As His Predecessors “Built”
President Akufo-Addo has come under severe criticism from a section of Ghanaians for purposefully setting out to collapse some marked-out indigenous businesses that his predecessors assisted to grow.
According to the President’s accusers, whereas his predecessors assisted local business owners to expand their businesses in order to absorb the teeming unemployed youths, Mr. Akufo-Addo, since becoming President, has rather decided to “cripple” those businesses.
The President and some of his appointees since their victory in last year’s election have been employing crude tactics to collapse businesses of some indigenous entrepreneurs perceived to be loyalists of the opposition National Democratic Congress.
This, some aggrieved Ghanaians say is contrary to President Akufo-Addo’s own pledge ahead of the 2016 elections to create conducive economic environment for local businesses to thrive in pursuit of his transformational agenda.
It has however turned out that some of the local businesses President Akufo-Addo has targeted for collapse were businesses former Presidents Rawlings, Kufuor, Mills and Mahama “assisted” to grow in order to create employment during their reign.
Some affected local entrepreneurs being pursued with the hope of collapsing their businesses include, Roland Agambire of rLg Communications; Managing Director of Maripoma Construction Enterprise, Ali Seidu; Chief Executive of Zeera Group of Companies, Alhaji Seidu Agongo; CEO of Engineers and Planners, Ibrahim Mahama; CEO of Jospong Group, Dr Joseph Agyapong Siaw; businessman, Kofi Job among others.
Mr Agambire has for some time now been on government radar; with the Ghana Revenue Authority locking up his company over non-payment of tax and even went ahead to declare him wanted. The GRA also threatened to auction properties of his company to defray his indebtedness to the revenue generating agency if he failed to pay by 14 days.
However, weeks later the same GRA declared that Mr Agambire was no longer a wanted person and, that they had entered into an agreement with him over his indebtedness.
In the case of Alhaji Agongo, Ali Seidu and Kofi Job, they have all been severally invited by the Economic and Organized Crime Office, CID, Special Investigation Committees over nonexistent scandals at COCOBOD. These strings of inquisitions are said to be part of the NPP government’s grand agenda to frustrate these businessmen and eventually bring them onto their knees.
While some of them have had their contracts with COCOBOD unilaterally cancelled by government, others have been accused of inflating contract sums and have since been subjected to various forms of harassments to compel them to vary their contract sums downward.
Mr Ibrahim Mahama and Dr Agyapong Siaw have also had some of their contracts terminated in addition to being under so-called investigations.
In line with this agenda, Northern regional Minister, Salifu Saeed last month purportedly terminated Bimbilla-Salaga road contract awarded to E&P without just cause. This was followed with cancelling of a bauxite concession awarded Exton Cubic, a company Mr Ibrahim Mahama’s wife is said to have an interest.
Irked by the government’s decision to revoke a mining license granted Exton Cubic Ltd, Central regional Chairman of the NDC, Bernard Allotey Jacobs said President Akufo-Addo and some of his appointees are deliberately targeting businesses of local entrepreneurs for collapse.
As a result of these supposed investigations into their business dealings, some contracts they entered into with past governments of Ghana have either been terminated or are on the verge of being abrogated.
Allotey Jacob, incensed by these developments made it clear that Mr Ibrahim Mahama became a successful entrepreneur under the erstwhile Kufuor administration, thus could not fathom why the current Akufo Addo-NPP government is moving heaven on earth to collapse his companies.
According to him, “It was President J.A Kufuor who made up his mind to grow Ghanaian entrepreneurs and Ibrahim to become a top business person in Ghana so, any person who can do well in any field, he will help you and out of it came E&P,” Allotey noted…
“They (NPP) helped him (Ibrahim) to reach this level and so I find it hard to understand why government (NPP) is punishing the innocent man. I’m pleading with Akufo-Addo to intervene as soon as possible” he recently stated on Accra based Peace FM.
Dr Agyapong Siaw and his companies have also come under attack from the Akufo Addo-led government, resulting in the cancellation of some of his companies’ contracts with government amongst them, the compulsory towing levy contract.
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, in a subtle jab of Dr Agyapong, and, justifying why his towing contract was abrogated stated, “You don’t get a government in Germany or anywhere getting involved in a thing like this, I have never come across any. So let us learn from good practices elsewhere. “Today, we are asking you to go and register for the services you will provide.
Naturally, people are going to ask some questions. We want to listen to your concerns if any, because what was expected to commence on July 1 has been stopped, but there is the need to provide that service. We are asking those who have the capacity to provide the service to register through the appropriate ministry and provide the service to those who need it and those who receive the services will pay for it at the point of receiving the service.”