Raymond Archer, a veteran journalist and a businessman, has accused the governing NPP of demolishing his $10 million which was located at the trade fair site.
According to him, the real story will be told in future but he believes that it is linked to some work that he has been contracted to do at the jubilee fields.
Speaking on Accra-based Radio Gold, Friday, June 17, 2022, the former Editor-in-Chief of the Enquirer newspaper noted that for some confidential contract he signed with his international partners and for some strategic reason, he will not open up on why his factory was destroyed now.
“This story, what I think the real reason for demolishing my factory is the story I will tell it later because it is very sensitive. The real reason why I think they demolished the factory, I think it has to do with my international work in the oil sector and I think because of the kind of confidentiality contract that we have. For some very strategic reason, I think we will tell that story one day. But I can almost bet you that 99% that, my business was targeted because of some work that I have been contracted to do in the oil sector,” Raymond Archer explained.
He said, aside from journalism, he also works as a risk advisor to some renowned international companies including the oil companies “and I think one of the projects i.e. the advisory things that we did might have really led to the demolishing of the factory but we will tell that story may be after 2024 elections.”
To him, there is a lot of tension in the country and as a security advisor, it will not be prudent for him to add what he knows concerning the demolishing of his $10 million factory to it; so, it is better he waits till the right time.
Speaking on why those who asked to demolish his factory went to the trade fair site at midnight, Archer noted that it took the armed security and the national security operatives an hour from the time they got the order [from above] to get his factory destroyed.
“…What I found out later, where the order [to destroy my factory] came from, the time difference is what led to them going to the place at [midnight].”
When asked if the order was from either the court or the executive, Raymond Archer could not confirm if the order was from the executive but he was certain that the order was not from the court.
“We will talk about it later. It is a very serious thing but compared to the seriousness against the state of what I was doing [as a journalist], I think [what happened to my factory] is a smaller price to pay,” he stressed.
Officials of Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited, GTFCL, in 2020, pulled down structures belonging to different companies following a redevelopment project that the GTFCL intended to undertake.
The exercise which lasted for about two hours began at 10.00 pm and ended after midnight on February 16, 2020. Two bulldozers were on-site with a team of armed police officers overseeing the destruction of structures and heavy industrial equipment.
Raymond Archer, had his company Universal Labels and Packaging Co. Ltd (UNIPACK) and Colour Planet Limited operating from the Ghana Trade Fair Centre. His facilities were among the many that were demolished on that night.
When GhanaWeb reached out to him, he told Ekow Arthur-Aidoo that at the time, he had injected over $10 million into the business which was destroyed one night.
He said, GTFCL just destroyed the factory; even going back to the site to salvage things was hell because he was prevented by the authorities.
“I think it coincided with the rainy season – something that made the situation worse. Just after that, it started raining; first of all, the equipment was destroyed and the rains came to finish it up and it’s been two years now and they have not done anything there,” Archer said in a telephone conversation.
According to him, the substantive case was in court before the demolition took place and the case is still in court.
To him, the businesses at the Trade Fair were the ones keeping the trade fair running so that the workers can be paid, but since the over two thousand businesses were destroyed on the night amidst a pending application for a stay of execution, the workers have been sacked.
“Once they destroyed our businesses, they didn’t have money to pay the workers, they laid them all off,” Raymond Archer stressed. “It’s been two years now and the place has become bush. They destroyed millions of businesses and allowed the place to go bush.”