Uneasy Calm At Bui Dam

The current national energy crisis is likely to be worsened following threats by employees of the Bui Power Authority (BPA) – operators of the Bui hydroelectric dam – to demonstrate against the management of the company.
Credible information available to  DAILY GUIDE  suggests that the workers had been compelled to go public because they claimed that they could no longer stand the harsh treatment being meted out to them by management.

The agitated employees cited in particular, the chief executive officer (CEO), Jabesh Amissah-Arthur – a brother of Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur – who they accused of having assumed the position of a ‘tin god’ and intimidating employees who are not in his good books.

The workers alleged that the CEO had created the culture of silence and cronyism in handling the company, which they said was seriously affecting the operations of the dam.

A number of the employees, who spoke to the paper on condition of anonymity for fear of being victimized by management, said they had complained severally about the leadership style of the CEO to the board chairman of BPA, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who doubles as the General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC). However, they said nothing had been done to call the CEO to order, apparently because of his strong link to corridors of power.

They further alleged that Mr. Amissah-Arthur had prevented employees of BPA to form a union to champion the interest of the workers, despite the frequent engagements with the officials of the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Staff who dared to express their concerns about the actions of the CEO were purportedly intimidated and in some cases sacked.

On the allegation of cronyism, they pointed out that there are selective promotions. They cited the managers of Power Operations, Administration and Maintenance, who they alleged, were appointed to their present positions as a result of their personal relationships with the family of the CEO.

DAILY GUIDE  also gathered that only 11 out of the 31 staff, mainly HND holders, who successfully underwent a training programme at the VRA Training School recently, were promoted to senior staff level.

Management claimed that there were no funds to pay them as senior staff officers – an assertion the workers rubbished.

The paper also learned that there was no potable water at the site, leaving most employees to drink from pools of water in some rocks.

‘It is against these injustices and harsh treatment that we are planning to demonstrate against the management, especially our CEO who has installed CCTV cameras at all offices, vehicles and the Control Room and connected them to his personal wrist watch just to monitor our activities even in our vehicles, because he is afraid of his own shadow,’ one of the employees told  DAILY GUIDE .

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the BPA, Wumbilla Salifu, has failed to respond to the allegations which the paper forwarded to his mail when he requested them a week ago.

The Bui Power Station, located in the Banda District of the Brong-Ahafo Region, was commissioned in 2013 to generate 400 megawatt (MW) of power to supplement the existing supply.

FROM Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani
Email:  [email protected]

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