Thursday, January 19, 2012

Daily Guide Reporter Goes To Oxford

Thursday January 19, 2012.

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William Yaw Owusu, Senior reporter of DAILY GUIDE, Ghana’s leading private newspaper, has won the prestigious Reuters Fellowship Award. He has been offered a place at Templeton College, University of Oxford in the United Kingdom to undertake a six month-long research programme at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Mr. Owusu is joining other journalists from around the world to undertake the course which is meant for talented and experienced mid-career journalists.

He is a member of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and holds BA in Communication Studies (Journalism Major) from the Ghana Institute of Journalism as well as Diploma in Communication Studies from the same institute.

He previously worked for Ghanaian Times, a state-owned daily newspaper from 2002-2009 where he specialized in legal, political, environmental and business/finance reporting. He is an experienced Court reporter.

Mr. Owusu, who is married, has enormous experience in reporting on human rights, social justice and political activism and aspires to move it further in an effort to ensure robust independent and free media in Ghana and the entire West African sub-region.

He was recently appointed Editor-in-Chief of Business Guide, one of the newspapers produced by Western Publication.

Reuters, the leading wire service news outlet in the world, commissions a group of experienced Journalists and University of Oxford Professors to assess applications submitted by an average of 2,000 applicants every year to select the best for the course. Mr. Owusu is the fourth Ghanaian to have won the Fellowship.

Other fellows from Ghana include: Berefi Apenteng, current Managing Director, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), A. A. Blay, then with the Ghana News Agency and Frank Agyekum, then with the Ghana News Agency and current spokesperson of former President Kufuor.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Flashback! Dr. Benjamin Kumbuor (Minister of the Interior), Representative of STX Korea, President John Evans Atta Mills, Alban Bagbin (Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing) and Dr. Kwabena Adjie (NDC Chairman)at STX Housing project sod-cutting ceremony at the Tesano Police Training Depot, Accra on January 27, 2011.

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A Feature by William Yaw Owusu

Saturday January 6, 2012.
On Friday, December 30, 2011, Ghanaians were hit hard with the news that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government was on the verge of abrogating the controversial multi-billion housing deal between the Government of Ghana and STX Engineering & Construction Limited of South Korea.

This was disclosed by Vice President John Dramani Mahama when he interacted with the Parliamentary Press Corp in Accra.

The project would have seen the construction of 200,000 houses in Ghana in five (5) years, estimated at $10billion. In August 2010, parliament approved an initial off-take agreement for 30,000 housing units for the security agencies at a proportionate cost of $1.5 billion amid protest from the opposition New Patriotic party (NPP).

A 12-member government delegation led by then Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing signed the STX Housing Project deal in 2009.

The deal – hailed by some as the best thing ever to happen to Ghana – collapsed because of persistent boardroom wrangling between the Ghanaian and Korean partners of STX Engineering & Construction Ghana Limited, the local subsidiary of STX Korea.

Observers also attributed the collapse of the deal to the ineffective and haphazard manner in which the government handled the whole issue.

President Mills’ Propaganda

When President John Evans Atta Mills cut the sod on Thursday January 27, 2011 (nearly a year ago) at the Tesano Police Training Depot for the commencement of the STX project, the impression was created that the NDC government was more concerned about the welfare of the security agencies, particularly the police, than its political opponents.

President Mills had said at the sod cutting ceremony packed with NDC supporters that the STX Housing Project was tied to the ruling party’s 2008 manifesto commitment to expand infrastructure, and added that the venture was a legacy that history would not be able to write.

“This is a significant turning point in the history of our dear country. This is the change we promised and government intends to leave a strong and positive legacy and the completion of this project will be a legacy that history will not be able to write,” he said.

The rhetoric and propaganda associated with the project appeared to have overwhelmed the Koreans, who were of the view that the project was a national assignment and that it should never be used for propaganda purposes as the NDC did until the whole thing fell flat in their faces.

