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African Eye ReportAfrican News, Business, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Oil, Gold, Cocoa, Elections, EconomyMenzgold Brouhaha: Setting the Records Straight  | African Eye Report
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Menzgold Brouhaha: Setting the Records Straight 

Chief Executive Officer Menzgold Ghana Company Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah

Accra, Ghana, January 11, 2019//-Under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) did everything within its legal remit to halt the deposit-taking activities of Menzgold, a gold dealership company owned by Nana Appiah Mensah popularly called (NAM1).

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS

In 2014, BoG discovered, in a special exercise within the Central Region, that Menzbank was operating a microfinance in Kasoa under the guise of gold trading and illegally using the name “Bank”.

On March 11, 2015 BoG issued a notice publishing a list of unlicensed entities operating illegally; this list included Menzbank. Menzbank then changed its name to “Menzbanc Ghana Company Limited.”

On April 13, 2016, BoG issued a notice to warn the general public against the deposit-taking operations of Menzbanc.

BoG later wrote to Menzbanc cautioning it against its unlicensed deposit-taking activity and on August 2, 2016, BoG invited the management of Menzbanc to a meeting on its unlicensed deposit-taking activity.

On August 16, 2016, the BoG contacted officials from the Minerals Commission and Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) on the license status of Menzbanc and commenced investigations into the Gold Vault Market product of Menzbanc.

Menzbanc couldn’t be immediately shut down because they were a registered company by law and licensed by relevant state institutions such as the Mineral Commission and the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC).

Thus, proper verifications needed to be done and due process followed for a determination to be made on whether they should be shut down or not. Unfortunately, while this important and complex exercise was proceeding, the NDC exited government in 2016.

It must be noted that under the erstwhile NDC administration, there was no such company known as Menzgold.

Instead, there was Menzbanc which was under investigation. Menzbanc metamorphosed into Menzgold In 2017 under the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government.

NANA AKUFO-ADDO’S PUBLIC ENDORSEMENT OF MENZGOLD AND NAM1

While the state institutions continued to investigate Menzgold’s activities, the Executive arm of the State, led by President Akufo-Addo aggravated the situation by publicly endorsing NAM1, inviting him to the Seat of government with no less a person than the then GFA boss, Kwasi Nyantakyi who also was later caught on a corruption scandal tape categorically indicting our president in that #12 tape by seasoned journalist, Anas Aremayaw Anas

President Akufo-Addo held private meetings with the Menzgold CEO and travelled with him on international trips to China and the UK, thereby boosting the credibility and investor confidence in Menzgold’s business

Appointees of the president thereof were also seen in public at events in the company of the same NAM1. The Tourism Minister actually took NAM1 on a business tour of Ghana.

Nana Appiah Mensah himself, once stated on his official Facebook and Instagram accounts that President Akufo-Addo was one of the major inspirations behind his “success” in business.

Due to the open association of President Akufo-Addo with NAM1, Menzgold got a huge boost in their public acceptability. Their investor clientele expanded exponentially between 2017-2018. It was during this time that over 85% of their current clients were acquired.

NAM1 Suddenly begun a mission to be seen at public events, making donations to prominent personalities and showing off his wealth – he acquired a private jet, bought numerous luxurious automobiles with customized numbers, got elaborate state (police security) protection, etc.

Furthermore, the government’s willingness to allow him to sponsor the GFA was another massive official endorsement which further enhanced the visibility of NAM 1 and Menzgold.

The Lawyer for NAM1 and Menzgold is Kwame Akufo Esq. cousin to President Akufo-Addo and member of the NPA Board appointed by President Akufo-Addo. He was in charge of PR for Menzgold and thus defended Menzgold all over the place.

It is therefore safe to say that this Menzgold brouhaha is largely the creation Prez Akufo-Addo and by extension his government. The President and his government are guilty by association and action, and must bear the responsibility of collateral liability with NAM1.

This is why president Akufo-Addo pulled down all his tweets and pictures of him and NAM1 in the flagstaff house, in the same way that he pulled down those of him associated with Kwasi Nyantakyi.

