The Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee, PIAC, Dr. Steve Manteaw has expressed worry over the seeming tensions between the Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Board Chairman.
According to Dr. Manteaw, the current dispute may lead to staff apathy which may subsequently affect the overall output of the corporation.
There has been disagreement over procurement and recruitment between the Chief Executive of GNPC, Dr. K. K. Sarpong and the Board Chairman, Freddie Blay.
Pressure is mounting on Dr. K. K Sarpong, to reverse a decision that seeks to bring the procurement function of the Corporation’s Chief Finance Officer directly under him.
Citi News sighted a memo signed by the GNPC boss instructing the Chief Finance Officer to hand over all procurement duties directly to him and to cease the award of new contracts forthwith.
Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop on the PIAC 2017/2018 report for Finance and Economic Journalists in Koforidua, Dr Manteaw described the latest development at the corporation as an insult to corporate governance.
“It is actually demoralizing the staff… As I speak to you, the GNPC is split right in the middle, the staff are also split right in the middle. This is not good enough for efficiency and effective work.More importantly is the fact that some of the decisions that are taken at the corporation level defy corporate chain of command. You have situations where the Chairman of the party, who is now the Board Chair acts as if he is the Executive Chairman so he gives direct instructions to subordinates and chief executives so that undermines discipline and creates an atmosphere for insubordination and this is not good enough.”
He also predicted that GNPC might fail in its core mandate as it will not be able to attract serious partners if it continues with its current management of petroleum revenues.
“We are actually doing all the wrong things that should not be done with our national oil company and we are already suffering some of the expected consequences of our actions.
“ For me, the greatest of them all is the use of GNPC to fund fiscal expenditure and treating it as a cash cow and not allowing it to operate as a commercial entity. We may lose the opportunity to attract partners to work with GNPC. No company will want to work with a state commercial entity that is heavily politicized.”
Withdraw memo hijacking procurement processes
In the latest development, Freddie Blay is demanding an apology and the immediate withdrawal of a letter Dr. K. K Sarpong wrote to the Chief Finance Officer of the firm over the recruitment of a procurement manager.
In a letter sighted by Citi News, responding to a letter addressed to him earlier, Freddie Blay noted that the CEO, Dr. K.K Sarpong by his action was being subversive by sidestepping the decisions of the board.
“Indeed and as noted earlier, it is the need to ensure that the Board acts within the law and complies within the constitution which triggered the emergency meetings regarding your contract and tenure. The Board has since referred the matter to the sector Minister for advice and direction and there will be a follow up by the board on it. To conclude, I am totally at a loss as to the purpose and intent of this letter which was circulated even to your subordinates and also diabolically and suddenly leaked to hostile media and entities.
“I must state that your letter to me is riddled with innuendos, posturing and grand standing. In any corporate environment, this is completely unacceptable especially from a CEO to a Board Chairman. I demand its formal withdrawal forthwith and unqualified apology to the board and to me,” Mr. Blay added in the letter.