---Makes Quality Grain accused look saintly
In the Quality Grain Case which saw two high-profile NDC personalities and a civil servant go to jail, the late Justice D.K. Afreh in his judgement stated that he was certain Mrs. Juliet Cotton, the US lady at the centre of the case got the Ghana Government to guarantee the US Exim Bank loan she had secured because “someone up there liked her”.
He did not mention who that someone was, but the innuendoes were clear that he was fingering former President Jerry John Rawlings without having the courage to say so.
How will one describe today's scenario then, when Alan Kyeremateng, Minister of Trade, Industries and Presidential Special Initiatives, can just dip his hands into public funds, EDIF funds, dish out as much as ¢5 billion to a lady “with just one scream”, according to Raymond Archer's 'Enquirer' newspaper.
And by the way, what made beautiful Philomena Appiah scream and where did the screaming take place? In the office? In the house?
It makes the Quality Grain accused persons look like saints, and is a nightmarish replay of the Kutu Acheampong days when a fair lady's behind was the passport to the key to a Golf car. Ghanaians promptly had a catch phrase for the phenomenon: “Fa wo to begye Golf”
What will today's catch phrase be?
“Fa wo to begye cash?”
Now read on ---
ALAN AND THE ¢5BN CHEEKY “BABY” (Part 2 of ….)
---How a woman screamed at Minister, EDIF, and walked away with free cash
Here she comes, cheeky, arrogant, beautiful and seemingly powerful.
With just one scream at Minister Alan Kyeremateng and the Chief Executive of EDIF, she got the duo to increase her booty from ¢1bn to over ¢5 billion.
Meet, Philomena Appiah (Mrs), Managing Director of Global Garments Ltd, one of the companies which benefited from Minister Alan Kyeremanteng's controversial ¢30 billion booty which is now the subject of a petition before the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for investigation.
Whilst the EDIF Board was dragging its feet and questioning the legality of the request from Alan Kyeremateng to doll out such huge public cash as free monies to private companies, Appiah (Mrs) was busy screaming that she would not accept the ¢1Bn that was given to her.
In a letter dated July 26th 2005, Appiah (Mrs) complained bitterly that the free money which had been given to her company was too small, saying that she had an agreement with Alan's Ministry to be reimbursed with free cash for monies spent on rehabilitating her factory.
“The Ministry of Trade and Industry has drawn our attention to a letter from the management of EDIF concerning the approval to grant Global Textile and Garments Limited an amount of ¢1,301,177,425 as reimbursement for the investment we put into the rehabilitation of our factory based on an understanding with the Ministry”, she noted.
“As we find the decision difficult to take, we need to raise a few issues to set the records straight. The company took a loan from the National Investment Bank which can be verified to start and complete the project. The bank found it worthwhile investment and therefore the readiness to help the company. Now the payment is up for the company to pay both principal and the interest on the loan”, she added.
Appiah (Mrs) continued that her company had imported and installed 250 sewing machines and other equipment totalling 500 in all for which she hired and trained a labour force of 500 Ghanaians.
“These actions were all taken in the knowledge that the factory will be the first wholly owned Ghanaian factory of this size, even in West Africa”, she observed.
“It is therefore surprising that our Institutions do not realise the role we need to be supported to play in the development of this country. In the present state of affairs the factory is threatened with closure. However we do not intend to do so as we believe that our voice can still be heard for a better treatment”, she screamed out.
Appiah (Mrs) of Global Garments continued that “The Company would therefore like to submit a kind advice to the Board when it comes to matters affecting investment of this magnitude. We believe that most of the time and we stand for correction, decisions like yours have been taken without any visitation to the factory. I can also confirm to the Board that the Grant Sub-Committee never visited the factory to familiarise themselves as to what has been presented to the Committee by the Ministry for the purpose of verification”
But sources close to the previous EDIF said their officials visited the factory before any decision was made.
Appiah (Mrs) rejected the ¢1.3 billion free cash, saying “the company finds it difficult to accept the decision of the Board. The company therefore wishes to appeal to the Board to reconsider the decision to honour ¢1.3 billion representing 50% of a figure only known to management of EDIF.
Philomena concluded that “in our estimation, it would have served the interest of both parties if negotiations had taken place to arrive on a settlement agreeable to all”
But the Board maintained that Global Garments did not even qualify for a grant since the request on her behalf by the Ministry did not even qualify for grant and had to be treated as a loan.
Reacting to the letter, a former Board member told The Enquirer that “we felt much disrespected and almost humiliated by that letter. She was literally saying, 'how dare you give me ¢1.3 billion. How many Ghanaian companies benefit from such facilities? It was like you guys don't even know what you are about”.
Continuing, the former Board member said: “You see it is very easy to dish out public money without reason, which is not why we were sent there by the President. The President said we should manage the funds and not just dish them out”.
“In fact, I can, within ten minutes give out all the money in the fund, but the President put us there to safeguard the public purse and you have people like this woman who might be nowhere near our level of achievement writing you such nasty letter”, the board member said.
On July 27, 2005, a day after Appiah's (Mrs) letter, the Minister, through his sidekick, Mr. Bekoe, who is Director of Finance and Human Resource, wrote a covering letter forwarding Global Garment's letter to EDIF for consideration.
Before the money was disbursed, the then Attorney General, on November 23, 2005, warned that the money should not be dished out to five private companies because the Minister's request was illegal.
On February 28, 2006 the Director of the Fund wrote to the Ag. Chief Executive, saying the money should be disbursed.
According to the memo authorising the disbursement, Global Garment alone was given over ¢5Bn while the rest received just a little over ¢1Bn.