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Business News Mon, 27 May 2019

Go to court for your monies; then pay customers - Nduom charges Gold Coast

Today can report with authority that the President and Chairman of GroupeNduom (GN), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has ordered Gold Coast Holding to proceed to court immediately to recover investment funds valued more than three billion Ghana Cedis from government agencies, contractors and other financial institutions.

He has also directed the company to make available to the media and in all their offices, the list of everyone who owes Gold Coast and GN Savings and was not making any effort to pay funds back.

Today wishes to assure our readers, that we will publish the list of all these agencies, contractors, financial houses and others who are refusing to pay back investment funds given to them.

Information available to Today indicates that for one full year, Dr. Nduom, with deep humility, has walked all the halls of authority in Ghana to engage government officials and owners of financial houses to ask them to pay back monies due on commercial paper issued; and for contractors who have done work for government agencies to be paid so they can settle their debts to Gold Coast.

That, Today established, has not yielded positive results.

He has pleaded with regulators in the financial sector to intervene with government agencies, also without the needed results. Rather, some of these regulators are demanding that Gold Coast finds money somehow to pay its customers.

Our findings established that incidentally, the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning which is the supervising ministry for the financial sector itself has been unable to pay for work it has certified to be completed for payment.

Some of the government agencies have even told Dr. Nduom, “we don’t owe your company, we owe contractors”!

Today further learnt that these are agencies who not only gave out contracts legally and properly but also agreed to make payment jointly to the contractors and Gold Coast.

This attitude adopted by the officials appointed to head government agencies since January 2017 has caused many indigenous financial institutions to face liquidity challenges.

In the years past, liabilities on the energy field nearly collapsed oil marketing companies, Tema Oil Refinery, GCB and others.

Government put up ESLA, an energy bond to salvage that situation. On the other hand, over the past couple of years, facilities extended to indigenous contractors for state-sponsored housing, roads, bridges, education, etc., have become problematic.

This has precipitated acute liquidity crisis for finance houses, banks and fund managers who pre-financed such projects.

And sadly Gold Coast Fund Management is one of the biggest players in this field which is why its challenges loom large.

For a few months now, customers of Gold Coast Fund Management and sister company, GN Savings, have launched attacks sometimes vicious ones on the offices, employees and properties of the companies. They have held press conferences, gone on demonstrations and flooded social media with their demands for payment.

Some have shown up with guns to frighten employees. Many employees have resigned their positions. Today has learned that GroupeNduom has lost more than 1,500 employees throughout the country through downsizing, resignations and abandonment of posts.

A customer called KojoAlata went to the Tarkwa office of Gold Coast and nailed them shut. Others at some point or the other have caused offices in Cape Coast, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale to be locked.

On the other hand, many customers with medical and business emergencies have suffered real damages due to the liquidity challenges facing Gold Coast.

Dr. Nduom himself has faced huge, very public backlash due to his very visible standing in Ghanaian society as an entrepreneur and politician.

Some people have even suggested to Today that Gold Coast has been targeted for non-payment by government agencies because the current administration was concerned that it would use the funds to run a campaign against them in 2020.

Today, therefore, wants to assure its readers and the Ghanaian public that we will return to this topic soon because there is nothing in the field to suggest that Dr. Nduom is even interested in running for any public office.

He has stayed away from politics and commenting on matters dealing directly with government since January 2017.

Our research shows that indeed, the monies locked up, do not belong to Gold Coast or to Dr. Nduom. He cannot even dip his fingers anywhere to take monies meant for customers for his own personal use.

We have data to show that whatever has been recovered so far has been used to pay customers. Some have alleged that Gold Coast has sent their funds overseas. The company is out to prove that the funds have always been in Ghana with these court cases.

Today is certain that Ghanaians know Dr. Nduom’s story. Born to two teachers in Elmina, he rose to become a partner of Deloitte & Touche in the USA. He came back to Ghana with money to set up companies such as Deloitte &Touche Consulting, Coconut Grove Hotels, and others. He has operated companies in America for more than three decades. We will publish more about Dr. Nduom soon.

It will be recalled that on 5 February, 2019, GN Savings and Gold Coast put out the following statement in public:

“The Management of GN Bank/GN Savings and Gold Coast Fund Management wish to inform its esteemed customers and the general public that they are in the final stages of reconciling deposit and investment accounts. The companies are also examining very critically the accounts of those who owe them. We wish to inform our debtors about the urgent need for them to settle their debts - loans, commercial paper, investments, etc. We remain flexible to work out payment terms to suit the needs of all stakeholders".

"Our customers and creditors have shown deep patience but we do not wish to stretch this to unreasonable limits. We want to meet their emergency and critical needs as and when these arise. We are asking all debtors to contact officers at the nearest GN Bank/GN Savings and Gold Coast Fund Management Offices to begin the process of settling their debts immediately. We are conveniently located everywhere in the country. We are asking for this to be done by 28th February 2019. Those who fail or refuse to come in for settlement negotiations will face several consequences we do not wish to impose. This would include publication of names and liabilities in the media, claim placed on collateral, legal action and other actions available under the laws of the Republic of Ghana.”

It is evident that those owe Gold Coast and GN Savings have ignored this statement. Since the two companies have not taken any legal actions against anyone, their customers think that this was a hoax. Some think that perhaps their monies have been misused and lost. Others think that Dr. Nduom has done something very terrible which prevents him from taking on government agencies.

This week Gold Coast goes to court. A law firm has been selected. Files have been gathered. Contracts have been examined. Communication between the company and those who owe have been reviewed. All is set for the first batch of government agencies and private sector companies to be taken to court this week.

As soon as the cases are filed, Today will bring the details to you and keep you informed of the proceedings.

Source: Today Newspaper
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