Management of the Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) says the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources could have handled the processes that led to its sudden closure much better.
GMC has been under investigation since February 2019 after preliminary checks of its finances allegedly revealed several infractions including nonpayment of taxes and price manipulation between 2010 to 2017, hence the shutdown.
Emmanuel Appiah Kubi, the company’s Finance Manager who was speaking on The Point of View on Citi TV was of the view that the Ministry’s lack of proper consultation before the closure makes its final decision a rather poor one.
He, therefore, wonders how governement intends to acquire the lost monies back following the suspension of the company’s operations.
“If you think someone owes you money, what you have to do is to write them a letter to demand the money from them, you don’t shut them down. If they are closed down, how do they raise the money to pay you. So I believe that shutting down the mine is not the right approach. There should be a dialogue. The workers are saying that they might go on the streets [to protest].”
Government through the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah Cheremeh, ordered the Ghana Manganese Company to shut down operations.
Subsequently, the company rejected allegations of tax breach and other infractions levelled against it by the government.
“As a matter of fact, the price of Manganese ore sold is now determined by the GRA. As a company, we have little or no say in the fixing of the price. Therefore, the figures put out by the Minister [of Lands and Natural Resources] are inconsistent,” the company said in a statement.
Already, the workers who have been asked to go home until further notice have threatened that, they will embark on a demonstration to express their displeasure if the government does not rescind its decision in a week’s time.
Some 2,000 employees are said to be affected by the shutdown.
Secretary to the Professional Managerial Staff Union of the company, Nana Owusu Oppong has indicated that “almost all the 2,000 workers have been sent home. So as workers we are saying that government should change its mind. We are saying that if after a week government does not change its mind we will embark on a demonstration.”