Business News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Barely six months after the collapse of Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited (PSGL), there is yet to be any clarity on the matter, as pieces of information trickle in.
With some conflicting reports, inconsistent accounts and formal stakeholder explanations, Today has captured in the evidence below what has been gathered so far and reactions from workers of the company, individuals and groups that matter.
Information available to this paper indicates that the company has suffered a massive blow due to mismanagement and huge financial malfeasance on the part of the immediate past board of directors of PSGL during the erstwhile Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government. The collapse of the company, Today established, was at the expense of the teeming youth in the Prestea Huni-Valley District of the Western Region.
PSGL, Today gathered, employs close to 500 direct workers, with averagely 1200 dependents and 200 indirect workers and contractors. Currently, Today has learnt that the Prestea Himan Traditional Area is battling with huge unemployment problems, as it was manifested by the recent illegal gold mining pit disaster, which killed over 22 miners. PSGL was a hope for the people, and if nothing was done immediately by the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Prestea is going to suffer a lot in terms of youth unemployment.
The unfortunate plight of the workers at the moment, this paper learnt, was a sad one. Today was reliably informed that many workers of the defunct company have started dying of hunger, with five workers just dying this year due to various calamities and suffering. Today was also told that a lot of the children of these workers have now become school drop-outs, with many of the workers being ejected from their rented houses because they cannot pay.
The paper further discovered that the bungalows of the company have been disconnected from the national grid (electricity). A cross-section of frustrated workers of PSGL in an interview with Today via telephone yesterday lamented that they (workers) cannot pay their electricity bills, which situation has left them without power for some time now.
So far, according to them, they have not been paid for one year, one month now. According to them, the company’s clinic has no drugs and workers and their dependants are finding it difficult to access medical care. “The Board of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has been in office for about two months now, and Dr. K.K. Sarpong, now a full Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GNPC, should come out boldly and tell the workers the policy direction for the re-start of the mines.
“We are also appealing to the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area who doubles as a deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, should push the issue to get it addressed,” the workers stated. Apparently, they told Today that Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) has also been mute about this sad situation.
They stated that the General Secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers Union, Mr. Prince Ankrah, should come out and tell the workers something about this situation. For their part, members of the Prestea Communicators for Development (PCD) noted that they interviewed about 50 workers on the situation, and it was so terrible the condition they are in at the moment.
“We respect and salute PSGL workers, for still remaining calm, and going to picket as other aggrieved Ghanaian workers have done in recent past. We commend them. But now, things are getting out of control, and enough is enough, members of PCD stated.
The members of PCD on behalf of the chiefs and people of the area reiterated their call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to fulfill his campaign promises of reviving PSGL.