So far, proceedings at the Judgment Debt Commission presided over by Justice Yaw Appau has revealed that Ghana is poor in keeping records especially when it comes to institutions, according to Abdul Malik Kweku Baako.
The Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper was reacting to persons who have appeared before the Judgment Debt Commission as far as the controversies surrounding Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) other judgement debt related issues are concerned.
Even though there has been several instances of poor record keeping at the Commission, the recent one was when GNPC told the Commission that it could not find documents which attest to the fact that there was a transaction between them and Societe Generale, and that the drill ship, Discover 511 was sold to defray a judgment debt of $19 million owed Societe Generale as ordered by a High Court in London.
Later, they (GNPC) appeared before the Judgment Debt Commission and indicated that they have unearthed some of the documents relating to the sale of Discover 511.
To make matters worse, Managing Director of Societe Generale Bank-Ghana, Gilbert Hie told the Commission that both their offices in Ghana and France did not have any record on the $19.5 million judgment debt reportedly paid to the company after the sale of the oil ship.
According to him, as a policy of Societe Generale, all documents relating to commercial transactions are destroyed after 10 years of the transaction.
Speaking to the issue in a panel discussion on ‘Kokrokoo’, Kweku Baako said: “a typical example is Societe Generale saying they don’t have any records as far as the transaction is concerned. But does no record say that they did not receive money? Out there, it provides the basis for people to think that the transaction did not take place…
If the records are missing does it mean the transaction at their bank is also lost? Assuming without admitting that the document on the transaction is lost, how about their bank? We can blame ourselves as a nation that our record keeping is poor. It didn’t start today…we should not be proud of that. It is a self-indictment after so many years of Independence. It can even be a cover for people to create mischief. The earlier we cure that the better for us.”