DAILY GUIDE’S investigation has shown that at all material times, it is the Vice President’s office that has been handling issues concerning the STX Housing Project.

President Mills had probably predicted the demise of the company when during his state of the nation address in 2010, he said the Vice President had travelled to Seoul, Korea, to ‘nail the coffin’ of STX.

Korean Concerns

The Koreans were said to be pulling out of the STX deal because they were persistently frustrated by attempts by the government to allegedly make them ‘irrelevant’ in the whole project.

Both the Koreans and their Ghanaian counterparts, led by Bernard Kwabena Asamoah – the man credited for introducing the Koreans to the NDC government – remained tightlipped on the raging issues even though a source told DAILY GUIDE “we (Koreans) got to know about the sovereign guarantee in the newspapers”.

“We have tried our best to get to President Mills directly for him to know what is happening but to no avail. Anytime we make the effort they tell us to rather deal with the Vice President’s Office instead,” the source claimed.

“We realize that our message to the President is being edited at the middle level that is why we are trying to reach him directly but our attempts have failed so far because we are always told to discuss issues with his deputies.”

The source said, “We have even arranged for STX Chairman worldwide to meet President Mills one on one on the stalemate, but to no avail.”

At a point, it was even rumoured that government delegated Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister of Communications, to negotiate with the Koreans when the sector Minister, Alban Bagbin and his deputies Dr. Mustapha Ahmed and Hannah Bissiw, were always available.

Corruption Leads

Failure of the government to stamp its authority on the project has left many wondering about what really went into the preparation in terms of financial commitments.

There have been trips abroad, particularly to Korea, by countless number of government officials including Ministers of State. There have also been project site preparation among others and nobody seems to tell the people of Ghana how much has been spent.

According to sources, the consulting architectural concept design allegedly prepared by a Professor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), on the orders of B.K. Asamoah, cost the company about 21 million dollars, when the Koreans claimed they could do it for only 5 million dollars.

The Koreans were said to have raised serious objection to the procurement of building materials from Western Forms in the United States, which they (Koreans) claimed could last for 30 years when under the agreement, the project’s lifespan was only years (5) years.

As a result, the Koreans distanced themselves from all transactions, including contracting of loans and guarantees and land title agreements allegedly being entered into by STX Engineering & Construction Company Ghana Limited through B.K Asamoah.

It was said that whenever the issue of cost was raised, the employer (Government of Ghana) did not find any fault with it and asked the Koreans to forget about it because it was ‘normal’.

The Koreans also complained that the sovereign guarantee issued by the Ghana Government to STX to enable it to raise a loan was allegedly given to B.K. Asamoah, the CEO of STX Engineering and Construction Ghana Limited, to source for funding in financial market without reference to the Koreans, and contrary to the agreement.

This was the reason why the Sovereign Guarantee was reported be going round several countries in search for cash to start the project.

The countries the money was sought from included the United Kingdom and Switzerland, the USA and Mexico. It was later sighted in Nigeria, where it was moving from one bank to the other in search of a new lease of life.

Furthermore, the insurance on the loan, according to DAILY GUIDE sources, was paid even though not a pesewa was sourced in terms of funding for the project.

STX had promised to bring the money from Korea, as captured in the agreement, but once that was not done, the government backed the local partner to look elsewhere for cash, contrary to the agreement.

There were rumours that a son of a powerful Minister in the Mills administration was hobnobbing with a party in the STX deal to benefit from the $300 million insurance fund, and had formed an insurance brokerage to facilitate the transfer of cash even though the company had not sourced for funds for the project.

Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing, Alban Bagbin, allegedly travelled abroad several times, including the United States and Mexico, to push for alternative sources of funding for the project.


The mistrust between the partners became intense as the wrangling lingered and on August 18, 2011, the Koreans announced that they had fired B.K Asamoah as its local CEO.

Their reason was that B.K. Asamoah had allegedly diluted the shares to his advantage, without recourse to the Korean partners. As a result they sued the beleaguered CEO and others, including the Registrar-General, for allowing the transfer of the shares.

