Customers of Menzgold are waiting with bated breath for the outcome of a validation exercise intended to pay them their locked-up funds.
Yesterday was day two of the one-month exercise and hundreds of customers of the gold dealership company who turned up at the company’s offices in the capital city to go through the exercise said all they wanted was to have their investments returned to them.
When the Daily Graphic visited the Osu, Dansoman, Awoshie, Madina and Mile 7 offices, there was calm and orderliness albeit few hiccups, as the customers took turns to fill forms and answer questions from officials who were validating their investments.
Customers were given numbers on arrival at the office and were called in groups of 10 into the office to fill their forms and get their receipts.
They were made to submit photocopies of their gold receipts and agreement receipts, and also fill forms and get receipts which will be used for the next phase of the exercise.
The Daily Graphic leant that some customers went to the office as early as 6a.m. to pick up their numbers but spent more than five hours without being called to go through the process.
In spite of the general orderliness, there were some setbacks that threatened the exercise.
For instance, the chairs provided on the premises could not take care of the numbers that turned up.
Some of the customers had to sit in front of people’s shops, on pavements and on the stairs to wait for their turn.
There was misunderstanding and bickering when some people realised that only four groups had been called in to complete the process.
A female customer said she had to lock up her shop for the day to get to the premises at 7a.m. but her number on arrival was 80.
She told the Daily Graphic that she was ready to leave her business for a day and finish the process because all she cared about was getting her money.
She said she didn’t know if they were going to be paid their dividends but all she was looking forward to receiving was her principal,
“If I’m given my principal without the dividends, I’ll be glad because the whole trauma has been too biting and the company is also unstable so all I need is my money and I’ll have my peace,” she said.
Another customer who gave his name as Frank said he was glad on receiving the news of the validation exercise, but indicated that the one month duration for the exercise was too long.
“Customers are eagerly waiting for our monies so using a month for validation exercise will slow things.
“I work at Tema but I had to take a day off to submit my forms today and I hope to complete the process so that I can go back to work from tomorrow,” he said.
The situation at Odorkor was also generally calm.
Names of customers were taken on their arrival instead of numbers.
Customers either sat or stood in the office area as they waited for their names to be called.
The only complaint from the customers was that as of 11a.m. receipts were finished so the process was halted till additional receipts were brought in about an hour later for the process to resume.
Though the station had to halt the process for a while, it had served more of its customers.
Some customers said when they heard the news about validation, they didn’t believe it.
However, they decided to give it a try, and realised that the process was ongoing as announced.
Customers were seen standing around and sitting in people’s shops, waiting to be called.
They would, however, not share information with the media.
All that they said was that they were on the premises for their money and had no business with the media.
Hundreds of customers lined up at the Menzgold office for the exercise, which started at about 9a.m.
The validation process at the Tamale Station of the Madina Market was a brief one.
At 12 noon, customers who could not validate their agreement forms the previous day but were given special tags to validate theirs, were denied access by some aggrieved customers who claimed they had been ignored by the validation officials.
This led to a scuffle among the aggrieved customers who called on the officials to ensure a smooth validation of the documents.
An aggrieved customer who mentioned his name only as Boateng, told the Daily Graphic that although he did not trust the validation process, he felt the need to partake in it. “I am doing this because maybe the government will intervene and I don’t want all the protests we have done so far to go in vain.”
At Dansoman, the Menzgold officials issued the customers with numbers and they were attended to accordingly.
Customers presented photocopies of their transaction documents and identification cards which were verified by the officials.
Lloyd, a customer going through the exercise at Osu, alleged that one person could send in more than two documents which delayed the process.
A young man who only gave his name as Kofi, urged the government to help quicken the process.
According to him, he was expecting the government to intervene but “the government just closed Menzgold without considering the people who have their monies there.”
“The government is like a father to us, so when we have any problems, it has to listen to our pleas and find ways of helping us,” he stated.
Commenting on the progress of the exercise, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Menzgold, Mr Nii Armah Amarteifio, said it was good so far and gave an assurance that everyone would go through the process.
“If you are not able to get validated today, come tomorrow and you will get yourself validated,” he assured.