General News of Fri, 5 Feb 2010140
Ghost Company Offers Govt $25 Billion Loan
$25BIL CNTCI, IFC Trap Loan Brews In Gov't A due diligence, carried out on a Canadian registered company, NESSA Investment Corporation Limited, by Ghana's High Commissioner to Canada has raised red flags and advised government to steer clear off dealing with the company in a transaction that could turn out to be an embarrassment to the government, just like the infamous IFC and CNCTI loans scam did to the Kufuor Administration.
Enquirer's independent investigations has also revealed that the company, which claims to have ties with a Trust Fund that is prepared to loan Ghana $25 billion does not even have an office building. The telephone, fax numbers and business address all lead to an average residential address in Ontario.
From his laptop and residential abodes of its promoters, the company is simply run by one Bernard Ayeh, a Chief Executive Officer, who is a 1999 High School Graduate from Kipling Collegiate High School, in Ontario, Canada.
In spite of the several red flags, many government agencies, including Ministries of Works and Housing, Environment and Science, Roads and Highways, and Bank of Ghana, have all signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with this table-top company. The Military Hospital is said to have signed an MOU with them as well.
Bank of Ghana is said to have sent a delegation to the United Kingdom to continue talks over the project, which is best intentioned but has too many red flags.
Alerting the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Kwabena Dufuor, who had requested for the due diligence by a letter dated 7th December 2009, (referenced as ADM/FINPRO/GEN), Ghana's High Commissioner to Canada, Dr. Richard Turkson, warned, "anyone dealing with the corporation should do so with extreme caution."
The High Commissioner revealed in the report that the address of the corporation, given as 475Fernforest Drive, is located in a residential area. The search revealed also that "the corporation is not registered with Industry Canada or any other respectable business registry"
"The telephone and fax numbers (i.e. 1-647-892-2835 and 1-905-488-7318) do not exist in any Canadian telephone/fax listings," the High Commissioner revealed, adding that even though the lines may be private, that was "unusual for business in Canada."
The report stated that "A search on the internet revealed the contact person of the corporation as Mr. Bernard Ayeh, and the corporation’s address as 33 Pape Drive, Brampton, Ontario, with no postal code, but with the same suspicious telephone and fax numbers.”
It continued that “This address was also traced to a residential area” and furthermore, a certain Mr. John Cunningham, who had been mentioned in the letter from the Ministry of Finance as the Representative was not mentioned on the website.
“The above information, in my considered opinion, is enough to conclude that anyone dealing with the corporation should do so with extreme caution,” the High Commissioner concluded.
Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr. Rojo Mettle Nunoo, told the paper that NESSA had made contact with the previous New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration and had hosted some government officials in Canada.
According to Mr. Mettle-Nunoo, it was the Office of the President that advised the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to carry out the due diligence, adding NESSA was an investment management company.
The Deputy Minister, who appeared to have given thumbs up for the company, said they were very credible from what he had seen. He directed The Enquirer to a website of the company as proof of their credibility.
A visit to a website address, www.nessaltd.com, he provided as the official website of NESSA, led to a more can of worms. It was revealed that the website of the company, which is seeking to raise $25 billion for Ghana, was now under construction. “Coming soon” greets any visitor to the website.
Enquirer’s Cyber investigations revealed that the company, which is claiming to be a big time financial broker has no track record in financing.
The Enquirer found traces of evidence, which suggests that in terms of track record the company has none in finance or investments.
The track record of the company found by The Enquirer says: NESSA’s primary objective is to create affordable, specialized, most reliable feedstock supplies for bio-diesel refineries, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and edible oils for the supermarkets, with Jatropha, palm, coconut, cotton seed, Shea nut and Cocoa as our initial commodities, adding various others as we expand our operation and plantations.’
The profile reveals also that NESSA operates a co-operative programme and organized, “in excess of 5000 farms & communities and growing,” and currently managing, “approximately a total of 1. 8 million acres of feedstock plantations, producing: Jatropha, Palm, Coconut, Cotton Seed, Shea Nut, Cocoa etc. “
According to the company, “NESSA is an established Canadian corporation operating with the support of  the Federal Government and  the Export Development Canada (EDC) insuring our establishment against any unforeseen risks and receivables.”
When asked if the company had any track-record in facilitating access to credit for any country or institution, the company’s representative, Mr. Ayeh, said the company was set up specifically to deal with Africa, and Ghana was the first point of call.
The CEO in an interview with The Enquirer admitted that Ghana is their first experiment even though they were involved in trying to arrange other projects in El Savador.
Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Fiifi Kweite, who appeared to be less enthusiastic about the company confirmed to The Enquirer that he recalled representatives of the company visiting the ministry and claiming they could raise $25 billion from international circles for Government.
Stay tuned for more details