The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Ato Afful has appealed to debtors of the company including Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including Parliament to settle their debt obligations to the company.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Thursday (September 10, 2020) to respond to queries in the Auditor General's report of 2017 which indicated that MMDAs and MDAs contributed 60% of receivables from newspaper sales, Mr Afful said the company has approached the Ministry of Information and the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) to assist in the debt collection effort.
He also urged the MMDAs and MDAs to honour all their debts which total GH¢10,000,949 to ensure that the company continues to fulfil its statutory obligations.
"The receivables from the MMDA's haven't improved significantly considering where we are today. We have approached our honourable Minister of Information to assist us with follow-ups, we have also engaged our regulator, the Director-General of State Interests and Governance Authority to assist us and this is an ongoing effort," Mr Afful said.
"We consider the state and state's apparatus as critical partners to our information dissemination agenda and therefore we continue to support them but we also use this channel and this medium to plead that this national asset would only survive when we support it to do so. So we would entreat yourselves [Parliament] included to honour your payments that are due to us and we would continue to supply you accordingly".
Mr Afful disclosed that the last payment Parliament made for newspapers that were supplied by Graphic was in May 2020 and followed an appeal to the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Ocquaye.
In response to the appeal, the Chairman of the PAC, Mr James Klutse Avedzi assured that Parliament would soon meet its debt obligations to the company.
"Do a follow-up again next week, I am sure you will be paid. I am sure they are watching us and listening to what we are discussing," Mr Avedzi assured.
Mr Afful stated that the company had implemented recommendations by the report to ensure that the debts are retrieved.
He said the company had engaged the services of two external "debt recovery agencies" in addition to an internal debt recovery force (which comprises management and unionised staff of Graphic) to go after longstanding debtors of the company.