Chief Executive of the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA), Mr Michael Okyere Baafi, has revealed that the organization has set up a new debt recovery system to be able to retrieve all monies owed the company.
In addition to this, the organization has been successful in the implementation of a new Credit Control Unit and a task force set up to recover and manage debts owed the GFZA.
“As I am talking to you now, we have been able to collect a chunk of the money with some of them left, but those are companies not actively operating as Free Zones companies.”
Mr Baafi made the revelation when he appeared before the Public Account Committee (PAC) of Parliament, which was reviewing the 2017 Auditor General’s Report on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MMDAs).
Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram, Mr Samuel Nartey George, during the PAC sitting of Parliament inquired from Mr Baafi whether an amount of US$150,853 being the ground rent and annual licensing fee renewals, and a total amount of US$733,789 and GHC271,600 owed as premium on land and power supply in the year 2015, had been recovered.
In his response, Mr Baafi explained that when they took over the management of the organization, they realized that the credit control and debt collection systems were weak and most of the debt owed them had not been paid because they did not have a sound debt recovery strategy.
Therefore, the organization decided to set up a new system to recover all the monies owed the GFZA and delist companies that were not actively operating as Free Zones companies from the concept.
He revealed that the Authority had been given the go-ahead by members of its board to delist inactive companies.
He explained that the inactive companies still had their outstanding balances on their books, as such, delisting them would enable them to bring their records up to date and subsequently use their new recovery system to pursue them for payment.
He said although some companies were in the position to settle their debts, they had refused to do so for reasons best known to them.
He announced that in the coming weeks, notices will be served on the inactive companies that were to be delisted from the Free Zones.
“As I’m speaking to you now, the letters are ready and by next week we would serve them notice,” he added.