President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appointed the governing New Patriotic Party’s National Organiser, Mr Sammi Awuku as the new Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA).
The former National Youth Organiser of the NPP takes over from Mr Kofi Osei Ameyaw who got retired by the president earlier this year.
Mr Awuku, per the party’s rules, must relinquish his position as National Organiser following his new appointment.
Mr Awuku served as Board Chairman of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) and was twice elected Vice-Chair of the Young Democrats Union (IYDU), an international association of the youth wings of conservative parties across the world.
At the end of the first quarter of this year, the president asked Mr Osei Ameyaw to go on his compulsory retirement.
The president also terminated the appointment of Mr Osei Ameyaw’s deputy at the time, Mr Yaw Amoakohene Baafi.
The correspondence from the president to the two men were signed by his Executive Secretary Nana Asante Bediatuo.
The president’s letter to Mr Osei Ameyaw read in part: “Upon reaching the compulsory retirement age of sixty years on 20th February 2020, the President of the Republic, by a letter under my hand dated September 3, 2020, granted you a one-year contract of service as Director-General of the National Lottery Authority.
“The one-year contract lapsed on 20th February 2021, and therefore you are retired on that date”.
“Accordingly, you are directed to hand over to Mr Ernest Mortey, the Finance Director of the Authority, who shall act as the Director-General of the Authority pending the appointment of a substantive Director-General. You are further directed to proceed to collect any terminal benefits or facilities due you under the relevant law.”
In Mr Baafi’s case, the letter said: “Due to the re-organisation of the Authority, I am to inform you that the President has terminated your appointment with immediate effect.
“You are directed to proceed to collect your terminal benefits in lieu of notice”.
Two weeks ahead of the termination of their appointments, the National Labour Commission (NLC) declared a strike by staff of the NLA as “wrongful and unfair” and ordered them to call it off.
The NLC also directed the management of the NLA to meet with the leadership of the workers’ union to address their concerns.
At the NLC hearing on Monday, 1 March 2021, the leadership of the workers’ union of the NLA raised concerns about the safety and security of their workers, arising from alleged unpaid winnings.
The now-retired D-G, at the time, explained to the NLC that in this day and age where cyber-crime has become a big issue, big wins were thoroughly investigated, verified and validated before payment of the said wins.
“These processes usually take time”, he said, but assured the Commission that there is a committee set up to address the issue.
Mr Ameyaw noted that anybody whose win has not been paid should present all their relevant documents to the committee and if it is cleared, the winning shall be paid within 14 days.