The Fast Track High Court presided over by Justice N.M.C. Abodakpi however adjourned proceedings sine die because the processes to get the case heard were not completed.

At a point, B.K. Asamoah was alleged to have been chased out of his private residence on the Spintex road by his landlady over the non-payment of rent.

Additionally, he was said to have issued dud cheques to Rana Motors for payment of vehicles purchased for the company’s use and the foregone developments appeared to have given a clue as to what the financial situation of the company currently was.

But B.K. Asamoah sharply rebutted media reports and argued that he was still at post. He subsequently proceeded to the Commercial Court to file a suit against the Korean partners, and sought reliefs that would have ensured that the Koreans were sacked from the entire project.

However, the court presided over by Justice Gertrude Torkornoo dismissed B.K. Asamoah’s application on ‘procedural grounds’ and awarded GH¢ 3,000 as cost against the applicant.

The judge had held that B.K. Asamoah could only sue under the Company Code 217 if the partner had been involved in an illegal conduct, but the plaintiff had failed to prove the Koreans did.

In the course of the trial, B.K. Asamoah had indicated he was ready to pay off his Korean counterparts in a form of a settlement package. The court therefore allowed the partners time to settle the terms and report to it.

Observers were of the view that if indeed B.K. Asamoah had followed due process to acquire the shares of his counterparts, then he had no business offering to pay off the Koreans.

The End Of B.K Asamoah?

It is clear B.K. Asamoah will never let go his ‘brainchild’ if the government decides to go ahead with the project by sidelining the partners.

As far as DAILY GUIDE is concerned, the beleaguered CEO registered the national housing concept in his name. This means that the project touted by the NDC as one of its flagship project does not belong to the self-acclaimed social democrats after all.

Documents stumbled on by DAILY GUIDE indicated that the Ghana National Housing Project belonged solely to B.K. Asamoah. The certificate of registration issued to him by the Copyright Office and signed by the Acting Copyright Administrator on April 26, 2011 cited the title of work as “The Ghana National Housing Project” and name of author as Bernard Kwabena Asamoah.

The copyright claimant is G.K. Airports Company Limited, the company that entered into a joint venture agreement with STX Korea to construct 200,000 housing units at the cost of $1,525,443,468 ($1.52billion) across the country, starting with 30,000 houses for the security services.

The Bagbin Factor

The Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alban Bagbin, was always prepared to slam any media organization that attempted to dissect problems confronted by the partners in the execution of the project.

After pretending that all was well with the project, it was Mr. Bagbin who first made an about-turn on December 22, 2011, announcing that the government was likely to disengage from the controversial project.

Mr. Bagbin, who persistently went publicly debunking media reports that the deal was collapsing, had to eat humble pie when he said on Christmas eve that proceeding with the project without the current partners was a possibility.

When he was asked earlier about additional sources of funding for the project, he simply said, “the money is available so it is not an issue of funding. I won’t disclose the source of additional funding but the money is coming into our account at the Bank of Ghana.”

He continued, “there is no difficulty in sourcing funds. Funds have been sourced and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning can confirm that money is available.”

Mr. Bagbin added that since the Bank of Ghana issued sovereign guarantee to cover the project, there was mad rush by banks to provide financial support for the project.

Using the Police As Propaganda Tool

From the onset, it was clear that the propaganda that characterized the introduction of the project was making it impossible for the project to succeed and it gave sceptics the opportunity to claim vindication.

For instance, when the police hierarchy, led by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye, commandeered innocent policemen to besiege the Parliament House to offer support for the passage of the STX deal, it became apparent that something had gone amiss.

GREDA Factor

As the negotiation was going on with the Koreans, the Ghana Real Estates Developer’s Association (GREDA) entered the fray to ask the government to allow them to bid for the project since according to them, they had the capacity to construct the housing units.

They came with a proposal to build the 300,000 houses over the same period, at the cost of $7 billion – clearly $3 billion cheaper and 100,000 more houses than the Koreans were offering to do.

