April 12, 2024

The High Commissioner of Ghana to the United Kingdom (UK), Papa Owusu-Ankomah, has confirmed that the properties of the Government of Ghana in the country (UK) are likely to be sold due to a failure to pay judgement debt owed GPGC, a subsidiary of international commodities company, Trafigura.

Speaking in an interview on JoyNews on October 23, 2023, Papa Owusu-Ankomah indicated that, so far, only one property of the Government of Ghana has been attached, with the remaining being covered by diplomatic immunity.

He added that he is ashamed that the situation has gotten to this point because the Government of Ghana is cash-strapped at the moment and is unable to pay its debt.

“As far as I am aware, it’s only Regina House which is used for commercial purposes because it’s been rented by the Ghana International Bank, two other banks, and another commercial entity. That is the one that has been attached. All other properties are diplomatic properties and covered by immunity. I heard you talk about the High Commissioner’s residence, but that’s being used for diplomatic purposes; likewise, the other building you’re talking about, that’s the chancery, has not been attached. But I am sure the government is taking steps to liquidate that debt.

“It’s embarrassing; I am embarrassed as High Commissioner for this thing to appear on the internet and everything and be a subject matter of discussion in Ghana and in the Ghanaian media here. It’s serious, but even for those in private business, it gets to a stage where you have to prioritize payments when you don’t have access to credit and the monies being generated do not meet your obligations, you prioritise,” he said.

The high commission, however, clarified that the Regina House would not be sold soon because it is currently on lease, and the creditor made the move to put pressure on the government of Ghana.

He assured that the Ministry of Finance is working tirelessly to ensure that an agreement is reached with the creditor so that no property of Ghana is sold.

Background:

A court in the United Kingdom awarded a $140 million arbitral against Ghana for the termination of a power deal with GPGC, a subsidiary of international commodities company, Trafigura, in 2021.

The government of Ghana was ordered by the court to pay the full value of the Early Termination Payment of $134,348,661 together with the “Mobilisation, Demobilization and preservation and maintenance costs” of the value.

Not only is the government of Ghana (GoG) going to pay the $134,348,661, but the court also ordered Ghana to pay all the interest that has accrued from it.

The court also asked the government to pay the cost of the arbitration and the legal fees of GPGC, which amounted to over $3 million.

Trafigura, an oil trader, now has the power to sell Ghana’s assets in the UK in other to raise the amount of money it is owned by the government of Ghana.

See also  Todya's Newspaper Headlines; Monday, July 31, 2023 - Ghanaxpress.com

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