Ms Ofori-Atta said Vodafone suspects organised crime and they would leave no stone unturned to bring the culprits to justice.’ She also urged the public to assist the company to curb the crime, saying that the most important people in the battle were members of the various communities. “A lot of these incidents occur in broad daylight or at very odd hours in the night and we need anyone who sees anything they feel is suspicious to call the Police on 18555 or call 155 on their Vodafone line to speak to a member of our security department 24/7,” she urged. She said Vodafone has had great co-operation from members of the public in the past and they need more of that to win the anti-cable theft fight, adding that there could be rewards for such assistance. “In the last quarter of 2012, four members of the public were rewarded for providing information which led to the arrest and prosecution of cable thieves in the Tema and Mile 7 area,” she said. Vodafone is the second largest telco in Ghana subscriber, and the leading fixed voice and broadband service provider in the country.
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the majority shareholder of the beleaguered Intercity STC Company Limited, has paid an estimated GH¢23million to the latter’s creditors and suppliers, the B&FT reported.
The payment has drastically reduced the debt-stock of the transport company, which stood at GH¢45million as at October 2012.
A sum of GH¢7.5million was paid to Prudential Bank to cancel out STC’s indebtedness to the bank. It would be recalled that STC in 2005 took a loan facility of US$3.8million from Prudential Bank, at a 12 percent interest rate, for the purchase of 45 Faw buses.
SSNIT also paid GH¢5.1million to the National Investment Bank (NIB); GH¢554,000 to Agricultural Development Bank (ADB); GH¢1.7million to businessman Mr. Svani; and settled the six-month outstanding salaries of STC staff, which stood at GH¢1,660,000.
Part of the settlement also went to J.A. Plant Pool. “GH¢1,940,000 was paid to them plus an additional GH¢6,088,000, which I am yet to confirm,” the source said.
J.A. Plant Pool Limited in May immobilised 20 buses of STC owing to the inability of the company to service its debts. Per the arrangement to refinance the debt, STC had to pay GH¢17,500 daily to J.A. Plant Pool, but due to the decline in its revenues it was not able to honour the payments.
SSNIT has directed STC’s creditors to directly negotiate with them for settlement of any other outstanding debt.
Shareholders of the transport company met late last year to discuss ways of saving the once vibrant company from imminent collapse. The outcome of the meeting was a resolution that charged SSNIT to absorb STC’s debts – as at October 31, 2012.
The resolution also mandated SSNIT to provide working capital of GH¢2million to revive the company.
“The other issue is that they [SSNIT] have not said if they are going to restructure or will give STC to somebody else. Management therefore cannot take certain crucial decisions. Management is waiting to know what their plan for the company is. SSNIT should also settle other debts like those to our fuel suppliers,” the source said.
“Government and SSNIT have really done well to keep the company from sinking. However, though the resolution also mandates SSNIT to provide working capital, they have written categorically to STC that they are not going to honour it,” the source said.
The company, which currently operates a fleet of 30 buses, requires a minimum of 100 to operate at its optimum. That has made recapitalising STC crucial to ensure that the once vibrant company takes its place in the booming transport industry.
The company last year entered into a partnership with a private company, Afrinat, in which the latter was to procure 50 buses and operate them using STC’s resources. According to the terms, Afrinat and STC would earn 70 and 30 percent shares respectively of the revenue accruing to the partnership.