PRODUCE BUYING COMPANY’S MISPLACED PRIORITIES

THE Produce Buying Company (PBC) has held its 2015 Annual General Meeting, and the report on it, as published by the Times yesterday, is both interesting and controversial.

The report indicated that the shareholders left the meeting in frustration, because as has been the experienced over the past fourteen years, the PBC failed to declare dividends.

But what might have angered the already exasperated gathering was the announcement by the Managing Director, Mr. Maxwell Kojo Atta-Krah, that the company had financed some projects as part of its social responsibility.

Mr Atta-Krah disclosed that they had invested in the renovation of an existing structure into a 12-unit accommodation block for the Ghana Police and Staff College, and the offices of the Kotobabi Police Motor Traffic and Transport Department, both in Accra, and the New Edubiase District Police Office and station in the Ashanti Region, and tried to justify them with a very ludicrous explanation.

He claimed armed robbers have moved their operations from the cities and towns to the cocoa growing communities, and stealing cocoa beans at the depots, hence the company’s decision to undertake the projects to enable the police to combat them.

Although the Times recognises the importance and critical role of the Ghana Police Service and consequently, endorses any assistance offered it by any individual or organisation, we find it unacceptable that an institution which, by all indications, has been struggling to exist, should expend huge sums of money on projects which do not fall under its ambit and could be said not to be its priority.

In any case, why spend on police stations located in Accra and not those in the cocoa growing areas bearing the brunt of the armed robbers?

How would the police at the Kotobabi Station in Accra, combat the robbers in the rural areas and retrieve the bags of cocoa stolen, as Mr. Atta-Krah seemed to imply?

The Times believes this whole issue of funding the police projects in Accra is a clear case of misjudgement, or at best, a misplaced priority.

From our observations, it seems the Board of Directors and management of the PBC have all this while, been taking its shareholders for a ride, by not paying them dividends, an injustice to those who struggled to raise funds to invest and keep it in business.

It was almost an insult, hearing the Managing Director tell the gathering to stop lamenting and, rather, hope for better days ahead by investing more in the company.

The Times calls on the concerned authority to demand answers from the management, or an investigation be conducted into the company’s operation.

This attempt to throw dust into the eyes of the shareholders should stop!

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