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General News of Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Source: Daily Mail

Akufo-Addo’s appointees economical with truth - Blackshield Management

Management of Blackshield Fund Management Company (formerly Gold Coast Fund Management) is convinced that some appointees of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo have been economical with the truth hence the mess with fund management customers.

According to Blackshield, government appointees in their rush to denigrate owners of the defunct fund management companies made decisions without weighing the consequences, and “without thinking through the damage they are causing to people’s lives and assets”.

Speaking on a political talk show ‘Kanawu’ on Amansan Television (ATV) over the weekend, officials connected to Blackshield assured the more than 80, 000 customers of the company that it had not and would not place any obstacles in the way that would prevent them from benefiting from Government of Ghana sponsored payments to customers of fund management companies which were collapsed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2019.

Spokesperson for Blackshield, Mr Ben Afreh explained to customers and the general public how the revocation of the Blackshield licence came about, and matters that had risen afterwards.

According to him, the situation had led to a “looming court battle between his outfit and SEC”.

He told the host, Atta Kwaku Boadi ,that Blackshield wanted its customers to be paid in full. Mr Afreh confirmed that, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) had been appointed as the agent of SEC .

He further confirmed the PwC had obtained loads of information from Blackshied months ago to perform a forensic study but “ the results have not been shared with the company, its response or validation”

He noted that, despite the failure of PwC to share the information with his company, SEC relied on the study to revoke the licence of Blackshield.

According to the Spokesperson of Blackshield, it was only two weeks ago that PwC sent a letter requesting for information which he said, had been sent to them.

Mr Afreh disclosed that, Blackshield had repeatedly asked PwC to sit together with the company so that officially they can validate what is due to customers since all has to do with investment and not commercial banking with guaranteed returns.

He further disclosed that some customers of Blackshield had received their locked-up funds since the crisis started in 2018.

To this end, he called on the government to ensure that this collaboration happens to fastback the validation of customer accounts.

On his part, the spokesperson for Groupe Nduom, Mr Kofi Asamoah-Siaw said, a significant amount of the customers’ funds were with government agencies.

These agencies, he mentioned included Road Fund, COCOBOD , GETFund and the Ministry of Roads and Highways.

“So if the government for any reason does not want to pay the contractors so they can also pay Blackshield for the company to pay its customers, then, it should pay the customers directly and do reconciliation later”, he said.

Mr Asamoah-Siaw was of the opinion that, some appointees of President Akufo-Addo at SEC, Ministry of Finance and some state agencies were causing him (President Akufo-Addo) more harm than good.

He believed that, they were not telling the truth which had caused needless noise in public with customer demonstrations and public officials hopping to media outlets to explain themselves.

He urged the President to call for the facts, which he believed would lead to an early resolution of the matter.

Blackshield, he said, “ is important because according to SEC, its customers make up over 80%of the people including pensioners, teachers, soldiers, judges and even SEC officers”.

According to Mr Asamoah-Siaw, Blackshied was disappointed that SEC through the Registrar- General petitioned the courts to liquidate the company especially when the date on the petition was 27th November, 2019.

“This is when Blackshield was going through its own petition to ask SEC to reconsider the decision to revoke its licence”, he said.

He pointed out that,from the word go, SEC just wanted to collapse Blackshield and distribute its assets to others.

He claimed that, the solution presented by GCB Capital to manage a fund for Blackshield’s customers looks exactly the same as the Cardinal Fund proposed by Blackshield but was rejected by SEC some months ago.

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