By ANAYO OKOLI
Umuahia—Abia State government has set up a committee to revive the abandoned Golden Guinea Breweries, Umuahia. Governor Theodore Orji, said government set up the committee following its discovery that the company which was earlier said to have been sold to a private company was not actually sold to anybody.
According to Governor Orji, the new committee is already discussing with the management of the breweries, with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problems of the company established by the administration of Dr Michael Okpara as premier of the defunct Eastern Region in 1960.
The breweries was then the toast in the beer industry in the country, offered thousands of employment to the indigenous people of Abia State in particular and Nigerians in general, until it was abandoned by previous governments.
Governor Orji had promised to revive the breweries during his first term in office as one of the avenues to provide jobs to the people, but the promise was not fulfilled because, according to him, government was not told truth about the actual problems of the company.
‘’What happened was that when the company had financial problem, it was bailed out by the people now occupying the place because the management of the brewery was unable to re-repay the loan, warranting the new management to take over the place although they could not move the company forward.
“It has been a problem to us. It is time for me to tell the people the real truth about Golden Guinea Breweries.
’’Golden Guinea has a problem before I came on board, but nobody told me. I was misinformed that the place was bought. I looked for the person who supposedly bought it and encouraged him to revive it.
“He went to Germany and brought investors. But the man was playing some game. However, General Manager explained to me that the man rescued them when they were in financial crisis, but the man now claims to have bought it.
’’That was why the German investors ran away. We want to sort it out, we have put up a committee to look into the problem and advise the government. That is the problem we have there, otherwise we would have gone far in that project,” the governor explained.