At the Heart of the ‘Phosphate’ Predicament

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Wed 14 December / Dec 2016. 01:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

We can understand the justifications extended by Chairman of the Phosphate Company board of Directors, Amer Majali, for the losses the Company has been incurring, due to a global drop in Phosphate prices. Still, the current management is partially responsible for how it turned out for the company, and the committee formed by the government to stand on the causes of recent losses may be sufficient to assess the performance of the management, whose chairman, Majali, has announced readiness to take full responsibility and resign.

All that is comprehendible, and it was elaborately explained in an interview with colleague Yousef Damra in Al Ghad’s Tuesday edition, pinpointing the problem; it is the previous company management’s fault, mostly in the least, under the chairmanship of Walid Kurdi, the convicted embezzler and fugitive!

Obviously, it doesn’t end with Kurdi leaving the company, nor is the problem exclusive to the financial sums the Court has ruled on; JOD253 million, which Kurdi has yet to deliver. It is much deeper.

The real problem lies in the fact that the future of the Phosphate Company has been attached to a mechanism which employs a network of agents, brokers, and intermediary companies, that happen to be part of Kurdi’s financial empire, spread across the globe; from Dubai to London, all the way through Indonesia and Brunei.

Kurdi did not only steal the ruled amount of wealth, but has also hijacked the company’s future, obstructing commercial operation outside his own web of mediums, who in turn, according to Phosphate traders, control commercial activities nearly worldwide, under the influence of Walid and his associates, via their offices in Dubai and Indonesia.

Apparently, there is a parallel shadow organisational structure within the Company conceding to Kurdi’s directives, promoting the company in accordance to his interests, particularly when it comes to foreign and overseas promotion and trade.

Kurdi is not just a ‘former’ Chairman who nicked public money; he is a dangerous person, who committed a crime against national economy, and therefore opposing national interests, deserving of a punishment of law on the side of the ruling which has convicted him of having stolen millions of the Public’s money!

Hence, the government should launch an effective legal operation of extradite him back to Jordan and put him up for trial, no matter the costs! In this discourse, for months we have heard nothing on the endeavours to restore stolen funds and bring Kurdi to Justice, trustful of the righteousness and integrity of our judiciary.

Definitely, Premier Dr Hani Mulqi would make history, should he be successful in dismantling Kurdi’s empire, and bringing him to face court and return what he stole.

Kurdi’s crime stands as the biggest single-handed embezzlement in the history of Jordan.

Yes, the Phosphate Company suffers a great deal of promotional and managerial issues. Yes, the Company needs to be comprehensively restructured, and perhaps even thorough organisational reengineering. All that just to break free of the weights of the past.

Notwithstanding, nothing in regards to a fluctuating global economy is going to change, for now at least, and the Company would have to suffer the same blows all companies have been trying to endure under such pressures in the world marketplace.

This does not mean that Walid Kurdi’s crimes are to be forgotten; on contraire; in order to make it, the company has to alleviate the weight of Kurdi’s deed off its shoulders, before it can get back up and move on.