Two deputy Ministers of Lands and Natural Resources, Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, and Hon. Benito Owusu Bio, have held a crunch meeting with the workers of Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited (PSGL) in the Western Region which has abruptly shut down its commercial operation due to indebtedness.
The meeting, which was held on Tuesday, April 24, 2017 was attended by Chief Executive Officer of Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn, Dr. Kakari from the Lands and Natural Resource Ministry as well as the Divisional Chief of Prestea-Himan traditional Area, Nana Nteboah Prah IV.
At the meeting, the engineering manager of PSGL enumerated the problems facing PSGL as nine months’ salary arrears of Junior Staff from July 2016- March, 2017 and ten month salary arrears of senior staff from June 2016-March, 2017.
He pointed out that no working capital with a residual ore debt of about GH¢ 4,000,000.00 (four million Ghana cedis or forty billion old Ghana cedis).
According to him, the Provident Fund (PF) contribution was in arrears for thirty three months from June 2014-February, 2017, adding that First Tier SSNIT contribution of workers are unpaid since February 2016, and Tier 2 SSNIT of workers unpaid since January 2014 to January, 2017.
Additionally, Mr. Otoo noted that the entitlements to separated staff (retirees, deceased and resignees) are outstanding, some for over two years amounting to some GH¢ 2,500,000 (two million, five hundred thousand).
Mr. Otoo therefore, appealed to government to do what is necessary to get PSGL back into operations since workers were in serious distress.
Dr. Tony Aubynn said that the deputy ministers have come to have first-hand information on the situation on the ground, so they can report to the minister and GNPC on the way forward for PSGL. Hon. Benito Owusu Bio assured workers that the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, His Excellency, will not allow PSGL to “go to the ground.”
Hon. Bio recounted: “since I went to Parliament, I have been a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), but whenever the Auditor General brings his Audit Report to PAC, what we see yearly is PSGL returns to government is ZERO.
So what we were asking is, does PSGL work or not, only to find out that all those years, PSGL was working.” Mrs. Oteng-Gyasi assured the workers that government will soon put up the GNPC Board. So that they can plan on the way forward! She assured the workers of her continuous support to seeing PSGL revived.
For his part, Nana Nteboah Prah IV encouraged government to open up to international mining companies that may be interested to invest in PSGL. Meanwhile, Today has gathered that the fate of PSGL has continued to be one of the biggest test case for the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Co-operation (GNPC), Dr. K.K Sarpong, and the incoming GNPC Board of Directors to find a solution to address the ailing state gold company into commercial production again.
Source: Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu||todaygh