ASD Lumber Workers Raise Red Flag


THE PEOPLE of Sekondi-Takoradi, including some aggrieved ex-workers of Western Veneer and Lumber Company (WVLC) Limited, a timber company, are concerned because they do not know the current and rightful owner of the company.

This is because one Nana Yaw Amparbeng, owner and Chief Executive Officer of ASD Lumber Limited brought in machomen in December 2007 and forcibly ejected management of the WVLC Limited

He took over the place, claiming that the place had been given to him by the Divesture Implementation Company (DIC).

CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE reported the delay in the payment of the severance entitlements in its December 21, 2009.

Dr. Assakua Agambilla, Executive Secretary of DIC, on December 23 2003 removed the ASD Lumber signboard in front of the company, replacing it with, “Property of Ghana Government, Keep Off.”

The property was reportedly sold to ASD Lumber Limited in December 2007 with one Nana Yaw Amparbeng as the owner.  

This paper’s investigations revealed that in October 2007, the DIC issued a letter with reference number DIC 20601 dated 24th October 2007 and titled “Update On Divestiture of WVLC Limited.”

It was signed by J. K. A. Wiredu, Acting Executive Secretary of DIC and addressed to the former Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Agyei Yeboah.  

It stated, “We write to update you on the current status of the divesture of WVLC Limited.

The DIC after diligently complying with the established procedure, which included obtaining the approval of our Board and the authorization of His Excellency the President, offered the assets of WVLC Limited to Messrs ASD Lumber (Ghana Limited).

“They have accepted the offer and effected the first two payments to government.”

The letter further noted that the computation of workers’ severance entitlements was to be completed by the DIC by 16th November 2007, but since then the workers have not been paid their entitlements.

Strangely enough, The Chronicle also carried a story on Monday, January 11 2010 about ASD Lumber’s indebtedness to Takoradi Timber Company and Fidey Company.

The report further noted that a Sekondi High Court had ordered the auctioning of the company’s assets.  

According to The Chronicle reporter, management of ASD Lumber led by one George Senchery prevented the bailiff, the auctioneer and two police escort from entering the premises of the company to auction the property on the grounds that it was owned by the government.  

Further investigations by CITY&BUSINESS GUIDE indicate that since the erection of the “Government of Ghana Property” signboard by Dr. Agambilla on  December 23 2009, Senchery and his team have been using the company’s machines to produce timber and plywood.

The paper gathered that the purchase of lumber and plywood was done in the night through the gate near WAMCO II, as payments were made during the day at the factory premises.

This development prompted the leadership of the ex-workers of WVLC Limited to meet the Regional Police Commander, enquiring from him whether the company had been reverted to the State and under whose authority George Senchery and his team, who are employees of ASD Lumber, were operating.  

According to the leaders of ex-workers of WVLC, the police commander told them that his outfit had not been instructed to stop people working at the place but to protect “Government of Ghana Property”.

As a result of this development, leaders of the ex-workers accompanied by their enraged colleagues, stormed the office of this paper yesterday, urging the government to take steps to clarify the situation.

“The DIC should tell Ghanaians the exact time this company became a state-owned company and when our severance entitlements would be paid to us. We want to why Amparbeng is bragging that the company was for him?” the ex-workers declared.

From Sam Mark Essien, Takoradi