Parliamentary select committee on Trade sympathises with companies affected by flood

The devastating floods which hit most parts of Accra have left most companies almost at the point of collapse because some vital equipment and documents being used to transact business have been destroyed.

The companies’ data processing equipment, diagnostic equipment, computers, post dated cheques, cheque books and other essential equipment had either been washed away or destroyed.

This was made known to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism when the leadership went on an unannounced tour to some companies in Accra to ascertain the extent of damage caused to property and how the companies could recover quickly to continue business.

The team visited LETAP Pharmaceutical Industry, Toyota Ghana Company Limited, RANA Motors and Metal Works Engineering Company Limited, Japan Motors Trading Company Limited, Azar Paints and PHC Motors Limited.

Except for Japan Motors, workers of the companies were seen busily cleaning and tracing vital documents and essential items in the rubble as official work had come to a standstill due also to the power cut.

Mr Paul K. Pepera, Managing Director of PHC Motors Limited, said several millions of cedis have been lost  but expressed the hope that by the end of next week the company would be able to restore its internet service otherwise there was no way invoices could be made.

Mr Pepera said in the 45 years existence of the company, this had been the worst disaster, adding that normally business was at its hike in the months of October, November and December but the same story could not be told now since vehicles ranging between 70,000 dollars and 140, 000 dollars have been damaged.

Though he could not give an estimation of the loss caused by the flood, he expressed the hope that the company’s insurers would assist to enable it to get back to business.

He said due to the on-going construction work on the Graphic Road, certain areas had been blocked, preventing water from the Odaw River from flowing and called on the AMA to see what could be done since more rains were expected and the company may not meet its projections.

Mr Pepera said people who threw refuse into the lagoon were also to blame and appealed to them to stop.

The story was no different at RANA Motors where Mr Abdul Kader, Head of the Legal Department, said the company’s server and electricity transformer had been destroyed, as well as computers and other electronics.

Mr Mohammed A Odayimat, Managing Director of RANA Motors, blamed the cause of the water on the refuse being thrown into the Lagoon and called on the AMA to urgently carry out public education on proper disposal of rubbish and use the property rate and business operating licenses to improve on the situation.

At LETAP Pharceuticals, Mr Padmakar Jagannath Pure, General Manager, suggested that the company would build a reservoir around the catchment area to collect rain water and release it as and when necessary.

Mr Takahiko Takabayashi, Managing Director of Toyota Ghana, said most vehicles in the workshop were affected adding, “in fact this is the first big flood ever.”

Alhaji B Sorogho, Chairman of the Committee and National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for Abokobi-Madina, said the committee would invite the contractor, hire an engineer and some of the heads of these companies for a meeting so as to find solutions to the perennial floods, adding, government is very much worried.

He said if Ghana’s economy was growing at a fast rate it was because of the work of these companies and expressed the committee’s sympathies to the companies.

Mr Isaac Osei, New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Subin, said the loss to the industries was huge and those without adequate insurance cover may not be able to go back to business.

He said if these businesses were able to reactivate quickly they would put the people in employment and called for careful solution to the problem both at the short  and long term.

On Tuesday October 25 and Wednesday October 26, 2011, Accra witnessed  heavy rains that resulted in the loss of lives and property.

Source: GNA

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