There is fresh controversy brewing at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) as some key administrative decisions of the Chief Executive, Dr. Kofi Kodua Sarpong have been called into question.
He is being accused of irregular recruitments and hijacking the procurement processes at the corporation.
An internal memo from the National Oil Company’s Chief Executive’s Secretariat, dated 4th February 2019 and addressed to the Chief Finance Officer, directed the Chief Finance Officer to hand over the procurement function of the office to the Chief Executive.
This directive, the Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Adam Mutawakilu says violates the principles of good corporate governance.
“GNPC has a mission to become a stand-alone operator in the next five years and an independent operator in the next fifteen years and an independent operator in the next 15 years.”
But the Memo justified the move saying, “as you’re no doubt aware the public procurement authority and the central tender review committee have in correspondence received recently, indicated challenges with GNPC Procurement function. The Honourable Minister for Energy has, in a letter dated 4th January 2019, (in which you were copied), re-echoed observations made by the central tender review committee.”
But Adam Mutawakilu believes the latest directive is further compounding the problem.
“I think that it should be handed over to the deputy director of procurement or any other senior staff within the procurement department and even if the procurement department does not have any other senior staff, I think that somebody within the organisation should be appointed to act in the meantime.”
Chief Executive of GNPC, Dr. K.K. Sarpong has declined to comment on the development, but Citi News sources close to his secretariat say the move is intended to streamline operations of the function of GNPC.
Indeed, in the memo, Dr. Sarpong himself writes about the chief finance officer saying “you had your own way of managing that function. For no apparent reason, the General Manager (Administration) whose direct responsibility it is to oversee the procurement function has been marginalised thereby limiting the level of oversight required to manage the procurement function effectively.”
But the Minority Spokesperson on Energy is concerned with questions of conflict of interest.
“The CEO is supposed to supervise the procurement director. Now that he is acting as a CEO and procurement director, who supervises him?”
Whereas the Memo, by extension the Chief Executive, looks to appointing a substantive procurement manager as it says “in the next few weeks”, Adam Mutawakilu called for President Nana Akufo-Addo’s immediate intervention.
But that is not all. The Chief Executive Officer is also being accused of unilaterally employing personnel with the staff description driver/security without due process.
A copy of the engagement letter available to Citi News shows a fixed three-year term contract offered to one Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh as a senior driver/Security.
His benefits, according to the letter dated 7th June 2018, include an all-inclusive contract sum of GHc8,880.79 per month comprising a base salary of GHc5, 603. 02 and duty, utility, transport and housing allowances at the prevailing rate.
The benefits also include a free medical package, and a 23-working day paid leave. The Corporation’s Chief Driver is however said to be paid GHc4,000.00 monthly.
The Chief Executive has declined to comment on this issue too.