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02.09.2005 Gossips

NIB Owns "Hotel Kufuor"

Palaver

... "Chief Kufuor" may only be 0.5% shareholder! Ever since President Kufuor's son, “Chief” John Addo Kufuor issued his May 12, 2005 Press Release admitting that he “owns” the “Hotel Kufuor” aka “Golden Tree Hotel”, and that he has put together a consortium of Banks led by Prudential Bank to finance the Hotel project, the President's spin-doctors have been at full throttle trying to explain away how the Hotel was financed and who constitute the shareholders.

Ben Ephson

According to Ben Ephson's 'Daily Dispatch':

· The legal name of the Hotel is “Airport West Hospitality”;

· As at Friday June 3, 2005, the National Investment Bank (NIB) and the Prudential Bank owned a total of 40% shares in the Company with the NIB shares put at 17.5% and the Prudential Bank shares put at 22.5%;

“Chief” Kufuor, the President's son, had put together a consortium including an unnamed and unknown South African Hospitality Company which has subscribed to 55% shares;

· A yet to be identified Bank is to take up the remaining 5% shares.

Kweku Baako

Former 'Journalist of the Year' Kweku Baako's 'Crusading Guide' also states that:

The $3.5 million payment order issued by the Bank of Ghana on behalf of the Prudential Bank and used to pay Mr. Anthony Saoud, the original owner of the Hotel, was funded as follows:

(i) $2.0 million was paid by NIB and Prudential Bank; and

(ii) $1.5 million was contributed by certain individuals who desire to be shareholders and who to date remain unnamed and anonymous

(iii) These unnamed and anonymous individuals went through difficulties in raising the $1.5 million and some of these individuals even had to “sell their properties in Ghana and abroad before the building could be presented as collateral”.

From these two obvious journalist friends of the President, the following conclusions can be drawn:

· An amount of US$3.5 million has been paid out to Mr. Anthony Saoud as purchase price for “Hotel Kufuor:

· Friends of Chief Kufuor have contributed US$1.5 million to wards the purchase of the Hotel;

· These friends had to sell their properties in Ghana and abroad to buy the Hotel;

· Prudential Bank owns 22.5% in “Hotel Kufuor”;

· NIB owns 17.5% shares in the Hotel;

· Chief Kufuor's consortium including the anonymous South African Hospitality Company owns 55% in the Hotel;

· 5% of the shares are yet to be picked up.

In the 'Business Plan' for “Hotel Kufuor” prepared in December 2003 on behalf of Chief Kufuor by a Mauritius Company, AVTOL Consultants International, and which was presented to the financing Banks including the ECOWAS Regional Investment Bank (ERIB), the Company which owns the Hotel is known as the “Airport West Hospitality Limited” and the Hotel is to be known as “Golden Tree Hotel”.

An analysis of that 'Business Plan' reveals the following facts:

· Airport West Hospitality Ltd was incorporated on September 23rd 2002 with registration number CA3234;

· The Company's Certificate to Commence Business was issued on October 2, 2002 with number CA3224 and Taxpayer Identification Number TIN424V004752;

· Airport West Hospitality Ltd was registered as a sole proprietorship and is a company limited by shares;

· Airport West Hospitality Ltd is capitalised at ¢10 million only;

· Chief John Addo Kufuor is the sole shareholder of Airport West Hospitality Ltd;

· The Directors of the Company are John Addo Kufuor and Nana Ama Kufuor, sister of John Addo Kufuor and daughter of President John Agyekum Kufuor;

· Chief John Addo Kufuor is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Company as well as the Company Secretary

· Records at the Registrar-General's Department confirm all these facts.

A number of issues arise from these known facts:

· If Chief John Addo Kufuor is the sole shareholder of Airport West Hospitality Ltd, then in what company have the Prudential Bank and the NIB bought the 22.5% and 17.5% shares respectively?

· How was the $3.5 million paid to the original owner Mr. Anthony Saoud funded? Which part of it was a loan and which part was equity?

· The friends' contributions of $1.5 million could only have been a loan to the Company. What are the conditions of the loan?

· Since the Company is capitalised at only ¢10 million, it means if Prudential Bank has 22.5% shares, then its shareholding is worth ¢2.25 million whilst NIB's shares of 17.5% are worth ¢1.75 million.

· NIB also has also acquired shares of US$200,000 or ¢1.8 billion in the hotel. But how can the NIB acquire shares of ¢1.8 billion in a Company with a total share capitalisation of only ¢10 million?

· But if the NIB has paid out ¢1.8 billion to Airport West Hospitality Ltd to acquire shares in a Company with a stated capital of only ¢10 million, then it means that NIB actually owns Airport West Hospitality Ltd and therefore owns “Hotel Kufuor”.

Even if we are to assume that the share capital has been changed and NIB's US$200,000 or ¢1.8 billion has been introduced into the capitalisation, it would only mean that Chief Kufuor owns only ¢10 million out of a total share capital of ¢1.81 billion or 0.5% of the share capital. Whichever way one looks at it therefore, the owners of “Hotel Kufuor” are the NIB.

If the NIB de facto or de jure or both owns Airport West Hospitality Ltd by virtue of its shareholding, then Chief John Addo Kufuor must stop putting himself out as the owner of “Hotel Kufuor”.

The NIB is a state-owned Bank and it has invested ¢1.8 billion of the Ghanaian taxpayers money in “Hotel Kufuor” which on paper is owned solely by Chief Kufuor, since the stated capital of the Company is only ¢10 million and it is registered as a sole proprietorship.

If our analysis is correct, and we believe it is, then the Board of Directors of the NIB under the Chairmanship of the renowned economist Dr. Charles Jebuni, should be called upon to take steps to take over ownership of “Hotel Kufuor” since the NIB owns the Hotel.

Dr. Jebuni's NIB Board must also inform Ghanaians about the amount of money it has dished out as loans towards the 'Hotel Kufuor” project.

Dr. Jebuni's NIB Board must convince Ghanaians that the most prudent investment to undertake is to pump so much money into an uncompleted Hotel structure which requires an additional $5.3 million or ¢50 billion or more to complete and make it operational.

Dr. Jebuni's NIB Board must convince Ghanaians that no undue political pressure was put on them to participate in the Hotel project.

Dr. Jebuni's NIB Board must not look on unconcerned whilst Chief John Addo Kufuor tries to “steal” “Hotel Kufuor” from the people of Ghana.

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