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09.01.2005 General News

Presby Church Imported Anniversary Cloth

By The Independent

There are confirmed signs that seem to suggest that the Presbyterian Church of Ghana may be in league with the dubious Chinese textile importer, Zhang Yang Qun and his crony, Reverend Josephine Anyote Tawiah whose activities are said to be collapsing the textile industry in the country.

Investigations conducted by The Independent has uncovered that the Presbyterian Church of Ghana during its just ended 175th anniversary printed a souvenir cloth which was awarded on contract to a Chinese textile firm and ended up clearing it through the Lome port.

The investigations also revealed that there were irregularities involving the clearance of the printed souvenir cloth by the Church, which could cost the nation the loss of several millions of cedis.

The cloth which was awarded to the Chinese textiles company, according to our sources within the church circles runs into million of yards which could have been enough to revamp the economy of the dying local textiles industries if it hade been awarded to any of them.

Investigations further revealed that the contract to print the souvenir cloth by the Presbyterian Church was awarded through the same agent company in Lome, which is said to be the subsidiary of the Chinese textile company but under the control and ownership of Mr. Zhang Yang Qun, the Chinese textile importer.

The cloth is said to have been awarded through the same process as is done by Reverend Josephine Tawiah, the owner of Jentaco Limited, a textile trading company that owns a textile warehouse at La in Accra.

According to our sources, the cloth when sold could run into billions of cedis as it was distributed throughout the Presbyterian Church in the country for the celebration of the 175th anniversary.

When contacted for their comments on the matter, two Managing Directors of two textiles companies said the Presbyterian Church matter was serious in that it amounts to breach of the avowed declaration of the President's golden age of business and the desire that all Ghanaians patronise made in Ghana goods.

They said if the trend does not change the only option is that the local textiles industries would have to collapse and thousands of workers rendered unemployed.

Mr. G. B. K. Owusu, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana when contacted confirmed that the church indeed imported the souvenir cloth from China.

He said the Church set up a Souvenir Committee to deal with the printing of the anniversary cloth and after deliberations it was agreed that the printing should be done in China.

According to Mr. Owusu issues like high cost of local textiles and poor quality convinced the Committee to opt for the Chinese made anniversary cloth, which was comparatively cheaper.

The PRO said one full piece of the anniversary cloth cost 180,000 cedis while the local ones cost about 300,000 cedis on the Ghanaian market.

He confirmed that the printed cloth was cleared through Lome but added that the documentation was genuine.

"It is relatively cheaper to clear goods through the Lome Port than that those of Ghana and that is why we cleared the printed textiles through Lome," he said.

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