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21.11.2019 General News

2 Officials 'Milking' PBC In insider Trade

By Melvin Tarlue
2 Officials 'Milking' PBC In insider Trade
NOV 21, 2019 GENERAL NEWS

Some two officials of the Produce Buying Company (PBC) are reportedly engaged in insider trading that is said to be running the firm into financial trouble.

It comes at a time the President Akufo-Addo's administration is making efforts to revamp the once defunct PBC.

Sources have alleged that two senior managers of the company are engaged in what is termed as 'insider trade' by clandestinely setting up a transport company and awarding PBC's haulage contracts to themselves.

Information available indicates that despite several petitions and complaints to the Board of Directors of PBC about the illegal acts of the two officials, the Board has refused to take any decision on the matter.

The two officers allegedly involved in the insider trade, according to sources, are

George K . Tieku Senior Manager in charge of Haulage and Technical, and Owusu Acheaw, Senior Manager in charge of Marketing, Monitory and Evaluation.

Mr. Acheaw has denied the allegations, saying emphatically that he was not aware of any insider trading at PBC and the allegations were untrue.

The two senior officers whose mandates are to ensure that the PBC Limited Haulage trucks are run efficiently and also cocoa stocks at the various depots are being evacuated quickly, according to reports, have taken advantage of the weak administrative and governance structure in PBC and registered their own transport companies to compute with PBC Haulage.

A staff of PBC Limited whose identity is withheld, according to a source, has reported the matter to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and submitted evidence of the two senior staff members and other staff involvement in conflict of interest.

According to sources, Mr.Tieku has used his wife's name to register his company ( ENY VEGEMAT) and Owusu Acheaw hold 30% in FAGOF ” A “ COMPANY LIMITED.

The two companies are now allegedly the main Haulage contractors of PBC and have accordingly made millions of Ghana cedis on the haulage of PBC cocoa.

Complicity
Workers of the company alleged complicity on the part of the Board, hence its refusal to take firm decision and bring the two management members to book.

The situation, according to sources, is negatively affecting both the financial and operational capacity of the company, despite huge interventions by Government, including the injection of capital, to resuscitate the company which had gone completely bankrupt prior to 2016.

However, the move by Government has been met with serious resistance from some elements within the company who are profiteering from the underhand operations.

Background
The Producing Buying Company, before the advent of the NPP administration, was saddled with over GH¢ 700 million debt which had brought the company virtually on its knees.

The company, due to its inability to service these debts owed to about 10 different banks in the country, was also unable to execute its core business which is to engage in commodity trading.

However, Government, through its efforts to restructure the company and bring it back on its knees, entered into a negotiation with these local banks to provide a six year 'repayment moratorium' for the company to revive its operations.

The intervention by Government, through the Ministries of Finance and Food and Agriculture, was to enable PBC concentrate on other core mandates such as the haulage and the hotel business.

Additionally, COCOBOD, under the current crop season, has also allocated about GH 600 million Ghana Cedis to enable the company purchase cocoa beans from farmers.

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