Threats to GREDA

In the ensuing debate, Joy FM broadcast a news item to the effect that GREDA might have withdrawn its petition to Parliament on the STX housing deal because its executives were threatened with death.

The news item landed the station’s then news editor, Ato Kwamena Dadzie, in trouble when the police tried to charge him for causing fear and panic under Section 208 of the Criminal Code but after a public uproar, particularly in the media, Ato’s charges were dropped by the police.

Stakeholders’ Queries

Danquah Institute (DI), IMANI-Ghana – all data and policy analysis groups – together with some political parties, particularly the NPP, voiced their concerns about the inappropriateness of the deal.

DI for instance raised red flag over the implementation of the project because of what it calls “the government’s ambiguity, changes and re-arrangements with sources of funding of the project”.

The Minority Caucus even boycotted the approval of the agreement, citing a writ filed in the Supreme Court by James Kwabena Bonfeh aka Kabila, a former CPP National Youth Organizer, praying the court to place perpetual injunction on Parliament from considering the agreement.

Unfolding Drama
Even before Parliament agreed to the deal, the President had directed that the multi-billion dollar deal before the house be withdrawn for further review by a joint ministerial committee, and it gave the Minority the leeway to claim that their opposition to the deal was justified.

After a closed-door meeting between officials of STX and Vice President Mahama, as well as some top government officials including ministers of state in Accra, the deal could not be signed, confirming the opposition’s fears that there was more to the whole deal than Ghanaians were being told.

Almost three hours after the media had set up their equipment in the well-decorated conference room at the presidency, then Deputy Minister of Information, James Agyenim-Boateng, accompanied by John Jinapor, spokesperson for Mr. Mahama, and Stanislav Xoese Dogbe, a presidential aide, appeared and announced the cancellation of the programme.

Agyenim-Boateng had attributed the cancellation to “legal issues that could not be resolved immediately at the last meeting before the ceremony”.

“Certain legal issues cropped up at the eleventh hour and under the circumstances, we were compelled to cancel the signing until we receive advice from the Attorney-General’s Department, where we have referred the issues to,” the Deputy Information Minister had told journalists.

Key Observation

A cursory look at STX magazines published in 2011 positively highlighted the Ghana project alongside other projects across the world. However, while there are clearly stated time lines for all STX projects across the world, there was none for the projects in Ghana, sparking fears that there was no seriousness attached to the project.


To quote the Vice President: “The way things are going I don’t see how that project will go on. The wrangling is getting worse rather than getting better so I don’t see how that project will go forward.” This shows clearly that the STX project is dead.

Also the fact that President Mills had said “the venture is a legacy that history will not be able to write”, indeed proves that the Mills-led NDC government is writing another chapter of history when it comes to failed promises.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

IMANI Replies Gov’t On $3bn Chinese Loan

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By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday January 5, 2011.
IMANI Ghana, a data and policy analysis think tank, has hit back at the government for trying to run down a study it conducted into the $3 billion loan secured by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government from their Chinese counterparts.

According to IMANI Ghana, it was clear the government’s communicators were running away from the real issues that they raised and attacking their personalities and IMANI as an organization in general.

The policy think-tank’s crime was that it released a statement saying it doubted whether the loan - hailed by the government as the best thing ever to happen to Ghana - was going to be a panacea to the nation’s infrastructural challenges.

Moments after the release, the government’s communicators took turns to run down the report.

Koku Anyidoho, Director of Communications at the Presidency, said the researchers have been paid to down play the $3 billion Chinese loan while Stan Dogbe, a presidential staffer, who recently cashed GH¢169,000, equivalent to ¢1.6 billion cedis to buy hampers and organize seminars for journalists on the 2010 Budget, said IMANI was being mischievous in a bid to satisfy their paymasters to block the facility.

