Remain calm as we meet gov’t over shutdown-GMC to staff, contractors

Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Ghana Manganese Company Omar Tintey has said the claims by government that the company-evaded tax does not reflect the true representation of the facts.

He said GMC in February 2019 obliged to the order by the government for an audit of its books supposedly for under-declaring its tax and royalties paid to the government of Ghana.

He told Kwabena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that management of the company would be meeting with government to address the concerns raised.

The announced shutdown he noted does not mean the entire activities of the company have been shutdown.

Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Kweku Asomah Kyeremeh, on Monday, announced the shutdown of the company, which took effect on Tuesday.

The company was shut down in February over similar concerns but was subsequently given the green light to operate while an audit into its tax obligations and royalty payment went on.

The company was shut down following allegations that it has shortchanged government to the tune of GHC1.94 billion in an operational audit report of the company by the government between 2010 and 2017.

Government says it would also consider an outright take over the company or sell the company’s assets to defray the debt if it becomes necessary to do so. 

The company explained that “In December 2018, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) did a transfer pricing audit of GMC for the period 2013 to 2018 to ascertain loss of revenue to government. The report stated that between January 2013 and June 2017, the price at which the ore was sold was at arm’s length and therefore no revenue was lost to the government.

The PRO noted that they would engage to find an amicable solution to the issues raised.

He expressed worry at the failure of government to give them a copy of the report that informed its decision to shutdown the company before coming public with it.

‘’We did not receive a copy of the report before the shutdown was announced. That is not the best. However, we have received a copy at the money and studying the contents therein.’’

He said the claims made against the company were untrue and that the company has operated in a responsible manner.

He indicated the company has always honoured its statutory obligations.

Omar Tintey stressed on the need for the issues to be addressed holistically because of the effects that may follow.

He warned of job losses should the issues not addressed in a better way.

He had earlier inn a press conference said: ‘’for the sake of clarity in 2018, the corporation tax liability of the company was thirty-one million dollars. This amount was settled before 31st December 2018 as required by law. In relation to royalties, the company paid an amount of seventeen million US dollars in 2018.’’

He admonished workers, contractors and other stakeholders of the company to remain calm as a meeting has been scheduled with government on Friday.

He said he was hopeful that the meeting, scheduled for Friday will yield the needed results.

“A meeting has been scheduled for this Friday with the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources. Hopefully, in that meeting, we will all find an amicable solution to the problems at stake.”

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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