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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Exiting GNPC  CEO’S last minute acts cause stir –

As the clock ticks towards his final days at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Opoku Ahwenie Danquah, the embattled Acting Chief Executive Officers (CEO) has embarked on his final acts that have infuriated staff of Ghana’s national oil company, with a looming demonstration.

Danquah, who has failed two Public Services Commission (PSC) interviews to convince experts that he was fit for that high office, was at the edge of being summarily dismissed, but for pleadings on his knees at the seat of government, deep throat sources have disclosed to The Herald.

With pleadings from persons close to the President, his ‘push’ via dismissal was mellowed down to ‘a jump’ via resignation that takes effect on April 21,  this year, which date would enable him complete exactly two years in office, Jubilee House sources have revealed.

Staff anger over the embattled CEOs last acts, include doling out Four Million Ghana Cedis (GHC4M) to the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs; attempts to promote his favourites and informants to managerial positions, setting aside recommendations from performance appraisals; plans to take home a new Landcruiser with registration number GT 8103 22; and frantic efforts at ‘negotiating’ payments with contractor creditors.

GHC4M to E/Regional House of Chiefs

GNPC, which has so many creditors in queue with the excuse of lacking money, is doling out ‘Three Million Nine Hundred and Forty Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty-Six Ghana Cedis, and Twenty Nine Ghana Cedis (GHC3, 940,336.29), to support the renovation and refurbishment of the office complex and a conference hall for the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs’, a portion of memo from Danquah to Deputy CEO for Finance and Administration dated July 3, 2023 read.

Even though that, payment recommendation, had been outstanding since July 2023, the Corporation has just started processing it for disbursement.

Also captured in the Memo, is a “Three Hundred and Eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty-Nine Dollars ($308,929) to be made in tranches to Presbyterian Boys Secondary Schools (PRESEC) for building and equipping E-library and stem centre”. The document sent to Deputy Chief Executive in-charge of Finance and Administration titled “Brand Communication & CSI Committee Report” asked that “an MOU on this should be drafted and sent to the Legal and Governance Committee for review”.

The same document, had also mentioned that an amount of “Fifty Thousand, One Hundred and Ninety-Six Ghana cedis sixty pesewas (GHS50, 196.60) be paid to Miss Buabeng for her emergency brain surgery”.

Some of the payments, have attracted the angst of a section of the staff, who are surprised and wondering why GNPC, would not pay USD600, 000 to 700, 000 outstanding amount to the contractor working on the Sickle Cell Treatment Centre at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. 

That amount, which is the balance of the USD 4.5 Million committed by the Corporation towards the first phase of the Sickle Cell Treatment Centre, has seen the contractor drag GNPC to court.

Staff are wondering why the Corporation, would not make good its indebtedness to save its reputation, but would be doling out GH¢4 Million to chiefs of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s home region.

Promotions

Danquah, who works with his management team through intermediaries, has set aside the corporation’s promotion recommendations arising from 2021 and 2022 staff performance appraisals, substituting them with his preferred staff. 

 In cahoots with the Board Chairman, his strategy is to place their favourites into high positions, to cover up for the many illegalities that are believed to have been perpetrated in his short-lived tenure at GNPC.

They have identified and targeted GNPC’s subsidiaries, GNPC Exploration and Production Company Limited (EXPLORCO) and Jubilee Oil Holdings Limited (JOHL) as fertile grounds for pushing up these favourites after their promotions.

The general staff, have vowed to resist this move and would soon be wearing red armbands, to forcefully express their anger and resist any actions that would put them at a disadvantage.

Landcruiser Regn. No. GT 8103 22

In 2022, GNPC bought four new landcruisers for its top four Executive Management Staff. Danquah, sneaked out with his allocated vehicle, to park at the garage of his DEVTRACO Plus Apartment in the Airport Residential Area. 

He did that, hoping that it would be offered to him as part of his take-home package in virtually an unused state.

While this officially allocated vehicle was hidden in his house, he has been driving around in another Landcruiser of the Corporation, with registration number GT 4521 18.

Contractors and Suppliers

Earlier information picked up by The Herald on ‘negotiations’ with some contractors to determine whether they got their cheques or not, supported by voice recordings, appears to be playing out again.

  For over the last two weeks, frantic efforts were underway to ‘negotiate’ with creditors their payments so that cheques, could be issued to them. Some of these indebtedness to contractors, have been outstanding for over a year.

Some of the longstanding creditors like Merricom, CWG Ghana Limited, Memphis Contractors, Sienna Services Limited, and SWISSGROUP Limited, have been in the queue for over a year, with some receiving their payments ‘in tots’.

Meanwhile, staff of the Corporation, are hoping that the President would remove the Board Chairman of GNPC, Freddie Blay, for being complicit in various acts perpetrated by the beleaguered Ag. Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Opoku-Ahwenie Danquah, a nephew of the President’s Secretary Kofi Asante, also known as Nana Asante Bediatuo, was fostered on the corporation, following the exit of Dr Kofi Koduah Sarpong in 2022.

He announced himself into the new position like an elephant in a China shop. He was soon to get into verbal exchanges with experienced management staff, some of whom resigned and became a loss to the Corporation and the nation.

theheraldghana.com

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