Intercepted documents summarizing the procurement activity reports of the cash-strapped Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC) for the year 2017, and we can confirm that the state company, among others, spent an amount of GHS 250,430 or the old cedis equivalent of GhS 2,504,300,000 on “office furniture and fittings”.
The Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company was in the news recently over a unilateral decision by the Chief Executive Officer to take loans to pay workers, which the Board Chairman questioned.
In early May 2018, the Chief Executive Officer of GCMC, Frances Essiam, was suspended by six of the nine members of the board, over claims that she had mismanaged the company, and also awarded some contracts without the approval of the Board or the Energy Ministry.
Prior to the suspension, the board queried Madam Essiam over the allegations of mismanagement.
Madam Essiam, who prevented the board members from holding a meeting at the company’s premises before her suspension, eventually defied the suspension, and returned to work with the support of the workers, insisting that she remained the CEO.
Frances Essiam had removed the Finance and Accounts Manager of GCMC, one Julius Opuni Asamoah who was sacked by the management over some alleged procurement breaches but he petitioned the Board accusing the CEO, Frances Essiam of some malfeasance.
Ms Essiam was also accused of going for loans to be able to pay salaries.
This led to an extended impasse in the media between the CEO and her board member.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo following this directed that all the necessary steps should be taken to dissolve the Board of the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC) Limited in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act and the company’s regulations.
A letter dated July 3, 2018 and signed by the Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko and addressed to the Board Chairman of GCMC read: “His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed that all the necessary steps be taken to dissolve the Board of Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company Limited in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act and the Company’s Regulations.”
“In this regard, you are kindly requested to take note of the directive as in paragraph one (1) above and act accordingly,” the letter added.
The letter which was copied to the Deputy Minister of Energy, Chief Executive of GCMC and the Company Secretary of GCMC asked the board chairman to ensure that “all documents and items belonging to the Board are handed over to the Company Secretary.”
“Meanwhile, please accept the gratitude of the President for the services you rendered to the nation,” the letter added.
The Auditor General has indicted the Boss of the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC) for the astronomical and illegal increase in the monthly fees and sitting allowances for the chair and members between 2016 and 2017.
According to an audit report into the operations of the company intercepted by Starr News, monthly fees have seen some 400% increment since the new board took over.
The allowance for the board chair which stood at GHC650 has jumped to GHC3000 while that of members which was GHC 500 has ballooned to GHC2000.
“Our review of the first (1st) minute of the Board of Directors meeting of the Company held on Thursday 2I September 2017 disclosed that the Board increased their monthly fee, and sitting allowances by themselves instead of seeking approval from members at a general meeting. The monthly fee was increased from GHC650 for Chairman and GC580.00 for members to GHc3,000.00 for Chairman and GHC2,000.00 for members. The sitting allowance was also, increased from GHC600.00 for Chairman and GHC500.00 for members to GHC1000,” the audit report said.
It also indicted the CEO of the company Frances Essiam of arbitrarily increasing the salary of staff without recourse to the procedure.
“The Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) of the Company, arbitrarily increased the salary and wages of the workers by 30% to 50%. She again increased the number of staff from 36 to 59 without approval from the governing board, or reference to any approved salary structure and scheme of service. This resulted in an increase of the Wage bill astronomically, from GHC44,531.81 in June 2017 to GHC112,404.78 as December 2017”.
Officials of the company declined to comment on the report when contacted by Starr News.
Last year an impasse between the board and the CEO led to the dissolution of the board.