Fifi Kwetey, a deputy Minister of Finance said “listening to IMANI president Franklin Cudjoe’s arguments seeking to portray IMANI as an organization out to do an independent work betray a certain remarkable affinity to some of the things NPP clearly has been doing.”

Kwadwo Twum Boafo, CEO of the Ghana Free Zones Board said IMANI should simply declare themselves appendages of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) because he “cannot understand how a supposedly credible think tank can caution the government premised on falsehood.

Sedina Tamakloe Attionu, CEO of the Ghana Youth Authority, described IMANI as a leaking tank and not any think tank
However, IMANI has said it is not perturbed by the barrage of insults heaped on them by the presidential spokespersons and reaffirmed that their credibility is intact.

“We were completely taken aback by the reaction of a number of Government Spokespersons to our recent comment on the China Development Bank (CDB) loan facility for infrastructure development.

“Most of the reactions were hasty, over-generalized and in some instances frantic. More worryingly, nearly all of them were also wrong.”

IMANI was of the view that the “said reactions tended to skirt around the vital points we had made to focus on non-essentials.”

They said “at no point did we denigrate the source, objectives or motives behind the loan. We had not sought to perform any critical analysis on the agreements governing the loan facility. Since Parliament has shown clear interest in examining these matters, our approach has been to leave the legal scrutiny in their hands until we had cause to believe something was amiss.”

“At no point did we suggest that no portion of the loan will materialize or that the CDB was incapable or disinterested in fulfilling their side of the agreement.

“What we set out to do was to examine one dimension of the loan process: actual amounts of disbursement from the point of view of the lender, the China Development Bank. This is something that had not been done to date and having discerned some of the patterns behind their lending strategy, we felt it was important to share our findings with the general public, especially with regard to how such a strategy is likely to align or misalign with the short-term policy vision of the government.”

IMANI said the government moreover concedes that the $3 billion will be disbursed over five years and that there is currently only one agreement before Parliament that can release even one cent of the money to Ghana, and that this agreement concerns one billion dollars, not all of which is guaranteed to be disbursed immediately or indeed within 2012.

“Therefore, government, if indeed it is looking to boost infrastructure development for accelerated growth in 2012 – 2013, should as a matter of urgency focus on salvaging the more than 200 significant projects and programs that are stalling because of a lack of attention from the respective ministries and departments.

“It is clear that the spokespersons of the government of Ghana by their omissions and commissions have misinformed and mis-educated Ghanaians, not IMANI.”

IMANI noted that “as a patriotic think tank, fearlessly standing up for the national and public interest, we wish the government of Ghana and His Excellency the President very well in their endeavours. But our foremost loyalties are to the good people of Ghana. Our credibility is intact.”

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Franklin Cudjoe in a leader of IMANI Ghana.

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By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday January 4, 2011.
IMANI Ghana, a data and policy analysis think tank and the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government are at each other’s throat over the $3 billion loan secured by the government from their Chinese counterparts.

According to IMANI, its research has shown that “it is highly doubtful that in the short term Government of Ghana shall be able to satisfy the strict credit requirements of the China Development Bank in order to secure the entire $3 billion mentioned in the government’s framework agreement with the state-owned Chinese bank.”

However, the government, through a Deputy Minister of Information, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and presidential staffer Stan Dogbe have reacted angrily over IMANI’s claims describing it as ‘regrettable’ and ‘misleading the public’ with its analysis of the situation.

IMANI said it suspects “the maximum facility available to Ghana shall not exceed $1 billion over the timeframe of 2012 –2013. And even this $1 billion shall not come on a silver platter.”

“In keeping with this opinion, which we shall back up with analysis in this report, we are worried that government’s over-reliance on this facility to prosecute its 2013 economic program, especially in the infrastructure area, could lead to dislocations in the economy and frustrations on the part of its managers,” IMANI said.

“In his New Year address, the President of the Republic left all of us in no doubt about how central the $3 billion facility has become to the government’s overall economic agenda. According to a Ghana News Agency report of the speech, President Mills was therefore confident that government’s infrastructural development will receive a boost this year following the approval of the 3 billion dollar Chinese loan.”

