BY: Akpabli Daniel Yao I Voltaonlinegh.com |
Public Relation Officer (P.R.O) of the Seven Seas Salt company, Mr. Adam Mensah, has said that, the company was surprised when they received a copy of the press release letter from some assembly members regarding the disbursement of compensation package to some affected communities in the salt mining concession
According to Mr. Mensah, The cheques were written in the open and payment and pictures taken in the presence of the media, so there was nothing secret about the compensation process adding that the company did not know exactly where they (Assembly) are getting their facts from.
“There is no secret account which we know of as a company and monies for this compensation is not paid into any secret account neither shall it be paid into a secret account created by any individual”
The seven seas salt company described the press statement from the Assembly members as not completely factual adding that the consultant who undertook the evaluation exercise was contracted by the Municipal Assembly, for the sole purpose of determination of compensation to the Communities.
“Because they are fully aware that the company did not engage a consultant, the consultant was engaged by the Municipal Assembly. It was the company who was supposed to pay for the consultant; I mean the services rendered by the consultant” He said
He said, the decision to engage the service of a consultant came as a result of petitions to the Municipal Security Committee, when it was resolved that appropriate compensation be determined so the Municipal Assembly contracted a consultant to undertake that exercise.
The Municipal Assembly further presented the report to the company for implementation by a letter dated 16th Dec 2020, signed by Alhaji Yusif Ibrahim, Municipal coordinating director for the Municipal Chief Executive which contained the monies supposed to be disbursed.
“When we were satisfied, we wrote back to the municipal to give us details of the community accounts, which was also done in the morning of the disbursement and the various cheques were written. We didn’t receive any detail from any chief, but they are alleging we deposited money in a secret account, so the responsibility is now on them to prove it. I will plead with you to contact the assembly for any information if there is any secret account name” he quizzed
The Company also noted that, they do not have any issue to discuss with the assembly members in relation to compensation because the compensation offer letters were made to the chiefs of Agbeve community, Kpedzakope community, Alagba community, Blekusu community, Amutinu community, Salakope community, Agavedzi community and not with any Assembly member.
“We learnt that they’ve been meeting with their chiefs, the issue is about compensation, we cannot meet with the assembly members and discuss about this issue. The offer itself is in the name of the chiefs. They also accordingly wrote acceptance letters, so the offer was given to the chiefs on behalf of the community and the acceptance was also written in the name of the chiefs on behalf of the communities. They signed the agreement and the person who signed is the chief so they supposed to receive the cheque which was given in the presence of the assembly members and everyone. If any Assembly Member want to pick this cheque at all cost then they should pick it from their Chiefs because it is a community compensation agreement”. He explained
“So when they are negotiating on how much a person should take is their own cup of tea in their various communities. What we are supposed to do as a company is to pay and we did that. We did not write any cheque into any secret account as they are alleging” he added
The company further asked the Assembly Members to contact their chiefs to resolve their issues and not include the company for their job as a company is to mine salt through a natural way, adhere to the laws regarding the right methods and practices and create job opportunities.
Checks from the Seven Seas Salt Limited reveal that, document regarding agreements and issues of disbursement of fund is between Seven Seas Salt and Chiefs (Communities) of the affected communities.The various Assembly Members are only witnesses while the Ketu North Municipal assembly is playing a mediating role between the Company and the Chiefs (Communities).