General News of Saturday, 5 December 2015
The Deputy Communications Minister is berating the erstwhile New Patriotic Party of discriminating against four top employees of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation in the payment of ex-gratia.
Felix Kwakye Ofosu says there is documentation to show that past employees of the Corporation who were shown the exit in 2002 under the Kufuor administration were paid their ex-gratia entitlements.
However, the same administration, out of political expediency, decided not to pay the entitlements of former Chief Executive Officers, Tsatsu Tsikata and Nana Boakye Asafoadgyei as well as the Director of Public Affairs Esther Cobbah and Benjamin Dagadu, Field Evaluation and Development Manager, Kwakye Ofosu averred on Joy FM’s Newsfile programme, Saturday.
He was contributing to the approval of some ex-gratia payment to the four employees by the John Mahama appointed GNPC Board.
The over 5 million cedis payment has been described as “criminal” by the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa KT Hammond.
But the GNPC Board defended the payments describing it as valid payments to employees who have provided invaluable service to the country.
Three of the four employees have yet to receive the payment.
The GNPC has meanwhile been summoned to Parliament to explain the circumstances under which the payments were approved and some paid.
Discussing the matter on Newsfile, Kwakye-Ofosu defended the action by the GNPC board to make the payments to the four.
He said the Board was merely correcting the error unfairly committed by the NPP administration.
When asked why the four did not insist on their rights of payment of the ex-gratia under the NPP administration, Kwakye Ofosu said under a hostile NPP Tsikata and co could not possibly demand payment of an ex-gratia.
“Tsikata was so harassed and chased to church,” he said, how was he going to demand his ex-gratia under such circumstances.
He said Tsikata under the post NPP administration made efforts to access his ex-gratia and that appears to have yielded dividends.
In a reaction the Director of Communications of the NPP Nana Akomea said assuming without admitting that Tsikata was harassed what stopped the other three from demanding what is rightfully theirs?
“How come it has taken almost seven years for the four to be paid this amount? he asked further.
He is convinced some of the Board members of the GNPC Board are close associates to Tsikata and may have facilitated payment to the former employees.
He welcomed the investigation by Parliament and hoped the House will do a thorough job at unravelling the circumstances under which the payments were made.