IMANI said it was important to stress that the said $3 billion loan facility has not been approved by the authority that matters – the board of the Chinese Development Bank (CDB).

Rather, IMANI said what had been approved was a Master Framework Agreement (MFA) suggesting in very loose language that CDB is interested in discussing whether and how it may be viable to invest $3 billion in Ghana’s oil and gas infrastructure.

“Per article 26 of the MFA: ‘Except for the provision of Article 22, this Framework Agreement shall be deemed to be a letter of intent and understanding of the Parties and is not intended to create any legal relations or obligations on either Party.”

“The only binding clause, article 22 states that: “The Parties agree that no Party shall disclose the content of this Framework Agreement or any other agreements or documents generated or communicated between the Parties pursuant to this Framework Agreement without the express written consent of the other Party except where such disclosure is required by the laws of PRC and/or Ghana,” IMANI added.

“Let us bear in mind that Chinese financial institutions are adopting global standards of credit and risk evaluation and have therefore increasingly little propensity to pump money into half-baked or unready projects. Increasingly, their expectations of quality and rigour, and in particular profitability, are as high and as tough to meet as those of any financial institution anywhere on the globe.”

After an in-depth analysis of the situation, IMANI advised the government not to neglect the optimization of “all its other revenue sources in a frenzied pursuit of the CDB loan.”

“We are saddened by the continued slow disbursement of already committed money that has led to many infrastructure projects languishing in various stages of abandonment all over the country,” it noted.

In the government’s response, Okudzeto Ablakwa said IMANI was confusing the Framework Agreements signed with the Chinese authorities (CDB and China EXIM Bank) in September 2010 during President Mills’ visit to China with the Master Facility Agreement (MFA) which Parliament approved in August 2011.

He said, “it is regrettable that IMANI confuses the two documents and is misleading the public. Indeed, IMANI refers to a Master Framework (not Facility) Agreement in its analysis. While the Framework Agreements are Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), the MFA is a firm and binding Agreement with CDB.”

The deputy Minister said availability period for drawing down on the two Tranches (US1. 5 billion each) under the MFA is five years, not three years as IMANI sought to portray to the public.

“This is because government is aware that it is asking for a Facility to finance major infrastructure projects (e. g. oil/gas pipeline and processing plant; Takoradi harbor and Volta basin/ coastal landing sites; Accra Plains Irrigation; and Takoradi to Kumasi railway line) that cannot be completed within one (1) fiscal year.”

“In placing the projects within the GSGDA, government was not looking at short-term gains only, as IMANI sought to portray. The feasibility studies for the projects are very clear on this point that they are medium-to-long term projects,” he said.

“As noted IMANI quotes Article 26 of the Framework Agreement and not Section 26 of the binding MFA. Had it referred to the MFA, IMANI would have seen that Section 26 of the MFA (Partial Invalidity) is part of Part 9 of the Agreement, which deals with elaborate processes for administering the loan.”

He said the Government was on course to submit the Subsidiary Agreements (which specify the Projects to be financed) to Parliament, as it promised during the Parliamentary debates between June and August 2011 and it was surprising that IMANI was making an issue of the agreements again.

The deputy Minister said “it is surprising for IMANI to belittle the amount that CDB lends for foreign operations. Government does not view 17. 5 percent of US$800 billion (or US$140 billion) as an insignificant amount in terms of development bank, multilateral or bilateral financing. It is prudent for Ghana to tap this source of financing to diversify its traditional sources of financing infrastructure development, notably commercial projects”.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

STX Housing Project Dead!...Cars, Furniture On Sale

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By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday January 3, 2012
The controversial STX Housing project that would have seen the construction of housing units across the country, starting with 30,000 for the security services, is over if the words of Vice President John Dramani Mahama is to be believed.

“The way things are going I don’t see how that project will go on. The wrangling is getting worse rather getting better so I don’t see how that project will go forward,” Mr. Mahama said.

