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General News | May 25, 2004

The Castle Is Closed: Direct All Enquiries To Baako & Dumor

PeaceFM

Today, May 25 marks African Unity Day, hence a public holiday. But, you might be forgiven to suggest that the Government of Ghana is also closed for business, at least, as far as giving information on the $300million loan by the CNT Construction Investment Limited is concerned.

Considering the ridiculous image that findings of certain local media houses have given the entire loan agreement, for the time being Government has decided to seek solace in the words of Euripides, that “silence is true wisdom best reply.”

Since the loan agreement has already been approved by Parliament, Government has rather chosen to pursue the natural option of processing the loan agreement to its logical conclusion. But, some media houses are involved in a boomerang of repartee. While it has been strongly suggested in certain media and political circles that because of their due diligence Government has had a clean shave on the loan agreement with CNTCI, evidence of the deep involvement of the state-owned China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) with CNTCI suggests that if the UK registered financial company was a scam then the all-powerful People's Republic of China would have been had, as well.

Documents show that the vice president and chief economist of CRCC who co-led the delegation of Ghana with the Chairman of CCNTI last November to both sign a host of MoUs with our Government has also his signature on CRCC document accepting to be shareholders of CNTCI, five months before the Accra trip. He is also down as director on the board of CNTCI, representing the interest of the 5% equity holder, CRCC.

An interview with a man described as the director of engineering of the multi-billion dollar Chinese parastatal, CRCC. He confirmed the following.*CRCC was part of a delegation, which included CNTCI, which came to Ghana last year. CRCC is working in cooperation with CNTCI to undertake development projects in Ghana. * CNTCI will provide financing, while CRCC will undertake construction of the projects. But he denied that CRCC was a shareholder in CNTCI and that the latter had been warned to stop using the former's brand name.

The CRCC delegation in November 2003 was led by its vice president and chief economist, He Neng Jin. CNTCI was represented by its Chairman, Li Wei Zhao. Both men appended their signatures to various memoranda of understanding with the Government of Ghana to undertake projects together, with CNTCI financing. In an interview, the President of CNTCI, Reizner Edwards said CRCC promises to issue an official statement on their relationship with his company.

Speaking from London, he expressed shock at the way the media in Ghana doubts his company's authenticity. Attempts to contact any person in China were futile because of the wide time difference between the two countries; offices in china were closed at the relevant times. A copy of the CNTCI share structure provided by the UK registered company shows that China Technic Holding Ltd in Hong Kong holds 24.75% equity in CNTCI in trust for seven other entities.

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