Ermias Amelga the much embattled business man will resume his job as of tomorrow, Monday February 23, after being in exile for the past two years.
Ermias who is considered as “too important to fail” has been in discussion with government officials for his safe return to Addis Ababa. After a series of negotiations Ermias returned to Addis Ababa on Thursday February 19.
However despite some reports he does not have immunity from being sued.
Getachew Reda Special Advisor to the Prime Minister told Capital that the government has no right to ask citizens not to claim their money from anyone. “We don’t have the right to bar people from claiming their asset from anyone, they can do so at any time” he said.
“As for Ermias, we gave him another chance in view of the works he have done, and we want the company to continue operating, that’s what we agreed” the advisor said in phone interview from Mekelle.
A special aid to Ermias told Capital that Ermias is now resting and will return to his job on Monday, February 23. “Ermias is now resting, and he will be back to his job by Monday.”
The government announced in July 2014, that it has set up a special committee working to solve problems faced by Access Real Estate Share Company (ARE) and home buyers. A legal representative of Ermias Amelga met with the governmental committee to explore the possibility of the CEO and former board chairman of ARE returning.
The main committee, chaired by Mekuria Haile, Minister of Urban Development, Housing and Construction (MUDHCo) was established to address the problems of those affected by ARE, in three phases.
Mekuria Haile, chairman of the main committee told Capital that he will give a press conference next week. “I am outside the Addis Ababa and I don’t have the details with me, so I will give a press conference by next week” he told Capital.
In the short term the committee will solve problems related with the company and home buyers, and then it will focus on the issues related to third parties that have a stake in the company, according to members of the committee. The long term focus will be on the general real estate business, lease proclamation and issues related to the regulation of the general share companies and their interaction with government policy directions.
Moreover, some homebuyers Capital talked to said that they have not heard or met Ermias after his return.
“We are not informed officially about his return, and we don’t know what exactly is going to happen next” said one home buyer.
Over 2,000 homebuyers purchased a house from ARE and some of them have fully paid the amount. However the company did not accomplish or deliver a single house for buyers over the past five years.
The company has 651 shareholders and the majority bought their share after the company was formed.