also be reminded that SEC took away the fund management licence but BlackShield as a company is not “defunct”. And that company was not formerly known as Gold Coast Securities Limited. It is this same sloppiness of thought and action that has created a huge economic burden on the state and citizens of Ghana.
This paper wishes to repeat a portion of a Front Page Comment it published on 22 July 2023:
“At the same time, we want to point out the futility in the destructive attempt being made by the Reverend Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, the Director General of the Securities & Exchange Commission and Mrs. Jemima Oware of the Registrar General’s Department to liquidate BlackShield Capital (formerly Good Coast Fund Management).
Our research tells us that it is the Minister of Finance, Kenneth Ofori-Atta, who initiated and managed the financial sector reforms that have brought about the legal challenges in the banking, insurance and investment sectors. Minister Ofori-Atta’s own Databank is struggling. That company apparently and allegedly lacks the liquidity to satisfy the needs of its customers.
”Illiquidity leads to insolvency” This was volunteered by the Minister of Finance, Ofori-Atta, during a discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on government finances and why the administration had appealed to the IMF and the World Bank for financial support. This means that the Minister and the administration understand what happens when an organization through no fault of theirs is forced to become illiquid. So we may ask, was the decision to freeze government contracts and payment for work done prior to 2017 a deliberate act to force insolvency and cause contractors and financial institutions to collapse?
Government is illiquid. That fact is very well known in the country. That is why it has not been able to pay contractors, who in turn have not been able to pay Groupe Nduom companies. So which organizations is SEC/RGD/Ministry of Finance want to liquidate before the BlackShield customers are paid? The whole Government of Ghana? COCOBOD? GETFUND? Ministry of Roads and Highways?
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo built his reputation as a human rights lawyer. As such, we cannot believe that he sanctioned the trampling of the rights of indigenous business men and women like Dr. Nduom. Our expectation is that he will call his men and women to order and make them reverse the hostile acts they have engaged in.
This is the time to build back not tear down some more.”
We wish to inform our readers and BlackShield customers once again that Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, the main shareholder ever since SEC revoked the company’s licence, has agreed in formal communications over the years to the highest authorities in Ghana, for government to pay what is owed to contractors by government agencies into a fund that can in turn be used to settle the demands of BlackShield customers.
The lies and trickery will not work. The Minister and his appointed representatives must sit down and resolve this matter in good faith with the shareholders of BlackShield.