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16.11.2004 General News

PNDC sold Black Star Line - Former Employee

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Kumasi, Nov. 16, GNA - A Former Employee of Black Star Line, the national shipping line, says it was the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) Government that sold the Company and not the Progress Party (PP) Government.

Nana Opoku Agyemang III, formerly called K. Takyi-Berko, the Former Employee of the Black Star Line said it was the PNDC that sold the Company based on the recommendations of a committee it set up in 1982.

He was reacting to a publication in a section of the Media to the effect that the PP Government sold the Black Star Line.

"As the London Manager of the Line, I can say with absolute certainty that the asset of the Line included 16 vessels and some other immovable property when Colonel I.K. Acheampong toppled the Progress Party Government in 1972," he said, adding that four new acquisitions were added to the fleet later.

Nana Opoku Agyemang explained that during the Third Republic under President Hilla Limann's Administration when Mr Harry Sawyer was the Minister of Transport and Communications, almost eight years after PP Government was toppled, the Black Star Line was still alive and kicking. He recalled that during the Limann's Administration, a dispute arose between the Officers Afloat and the Government.

"The case came before her Lordship Mrs Justice Koranteng-Addo of blessed memory, and I, a Chartered Shipbroker and at that time the Member of Parliament for Offinso and Mr Kwasi Akoto, an Insurance Expert and the then Member of Parliament for Akropong, appeared before Her Lordship to take the case out of Court for settlement. This further shows that the Line was functioning during the Limann's Regime." Nana Opoku Agyemang said on March 7 1982, the PNDC set up a "Sale of Ships Committee" and he was, therefore, released from the Kumasi Central Prison, where he was in protective custody, to report to Mr B.D.D. Asamoah to become a member of that Committee.

He said, however, that Members of the Black Star Line Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) protested against his membership on the grounds that he was a PFP Member of Parliament and was, therefore, withdrawn from the Committee.

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