Today has confirmed through a search at Gold Coast offices that the value of certified government infrastructure projects from funds raised by Gold Coast Fund Management stand in excess of GHS350 million.
Many of these claims have been outstanding for more than two years.
Readers must note that there are contractual provisions that require government agencies to pay delayed payment interest using official Bank of Ghana rates.
It would be recalled that due to continued delays in validating claims of Ghanaian contractors obtained contracts from government agencies and were financed by Gold Coast, a suit was filed by Gold Coast at the commercial court to compel the Ministry of Finance; the Roads Ministry and other government agencies to pay GCFM certificate projects with interest. Although a small value of certified project was included in the suit, the value of certified projects is in excess of the GHS300 million.
This paper further discovered that all of the certified projects were in arrears for and are a part of the larger GH2.2 billion infrastructure projects that include completed and on-going ones that were funded by Gold Coast Fund Management.
That notwithstanding, Gold Coast paid over GHS1 billion in 2018 and additional GHS100 million to customers/investors this year.
Groupe Chairman, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, confirmed government’s indebtedness to Gold Coast Fund Management on his Facebook wall last week, indicating that the delay by government in paying local contractors, some of whom he admitted were customers/ investors has contributed to the lock-up of GHS2.2 billion from Gold Coast Fund Management alone.
He declared: ”when we keep fighting for Ghanaian contractors to be paid, we are fighting for customers/investors to get their money,” reiterating that “GH2.2 billion is currently locked up in the process from Gold Coast Fund Management alone,” while similarly, other financial institutions have funds locked up in infrastructure projects.
The situation, Dr Nduom disclosed, was making contractors go bankrupt with customers the worse affected victims.
According to him, ”when a contractor is not paid after three years of completing a job, the financial institution does not get paid; the customers who invested their monies with the financial institution don’t get paid.”
Dr Nduom’s main concern is ”how to get the payment process going so contractors can complete projects; get them certified; get paid so they can pay back what the owe Gold Coast; so Gold Coast can pay back money to its customers/investors’,’ stressing that ”this is not Nduom’s money. It’s not politics. It is pocket-level economics. The money is in Ghana with government agencies and infrastructure projects.”
Today discovered from further checks that Gold Coast stepped in to support indigenous Ghanaian contractors when government decided against the issuance of advance payment to contractors.
Gold Coast has within the period of the government’s caveat offered fund support to some 600 contractors who were mostly in the infrastructure sector.
An official of Gold Coast has asked the public to treat with appropriate contempt any attempt by some public officials that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) only owes Gold Coast Fund Management (GCFM) a little in excess of GHS3 million.
In addition, the source at Gold Cost asked the public to disregard what’s on social media to the effect that validated projects amount to GHS30 million.
He said, “…we will go to all lengths, to the Supreme Court, International Court to ensure that every pesewa of the GHS2.2 billion which belongs to our clients comes back in due course. We refuse to be intimidated by anyone.”
Meanwhile, documents sighted by Today further indeed corroborated what a top official of Gold Coast disclosed that GCFM has been investing in such infrastructures for the past 15 years and in the process invested over GHS14 billion in various projects including the Infrastructure portfolio.
Also, the official dispelled the notion that Gold Coast put all client funds in one infrastructure basket, saying that they placed funds with financial houses, private real estate and industrial entities and others.
“This is why we have been able to pay back some funds to some clients”, the official said.
Story: Special INVESTIGATION