However, this belated attempt by the President   to dissociate himself from NAM1 will not fly: screenshots bear witness to this unholy alliance.

THE WAY AND MANNER IN WHICH MENZGOLD WAS SHUTDOWN [Government’s intervention]

The rationale behind government’s shutdown was to protect customers monies. Hence, the primary concern for government when it took the decision to close down Menzgold should have been aimed at retrieving the monies of customers.

However, no such effort was made. Government should have at least conducted an audit/assessment of the assets of Menzgold to know how these assets could be liquidated to defray at least part of the monies of customers.

Unfortunately, no such audit was done. Government’s intervention has therefore worsened the plight of customers who until government’s intervention were receiving monthly dividends from their investments.

We are aware that since the shutdown of Menzgold, the company has paid some of its customers who are known NPP bigwigs and appointees of government on the blind side of the ordinary customers of the company and the general public.

By law, it is only the Attorney General and Minister of justice who can dissolve or liquidate the firm on grounds of illegality, as was attempted in the case of GFA. The question that arises then, is why isn’t government doing same in this case?

If the NPP government has certified that Menzgold was operating  illegally, then why hasn’t government taken any steps till date to prosecute NAM 1 and the directors and shareholders of the company?

WHERE IS NAM1?

Considering the seriousness of this scandal, every single citizen expects to know the whereabouts of Nana Appiah Mensah, the CEO of Menzgold.

If he is not in the country, we need the appropriate information on when and how he left the country and to where, and what the government is doing about his absence from the country.

A clear communication from government on what steps it intends to take in relation to this scandal is imperative.

If government isn’t protecting NAM1 as all citizens are being made to believe by their own acts, then they should liquidate Menzgold and Prosecute NAM1 and all who are related to this incident.

WHAT’S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE (DKM) IS EQUALLY GOOD FOR THE GANDER (MENZGOLD)

While in opposition and concerning the DKM, God Is Love brouhaha, Nana Addo had a loud voice and gave numerous assurances to the affected customers.

Why is the president silent and his government refusing to comment and act swiftly on this Menzgold saga which is no different from the DKM scandal?

As a father of the nation, the deafening silence of our President is both worrying and heartbreaking. Unfortunately our President who was once the chief advocate for DKM customers doesn’t seem to consider the wailings of Menzgold customers as anything enough to warrant his action.

The inertia of government is as a result of the fact that NAM1 funded the 2016 campaign of Nana Akufo-Addo and other parliamentary candidates of the NPP. That’s why government’s hands are tied in this matter.

INSENSITIVITY AND IRRESPONSIBILITY BEING DEMONSTRATED BY GOVERNMENT

Ken Ofori-Atta, the greediest politician of all time, being a referee and a player, while his presonal enterprises are booming in Ghana, continues to mock and attack investors for investing in Menzgold; as if to say they should have come to invest with his Databank.

In a recent interview he didn’t mince words at all to classify the investors as GREEDY. This is very unacceptable commentary from our Finance Minister and insult to the 1.8 million customers of Menzgold.

In the case of DKM and God Is Love, ROI for customers was about 20% and yet, Ken Ofori Atta and the NPP didn’t call them greedy.  Why then insult Menzgold investors who were expecting a much lesser ROI ranging between 7 and 10%?

We have reliable information that government is quiet because their top officials invested in Menzgold, and they are using the backdoor to receive payments through their influence. Some are using NAM1’s mother who was once the Awutu Senya West women’s organizer for the NPP.

CONCLUSION

This Menzgold issue is a national crisis: we expect this NPP government, especially president Akufo-Addo, his Vice Dr. Bawumia, and his cousin the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to come out and outline to the worried public and grieving customers of Menzgold the steps that government intends to take to resolve this issue and get customers their monies, going by their own DKM principle.

We also expect the publication of the full list of Menzgold clients by SEC.

Government must again take steps to liquidate the assets of Menzgold ASAP and use the proceeds to pay at least part of customers’ monies.

This Menzgold malaise is largely the creation of President Akufo-Addo; hence government cannot absolve itself from responsibility in this case.

By Atanga Emmanuel, Director of policy and Research,

Ghana Youth Advocacy

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