The Government, on Friday said it does not have the power, as a minority shareholder, in Ghana Agro-Food Company (GAFCO), to terminate the company's management agreement with the German firm IBN AG, as is being demanded by workers of GAFCO.
According to the Government, a review or termination of the management contract can only be done by a resolution at a meeting of the board of Directors of the company.
A statement, issued and signed by Mr James Agyenim Boateng, Deputy Minister for Information explained that, the Government of Ghana is a minority shareholder of 25 percent whilst IBN AG has 30 percent and 40 percent majority shares by Social Security and Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
Reacting to claims by some workers of GAFCO that the government and the Minister of Trade and Industry Ms. Hanna Tetteh, has shown little concern for the future of the company, which they say is being run down, the statement said "the Government will continue to respect the rules of corporate governance".
The statement said while as a shareholder the Government is desirous of a highly profitable business entity, the management contract is between the company, represented by the Board of Directors, and IBN AG, who incidentally are also shareholders.
"Following representations made by the workers, the Minister for Trade and Industry met with a delegation from the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), including its Deputy General Secretary Solomon Kotey and Morgan Ayawine, and explained that given the fact that government was a minority shareholder, this was a matter that first should be taken up at the level of the board."
The nine-member Board has representatives from the three shareholders. The Government says it understands from its contract with the Ghanaian representatives that the Board is reviewing GAFCO's management contract with IBN AG in an effort to prioritise the company's interest.
"It is therefore not true that the Minister has shown no interest in the issue following the workers petition," the statement concluded.
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