We’ll probe PBC issues and hold the officials accountable – Mahama

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Former President John Dramani Mahama has said the issues of the Produce Buying Company (PBC) are going to be investigated if he wins this year’s elections.

He says all persons whose actions caused the challenges of the company will be held liable.

Speaking with cocoa farmers in Kumasi and the General Agriculture Workers Union on Thursday, February 8, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said “”The workers of PBC have not been paid for about 8 months to 9 months and it is not known when they will receive their salaries, it is instructive to note that two of the directors who have left PBC into the ditch could see that they had finished the company and so they were looking for new careers and so they went and stood as parliamentary candidates on NPP tickets and God doesn’t sleep.

“Happily they lost. Happily, they both lost and we thank God that he made them lose because you cannot behave like this, run a profitable company like this into the ditch and you want to bail out and go to parliament. They have to stay and wait for accountability. When we come we will probe what happened to PBC and hold them to account,” he said.

Recently, General Secretary of the Ghana Agricultural Workers Union, Mr Edward Kareweh, cited mismanagement and corruption as the causes of the challenges of PBC.

He stated that the government has allowed for the company to be mismanaged, leading to its collapse.

Speaking on the Business Focus on TV3, Mr Kareweh said “The latest development with the PBC is a reflection of the general nonperformance of the state institutions and companies. If the state has the majority shareholding in PBC and it is the state that also appoints the Managing Director and the board of directors, the majority of them, then certainly it is a clear reflection of the non-supervisory role they played by way of appointing the right people to manage the affairs of state institutions as well as other companies.

“We are aware that many state institutions are not performing, they are not making profits and PBC is one of them where the state has folded its hands and there is so much corruption, there is mismanagement to the extent that labour force has to reduce and now that we have legal action taken and judgment given for the assets of the company to be disposed of to meet loan obligations by statement institutions. For instance, GCB, is a state institution, ADB is a state institution, Cal Bank is Ghanaian-owned, UMB is also a Ghanaian owned and the others as well.

Edward Kareweh cites poor management practices and corruption for PBC woes

“The real effect of what is happening at PBC goes beyond PBC to affect all these banks. I am telling you that even though they have got the judgment to dispose of the properties of PBC to pay for their loans, at the close of the day it is clear that the over 300 million dollars that PBC owes cannot be paid, the assets of PBC will not be able to meet that cost. Those banks will eventually run into losses, they will not be able to recover all the loans of PBC and they will be contained to function as desired by all of us.”

Background

The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and five other banks had secured a court order to prevent any sale or transfer of assets of PBC Limited, including its headquarters at Dzorwulu Junction in Accra.

This follows a judgment secured by the six banks against PBC Limited. The other five banks include Cal Bank, Bank of Africa, GCB, Universal Merchant Bank, and United Bank of Africa.

This was after it secured a court order to sell some of the company’s assets over nonpayment of debt running into more than GH¢300 million.

The assets include vehicles and some equipment. The banks include Agricultural Development Bank, GCB Bank, Bank of Africa, CalBank, UMB and UBA Ghana.

The financial institutions applied for summary judgement on October 9, 2023, under order 14 of C.I 47 against the defendant, PBC.

In respect of the 1st Plaintiff (ADB Bank), the licensed buying cocoa company is expected to pay GH¢49.257 million. PBC is also expected to pay GH¢11.219 million, GH¢71.049 million, GH¢108.469 million, GH¢42.295 million and GH¢13.728 million to Bank of Africa Ghana, CalBank, GCB Bank, UMB and UBA Bank respectively.

The attachment order was issued by the Chief Justice, Gertrude Torkonoo, to have the company honour its debt obligations to the six banks.