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21.03.2006 General News

Roll Call of NPP Programme failures…

By Ghana Palaver

UNITED RAIL – ABSENT, CNTCI – ABSENT, IFC – ABSENT PROFESSOR Christopher Ekumfi-Ameyaw owes the people of Ghana an explanation of the whereabouts of United Rail Co. of the UK and what has happened to its takeover bid for the ailing Ghana Railways Co. Ltd.

The Minister of Ports, Harbour and Railways last year assembled a crack team of lawyers, including lawyers with Professorial and Doctorate degrees, financial analysts and businessmen, and put them together with a UK gentleman called Bruce Burrows purporting to act on behalf of United Rail Company to negotiate for United Rail to take over Ghana Railway Company.

The Ghana Palaver and Radio Gold took on the Minister with a series of stories and interviews as well as with Mr. Bruce Burrows and others, which clearly showed that the deal was a sham deal, that United Rail did not exist, and that Bruce Burrows was a con man.

The NDC's Kwamena Ahwoi challenged the Minister on air that it was completely wrong for the Minister to begin negotiations before conducting a due diligence inquiry.

Ghana Palaver reproduced documents that proved that the so-called main financial backer of United Rail was a shell company worth £2 based in the Isle of Man.

In all these, Minister Ekumfi-Ameyaw expressed absolute confidence in United Rail and was prepared to bet his last pesewa on the company. Subsequently, President Kufuor visited the USA and among his itinerary was a meeting with American investors who wanted to take over Ghana Railway Co. Ltd. We raised the issue of what had happened to Ekumfi-Ameyaw's United Rail negotiations but got no answers.

After that Ekumfi-Ameyaw stopped talking about United Rail. And after that there has been silence.

Before then the Government's attempt to access a certain US$300 million loan from a so-called CNTCI Company had run into big trouble. The supposed Headquarters of the CNTCI had been traced to a hairdressing salon in the UK, and the NDC Minority in Parliament raised a storm. They moved a motion for the rescission of the loan, which had already been approved by Parliament. The NPP Majority voted to confirm the approval of the loan. Technically therefore, the loan is still expected in Ghana.

In fact, during his appearance before the Parliamentary Vetting Committee last year, Minister of Trade Alan Kyeremateng confirmed that the loan would come. Can somebody in authority tell Ghanaians what has become of the CNTCI loan? Before then, the Government had attempted to source a US$1 billion loan from a so-called IFC (International Finance Consortium). The NPP Parliamentary Majority approved the loan over and above the objections of the NDC Minority. After six months, the then Minister of Finance Yaw Osafo Maafo announced to a stunned Parliament that the Government had decided it was not in the national interest to pursue the loan.

The list of NPP programme failures is endless, but we stop with a roll call of only these three and get the following answers: United Rail – Absent, CNTCI – Absent, IFC – Absent.