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07.04.2005 Business & Finance

Scandal Rocks GHACEM

By Crusading Guide
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Probing into the operations of Ghana Cement Works (GHACEM) Limited have led to the discovery that the company has not filed Annual Returns since 1981.

As a result, the shareholding structure and the identities of the shareholders are not made public; the particulars of the directors of the company are not made public and the annual accounts of the company since 1981 are also not made.

Therefore the accuracy of the dividends paid to the Government of Ghana (GoG0 could not be verified together with the salaries and allowances paid to the company's expatriate staff.

Further investigations revealed that in 1991 the government of Ghana owned 75% shares in GHACEM but in 1992, the divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) sold 35% of GoG shares to SCANCEM of Norway (who are present owners of GHACEM Limited).

According to a source close to the DIC, the remaining GoG shares in GHACEM were sold to SCANCEM in 1999. “ Now the government has no shares in GHACEM Limited”, underscored the source.

Impelled by the response by the Registrar-General's Department, the Auditor-General, Mr. Edward Dua Agyeman, requested that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide the corporate tax position of the company from 1981 to date, to enable the Audit Service and the IRS to ask GHACEM to submit copies of all accounts from the 1981 to date.

It will also show the profits the company had made over the years and the tax paid (both corporate and employees PAYE)

The Auditor-General was said to making efforts to obtain the cost of clinker from the cement company in Lome, since one company supplies clinker to both the Lome Cement Company and GHACEM in Tema.

This according to reliable sources will enable him (Auditor- General) to build the cost structure of cement produced by GHACEM and compare their price with imported ones.

He was also gathering documents from the DIC to trace the divestitures proceeds paid by SCANCEM and reviewing the Share Sales and Purchase Agreement to ensure that the conditions of sale of the shares were followed.

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