Business News of Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Some aggrieved Customers of Menzgold Ghana Limited have hit the streets in protest against the embattled gold dealership company’s failure to pay them their principal investments.
According to the conveners of the group, the demonstration presents an opportunity for the customers to bring to the notice of Government and Parliament, the woes of the customers of the company.
The demonstrators plan to submit petitions to the company, Parliament, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other authorities.
In an interview with Citi News’ Hanson Agyemang, the President of the Coalition of Aggrieved customers of Menzgold Ghana Limited, Timothy Binob, said they hit the streets in a bid to compel Menzgold to honour the numerous promises made by the company to pay their customers
“Our expectations from Menzgold is that they pay us the full amount of our principal investments that is with them. We have had several stakeholder meetings and they promised and assured that they will pay our investments fully within 90 days. It was supposed to start from 9th October but as at now, those promises haven’t been fulfilled by Menzgold. They are going around throwing dust into the public domain saying that we have been paid. We are no longer going to accept that.”
Mr. Binob added that the Coalition will also petition a number of foreign embassies if their principal investments aren’t paid after two weeks, in their bid to seek redress.
“We are now up to task to petition the Government and other state agencies. Two weeks after this there will be another demonstration to petition the foreign embassies so that they know the situation.”
He further disclosed that today’s demonstration is a prelude to the presentation of their petition to the President, Parliament, the National Peace Council and Inspector General of Police.
“We are petitioning the President through the Minister of Information, we are petitioning the Peace Council, we are petitioning the Majority leader and the IGP.”
Some demonstrators held placards with inscriptions such as, ‘NAM is 419’, ‘SEC lift the ban’ ‘We shall die for our monies’ Gov’t order NAM 1 to pay us’ ‘NAM 1 pay us, you can’t hide forever’ ‘Sell Menzgold properties to pay’.
Mr. Binob also revealed that they are expecting in excess of 1,000 customers to partake in the on-going demonstration.
The demonstration by the aggrieved customers appears to be in defiance of pleas from the company’s management to customers to boycott the demonstration as payments to customers has commenced.
The company said although the customers have the right to stage such a protest, it believes that the action is unnecessary as it is honouring its promise of paying monies to the customers.
The Head of Communications of the gold dealership company, Nii Armah Amarteifio in an interview with Citi News said aggrieved customers who are still unsure about the payment of their investments must approach the company and dialogue, rather than hit the streets.
We won’t pay Menzgold customers’ locked up cash – Finance Minister
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori – Atta, has stated that government will not pay customers of gold dealership company, Menzgold their locked up investment.
Describing the situation as disturbing, Mr. Ofori-Atta disclosed that the company has lots of customers from reputable state institutions such as the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana and the military.
“…As I look at the Ministry of Finance and I see some people who are at the Ministry of Finance who have invested there, I look at the Bank of Ghana and I see some people who have invested there, and of course the military etc [who have invested there].”
He said such people invested their monies in Menzgold at their own peril.
Menzgold was asked to suspend its gold trading operations with the public by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
According to the SEC, Menzgold has been dealing in the purchase and deposit of gold collectibles from the public and issuing contracts with guaranteed returns with clients, without a valid license from the Commission.
This, the SEC said this was in contravention of “section 109 of Act 929 with consequences under section 2016 (I) of the same Act.”
The company was however cleared to continue its “other businesses of assaying, purchasing gold from small-scale miners and export of gold.”
Despite initial protests, Menzgold complied with the directive. It has however failed to fully pay its numerous aggrieved customers the value on their gold deposits as well as their entire investments.