The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC) has charged the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu to investigate the impasse at the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company Limited (GCMCL).
The CEO of the GCMCL, Frances Essiam is being accused of awarding several contracts worth millions of Ghana Cedis without recourse to the governing Board of the GCMCL—an allegation she vehemently denied.
The allegations led to her suspension by the GCMCL Board appointing the Technical Director of the company, Mr Ezekiel Mensah to act in the absence of Madam Essiam.
The directive of the Board, however, was suspended by the Energy Ministry, during a meeting between officials of the Ministry of Energy and members of the Board.
The Ministry subsequently in a statement announced the constitution of a three-member investigatory committee to probe the impasse at the GCMCL.
The Board of the GCMCL has since been dissolved without the findings of the three-member committee set up by the Energy Minister in the heat of the impasse.
The government is under pressure to make public the findings of the three-member investigatory committee instituted by the Energy Ministry to probe the impasse at the GCMCL.
However, the government has given no clear indication yet as to whether or not it will disclose the findings of the investigative report.
Even before the report of the committee gets published COPEC called on the “Special Prosecutor to invoke his investigative and prosecutorial powers to immediately move in on this terrible state of affairs at the GCMC…”
COPEC also asked the Special Prosecutor “to address and forestall any further reckless dissipation of the company’s finances and to bring to book anyone found culpable of deliberate breaches and gross financial malfeasance and mismanagement of this currently distressed company.”
Below is the full statement
THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR’s TEETH MUST BEGIN TO BITE.
The current state of Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC) is indeed a worrisome one that leaves a lot to be desired.
Accusations bothering on gross financial malfeasance and procurement breaches against the CEO remains very alarming as the company continues on a downhill trajectory.
The CEO is believed to be using intimidation, dismissals and grand cover-up schemes using other cohorts after sections of her own Management and the BOARD passed a damning verdict of incompetence and fraud asking her to step aside.
The CEO is accused of having indulged in several shady procurements and contracts without recourse to procurement laws and procedures for approval.
Key amongst which are;
Procurement without the approval of office furniture from K. Asenso Ltd Ghc 250,430.
Procurement of Hand Gloves by Dz & Coff co Ltd Ghc 26,537.38.
Procurement of Retainership Ankomah Sey & Associate at Ghc 6,500 a month.
Construction of office canteen by TDK Atlantic Ltd Ghc 484,575.59
Expansion of Factory building by TDK Atlantic Ltd Ghc 2,539,027.95.
Construction of additional offices by TDK Atlantic Ltd Ghc 373,339.50
Renovation of GCMC staff bungalow by TDK Atlantic Ltd 127,344.90.
Renovation of factory Block and warehouse by TDK Atlantic Ltd Ghc 164,976.40.
GCMC website development by Ebien studios ( CEO’S in-law) Ghc 23,500.
New plant & machinery being supplied by Africano Electric Ghc 26.4m
The procurement method and processes of the above are known to be shrouded in secrecy without any approvals.
Also in February 2018, the CEO is known to have gone for a loan of GH¢ 150,000 from a MICRO FINANCE company to pay salaries without any documentation.
The Cheque for the payment of this loan was written in her personal name; Frances Esiam (CEO).
In the end, the repayment was also paid directly to the CEO which amounts to a clear breach of the public financial management Act.
A lot of the procurements done by the CEO could be said to be simply sidestepping of the laid down rules and potentially could be cited of willfully causing financial loss to the state as the CEO is aware the company GCMC had not budgeted nor provided for any fiscal spending on those capital expenditures but she has still gone ahead to commit the company to these unwarranted liabilities thereby heaping pressure on the already overburdened finances of the company.
It is very disheartening to have individuals who are expected to protect the assets of institutions entrusted to their care rather turn to milk same and to state by extension instead of contributing to the advancement of those institutions and the development of our dear nation.
We at COPEC will use this opportunity to once again call on the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to immediately probe the committee report of the Ntrakwa committee and to further conduct an independent check on the current state of GCMC as well as the many allegations of corruption and financial malfeasance against the CEO.
We wish to also call on the Special Prosecutor to invoke his investigative and prosecutorial powers to immediately move in on this terrible state of affairs at the GCMC following from an official complaint filed by an accountant, Mr Julius Opuni Asamoah (Former Finance and Accounts manager of GCMC) who has been dismissed unlawfully for standing up to the right thing against the CEO.
We entreat the office of the special prosecutor to move in to address and forestall any further reckless dissipation of the company’s finances and to bring to book anyone found culpable of deliberate breaches and gross financial malfeasance and mismanagement of this currently distressed company.
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