The Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, has advised businessman Ibrahim Mahama to get more competent people to handle issues regarding a recent expose on two of his companies.
Mr Kweku Baako said the many people who have now assumed the position of spokespersons and are reacting to the issues, are not helping the cause of Mr Mahama or his two companies.
Speaking on Peace FMs morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, the senior journalist said ”If I were the companies, I would rather prefer that all sorts of spokespersons that have emerged from nowhere are stopped.
“They are not helping the two companies, I don’t get the thrust of their submissions,” Mr Baako added.
Mr Mahama, brother of former president John Mahama has been in the news for weeks for defaulting on payment of duties for some equipment he imported into the country.
The businessman’s Holman Builders owed as of December 2015, an amount of GHC3.71 million, while MBG Ltd was owing GHC13.15 million in duties as of December 2016.
Although he has paid part of the debt, Mr Mahama, according to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) issued dud cheques for the payment of the remaining GHs10 million on accounts that have been closed.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has given the businessman two weeks to pay the debt or face penalties.
Since the news broke, however, some sympathisers of Mr Mahama and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have been speaking on his behalf. It is unclear if he personally appointed them.
One of such persons is Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George, who has spoken on many media platforms in defence of Mr Mahama.
He has been reported on some occasions denying that the businessman owes the GRA. On Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Tuesday, he also denied that Mr Mahama issued cheques to accounts that had been closed.
But Mr Baako seems unimpressed with interventions of Sam George and the other spokespersons on the issue.
As a business in crisis, he believes that the two companies should be able to cut out the “noise” and focus on dealing with the issues that have been raised.
For him, managers of the two companies can go back to the negotiating table with the GRA, strike new payment terms if they are unable to fulfil the current one and make sure they redeem them.
“I don’t think this is something that is insurmountable. The companies should question themselves and figure out if they have the capability to redeem the obligations,” he said.
Mr Baako also indicated that while Holman Brothers and MBG Ltd are the companies indebted, the equipment at the centre of the issue are being used by their sister company, Engineers and Planners (E&P).
It is, therefore, essential for the matter to be handled in a manner that does not result in stalling the road construction project E&P is undertaking.
“If the project succeeds, it is in the national interest and the company will be paid for it so at the end of the day the company can continue to undertake its project while it fulfils its indebtedness to the GRA.
“This is business, I don’t think it is a zero option. The attitude is to focus on the business interest and obligations and cut out the noise,” he stressed.
In a response as whether he thinks the spokespersons are not helping the course, Mr Baako said he does not think their involvement will result in finding meaningful solutions to the development.
He said this will not be the first time a company is faced with such issues so the best thing to do at this point is to “Cut out the political noise, the crowd manifestations, get serious people to sit with the companies, negotiate a deal redeem your obligations and continue your business.
“It is not the end of the world,” he added.