24.08.2004 Business & Finance

Don't politicise AngloGold-AGC merger -YEF

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Obuasi, Aug. 24, GNA - The Obuasi branch of the Young Executive Forum (YEF), an organ of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has asked political opponents of the Government to stop polluting the minds of people and workers against the merger of AngloGold and Ashanti Goldfields Company (AGC).

In an interview with the GNA in Obuasi on Tuesday, Mr Aboagye Ohene-Adu, Secretary of the Obuasi branch of YEF, said some politicians wanted to use the merger to score cheap political points and cautioned Ghanaians to be wary of such people.

He explained that the high profile international and national bodies including the United States Security and Exchange Commission, European Union (EU), South African Reserve Bank and the Ghanaian Parliament among other organisations had to approve of the amalgamation before it was actualised.

Mr Ohene-Adu also said the shareholders had to vote on the matter adding; "there is, therefore, no basis for politicians to claim that the NPP government connived with AngloGold to sell out AGC".

Mr Ohene-Adu said apart from the higher price value of existing government's share in AngloGold Ashanti, the nation was going to benefit from regular payment of dividends, which was not the case previously.

He said the merger had enabled the Government, for the first time, to reach an agreement with AngloGold Ahsanti to establish a community trust, into which AngloGold Ashanti would contribute one per cent of its profit generated in Ghana.

In addition, the Government had asked the Company to initiate training programmes for workers, control malaria and improve health care delivery, enhance safety and working conditions of the workers. Mr Ohene-Adu said the merger would boost investment in infrastructure, equipment and planning systems of the Obuasi Mine to expand its life span.

All these benefits, he said, were outlined in the memorandum, which was sent to all shareholders before the merger was concluded, and that the amalgamation was an international breakthrough in the country's mining industry and, therefore, called on Ghanaians to support it to enable the nation to derive maximum benefits.

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