The Vice President told journalists in Accra on December 30, 2011 that the government was going to terminate the $10 billion deal between the government of Ghana and STX Korea due to boardroom wrangling between the Ghanaian and its Korean counterpart stalling the project.

Ever since President John Evans Atta Mills cut the sod on Thursday January 27, 2011at Police Training Depot at Tesano, Accra for the commencement of the project board room wrangling between the Ghanaian and their Korean partners has ensured that not a single block has been laid even though a land at Kwabenya in Accra was purportedly cleared for that purpose.

Daily Guide can confirm that the head office of STX Engineering and Construction Ghana Limited at airport Residential Area, Accra has been offered for rent while office furniture and vehicles have been put on sale.

Lending credence to the fact that the STX project is over is the alacrity with which the Koreans are leaving the country.

Currently, almost all top officials of the company have gone back to Korea while the local staff has been laid off.

As at Tuesday December 20, 2011, Daily Guide saw about four men busily pasting a bold inscription which read “House for Rent” in red ink on the company’s main gates at the Airport Residential Area.

The security personnel manning the two gates of the company looked on sheepishly without any attempt to intercept the unfolding action.

Bernard Kwabena Asamoah the man credited for introducing the housing deal to the government and who has fallen out with the Koreans is alleged to have been chased out of his private residence on the Spintex road by his landlady recently over the non-payment of rent.

Additionally, he is said to have issued dud cheques to Rana Motors for payment of vehicles purchased for the company’s use.

The foregoing developments appeared to be giving a clue as to what the financial situation of the company currently is.

The five-member board of STX in November pasted an unsigned notice which claimed that the Ghanaian head of STX Ghana, BK Asamoah had been relieved of his duties.

But Mr. Asamoah sharply rebutted media reports and argued that he was still at post.

This took place a few weeks after the Korean partners dragged B.K. Asamoah to court and accused him of falsifying certain corporate documents and also unlawfully reconstituting the board but the case could not proceed because the plaintiffs (Koreans) could not serve all the defendants in the case.

Mr. Asamoah also hit back with a suit that sought to ask the court to remove the Koreans from the entire project but the action was dismissed by the court.
President John Evans Atta Mills has already expressed his disappointment about the way and manner things have gone with regards to the project but assured that the project would definitely see the light of day.

After pretending that all was well with the project, it was Works and Housing Minister, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin who first made an about turn on December 22, 2011 to announce that the government was likely to disengage from the controversial project.

Mr. Bagbin who persistently went publicly debunking media reports that the deal was collapsing had to eat humble pie when he said on Christmas eve that proceeding with the project without the current partners was a possibility.

The Minister was reacting to news that BK Asamoah and his GKA Airports Company Limited - the Ghanaian partners on the project - had been handed a crushing defeat at a Commercial Court in Accra.

Mr. BK Asamoah whom the Koreans sacked as Chief Executive Officer of STX Engineering and Construction Ghana Limited in August 2011, for allegedly diluting shares of the company had gone to court to seek reliefs to sack the Korean counterparts from the entire project.

However, the court presided over by Justice Gertrude Torkornoo dismissed BK Asamoah’s application on ‘procedural grounds’ and awarded GH¢ 3,000 as cost against the applicant.

The judge had held that BK Asamoah could only sue under the Company Code 217 only if the partner had been involved in illegal conduct but the plaintiff had failed to prove the Koreans did.

Vice President Mahama told the journalists that the government was working on “a serious back-up plan” for the crisis-ridden STX housing project given the protracted nature of the boardroom crisis and doubted if the multi-billion dollar project will ever come to fruition.

“What we are doing is that we are working on other back up arrangements to ensure that we are able to provide housing for Ghanaians.

“But we are working on other alternative projects. At a point if we can’t go forward we will have to suspend it” John Mahama said.

Otabil Crosses Over

Pastor Mensah Otabil is a leading Ghanaian clergy.

