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27.03.2006 General News

Minister Trapped In ¢40bn Tangle

By pfm

The Minister of lands, Forestry and Mines, Professor Dominic Fobih and the workers of Ada Songhor salt Project as well as the entire Ada community are on a coalition course over allegations of massive embezzlement of over ¢40 billion that has accrued since the Interim management committee (IMC) led by J.W. Biney took over the Oda Songhor Salt project five (5) years ago.

Whilst the workers of the project and others claim they have submitted evidence of glaring abuse of office by the management to the sector minister through petitions, the minister on the other hand says he is yet to receive copies of such petitions. The stage is now set for what one may term, the worst case of abuse of public trust by the IMC put in place by His Excellency President John Agyekum Kufuor, to manage the salt project which became a milking cow during the (P) NDC era. The Songhor Salt Project was established by the late Apenteng, an industrious.

Ghanaian businessman who was chased out by the people of Ada during the so-called revolutionary era and later handed over to Cubans by the PNDC government to manage. The Cubans looted the coffers of the project after several years of political and traditional feud and sneaked out of the country without a trace.

As at the time of going to press, the youth of Sege and the workers in particular had vowed to resist any attempt to frustrate their quest for transparency in the management of the salt project. In one of the petitions to the Honourable Minister of lands, Forestry and Mines, Professor Dominic Fobih dated 14th November 2005; the workers alleged that they “believe that the IMC is indulging in some financial malfeasance that needs the immediate intervention of the sector minister.”

According to the petition, on 16th January 2004, the IMC hled a durbar of workers and invited the Ada Traditional Council as well as the press and “misinformed them that Songhor Salt had made forty-eight billion cedis as a result of the compnay's hard work, despite the fact that they came to empty the company's reserves” It noted that between 12th January and 25th September 2004, Songhor Salt produced 33,000 tons of salt equivalent of 660,000 of 50 bags with the going market price of ¢42,750 per bag at that time which was supposed to have fetched the company an amount of 28.2billion.