The Minority in Parliament is alleging a possible cover up with the setting up of a three member committee to look into allegations of mismanagement at the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company, by the Chief Executive Officer, Frances Essiam.
There has been unrest at the company over the past few days over the CEO’s disregard for some directives issued by the company’s Board.
The board had queried Madam Essiam over claims that she had mismanaged GCMC, and also awarded some contracts without the approval of the Board or the Energy Ministry.
A three member independent committee was subsequently set up by the Energy Ministry in collaboration with the State Enterprises Commission [SEC], to probe the allegations and the subsequent disagreement with the board.
Madam Essiam reportedly locked out the board members on Tuesday, and asked the workers to go home, after picking signals that the board had scheduled a meeting at the premises of the company.
The Board members left the precincts of the company to hold the meeting elsewhere, out of which six of the nine members voted for her to be suspended.
This led to a protest by workers of the company, who said their boss was not being treated fairly. They were however asked by Madam Essiam, who had clearly defied the suspension to return to work, assuring them that she remains at post as the CEO.
Frances Essiam not suspended – State Enterprises Commission
In the heat of the back and forth, the Executive Chairman of State Enterprises Commission [SEC], Stephen Asamoah Boateng, also refuted claims that the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company, Frances Essiam has been suspended.
Mr. Boateng, speaking on Asempa FM’s Eko Sii Sen on Wednesday, said “it is not true that the CEO has been suspended.”
Mr. Asamoah Boateng said he has received a number of petitions and letters with regards to the impasse and is preparing to meet the President before close of day today [Wednesday] to discuss the matter.
“I am currently working on a report to be given to the appointing authority in the evening before the President who is billed to travel, leaves. I have also spoken to the factions involved. I have spoken to the leaders and there seem to be some form of calm at the moment,” he added.
He was however hopeful that the three member committee which is to produce its report in the next two weeks, will do a good job.
Speaking to Citi News’ Duke Mensah Opoku, Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy, Adams Mutawakilu, said the Energy Ministry should get Madam Essiam to comply with the directives of the Board instead of putting in place a Committee.
“I see the committee that was set up by the Minister as a cover up. Why not? We have seen several instances where in a bid to cover up rots, committees and set up. Let’s take the contaminated fuel saga for instance; the Minister set up a committee and asked that within one month he needed the report. As we speak today, there is no report before the Committee.”
“On the diversion of premix, there was a committee that was set up to investigate and as we speak there is no report; so this is another methodology that they want to use to cover up that rot. The CEO or the suspended CEO must account to us what equipment she sold as scrap. Who approved the 500 million cedis for the payment of salaries? How many contracts were awarded without the Board’s approval.”
COPEC demands suspension of Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Board
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers [COPEC], has also called on the President to intervene in the current impasse at the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company [GCMC].
According to the Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, the board of directors of the company should also be asked to step aside while investigations commence into the current standoff in the company.
“We want the President to as a matter of urgency, before close of day, step in, call for calm, call for all parties to step aside while investigations are done on the issue at hand to ascertain allegations of corruption leveled against madam Frances. If the allegations are found to be true, the laws of the land must deal with her, but if the investigations reveal that Madam Essiam has done nothing wrong, I’m sure the board would apologize if they have to,” he added.