A/Region: Gold Coast customers stage demo over locked-up investment

More than 200 aggrieved customers of the Gold Coast Security Fund Management (GCFM) on Tuesday marched through the streets of the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi to push the management of the company to payback their monies.

They said they will continue such protests until the company, which is owned by Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, founder of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), pays them their monies.

The customers who wore red bands amidst chants and heavy security marched through the streets with placards expressing their displeasure with the company.

Some of the customers who spoke to Citi News said the company’s failure to pay their monies has made life difficult for them.

“Last year in September, Papa Kwesi Nduom told us that they’ve been asked not to do structured finance. He said he was going to settle every customer as at March 2019. As I speak now, we are in May and we have not received a cedi. We have gathered here to demand that Nduom settle us our monies. We are calling on Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bank of Ghana to come and talk to Nduom to pay us. We don’t know what he wants to do with our monies. We have pensioners and person with disabilities amongst us. President Akufo Addo has to call Papa Kwesi Nduom to order. If Nduom does not pay us or the government does not come in, we will march to the Flagstaff House to demand that the president pays us our monies,” he said.

Another customer said she has been unable t0 go back to school because family’s investment of about GHC 800,000 has been locked up.

“Our funds are locked up and we need our monies. My money together with my Dad’s money, about 800,000 locked up at that place. They’ve been telling us they’ll pay us within 3 to 5 years. How do you want us to live? My dad is a pensioner, and my mum whose money is part has also passed on. It has affected me very badly. I wanted to do my masters this year and because of that, even though I got admission, I cannot pay the fees.”

A visually impaired demonstrator said he is unable to roof his apartment has had to squat in a single room with his family of six.

“I’m now squatting with my family of six in a single room. I have gone there and whenever you go there, they will tell you Paa Kwesi Nduom is developing a plan. My investment matured last year in June but they are not giving me my money. My wife and I we have invested GHC 105,800. We are both visually impaired and we need our money, he said.

Gold Coast Fund Management which is a full-service investment bank in Ghana providing individuals and corporate clients with short and long-term investment opportunities had been left in a complex situation following series of agitations from customers who have not been able to retrieve monies due them.

Papa Kwesi Nduom, in a communique on the matter in April suggested that the government’s about GHC 2 billion debt to the company is partly responsible for the difficulties of the customers.

“Over 2 billion Ghana Cedis has been invested in infrastructure and commercial projects for the GetFund, Cocobod, Road Fund, District/Municipal Assemblies and Private Companies. About 500 million Ghana Cedis have been invested with other financial institutions and in real estate projects. Hundreds of millions more have been invested in agriculture, manufacturing, media and other enterprises that are creating jobs for Ghanaians,” he noted.

It is prudent to allow investments to run their course before calling them in. Many people will lose money if we were to redeem investments or sell assets before they gain full value. Investments with government agencies once they are legitimate, “do not go bad”. Otherwise, no investor, local or international will respect Ghanaian sovereign guarantee. This is why we have been working with quiet assertiveness with government agencies and private sector organizations to pay what is due to the Gold Coast. What we recover, we use to pay emergency needs and interest arrears of our clients.

Meanwhile, the company has been directed by the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) to cease collection or receipts of new funds from the public “until all clients and investors with outstanding matured investments have been paid or mutually agreed settlement terms reached.”