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By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday January 3, 2012.
Pastor Mensah Otabil, General Overseer of International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), says the abundance of gold, other mineral resources and the oil discovery may not necessarily guarantee prosperity for the nation.

He said it is living in purity as a people that would propel the nation into prosperity.

Pastor Otabil, who is also the Chancellor of Central University College (CUC), one of the fast-growing tertiary institutions, was speaking at a watch night worship service dubbed ‘Crossover’ held at the Accra Sports Stadium to usher in 2012.

Pastor Otabil said there is too much wrongdoing in the society – corruption and breaking of the law – and that if only Ghanaians will repent and live pure lives, the nation will not require foreign aid to become prosperous.

He predicted that Ghana will go through peaceful elections in the 2012, so that people will appreciate the work of God.

“People are worried about the elections of Ghana; I think we’re going to have a very, very peaceful election. It’s going to be so peaceful we will be looking round and say ‘what is happening, it’s too peaceful.’ God is giving this country peace.

“Our nation Ghana and its neighbours in Africa have struggled for years to build successful, economically viable nations but you and I know that it’s been a very difficult process, and there are many reasons to give for that but I think at the root, or one of the key problems that we have is that there is too much of wrongdoing in all of us – corruption in all of us, there is too much breaking of the law with all of us. If each one of us here live pure, Ghana will be turned around in one year.

“If each African decides to be honest, to be fair, to be kind, to be generous, if every worker decides they are not going to take a bribe, and every businessman decides they are not going to pay a bribe, and each one of us decides we are going to do our work honestly, we don’t need any foreign aid, we will be able to build our own country.”

“All of us want to see God. A pure heart is the heart that sees God. If you want to see God in 2012, then the condition of your heart must be right. A pure heart is a heart that is cleansed from sin. A pure heart is a heart that is in union with God, and Jesus said that those who have a pure heart are blessed, and not only are they blessed, they will see God,” he said.

“Before you do something ask yourself these questions – it is true, is it noble, is it just, is it pure, is it lovely, is it virtuous. When you are talking to somebody ask yourself ‘I’m I telling the truth… If all of us lie to one another, we become a nation of liars and that is not beautiful.

We can have oil, we can have diamond, we can have gold, we can have everything we want those commodities do not build a nation, it is the character of the people that builds a nation. Oil is useless if we don’t have a noble character to manage the oil that God has given to us. We can discover all the oil we want in the world , we can have the oil of Saudi Arabia but if we steal all the money, there will be nothing to benefit anybody.”

Events leading to the programme were not the best for the Christian community as the venue used by ICG for decades was being threatened to be taken over by the National Security and given to another influential man-of-God, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams of the Action Chapel International (ACI).

National Security sources had corroborated reports that though Pastor Otabil had booked for the Independence Square and paid for the venue some five months ago, the government has taken over the venue and given it to Duncan-Williams, who was also happy about it and busily advertising to use the place for his church’s end-of-year watch night.

Apart from the attempted take-over, Archbishop Duncan-Williams also named his 31st December service ‘Passover’, quite similar to Pastor Otabil’s annual ‘Crossover’ theme.

Eventually, it was media coverage of the unfolding events that compelled Archbishop Duncan-Williams to withdraw from the use of the Independence Square for the ‘Passover’.

However, a statement issued from the Office of the General Overseer of the Church, indicating it was withdrawing from the Independence Square had said the decision of ACI to use the Independence Square to pray for the nation with a message of “2012: Year of Divine Providence--No Violence” seems to have led to unfortunate misrepresentations in the media.

“Amongst some of the regrettable comments that have been made is an impression that has been created that it would be better for another Church to use the Independence Square for a car park on the night of 31st December, than for ACI to use it for its watch night service,” the statement signed by Archbishop Duncan-Williams had said.

“In view of these misrepresentations and in order to ensure peace and harmony in the body of Christ and amongst Christian brethren, the Archbishop of ACI has decided that the Church should relocate its 31st December 2011 Passover Service from the Independence Square.”