The Executive Chairman of State Enterprises Commission [SEC], Stephen Asamoah Boateng, has refuted claims that the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company, Frances Essiam has been suspended.
Six of the nine board members voted on Tuesday to suspend Madam Essiam after an altercation, but Mr. Boateng, speaking on Asempa FM’s Eko Sii Sen on Wednesday, said “it is not true that the CEO has been suspended.”
The board had queried madam Essiam over claims that she has mismanaged GCMC, and also awarded some contracts without the approval of the Board or the Energy Ministry.
She reportedly locked out the board members on Tuesday and asked the workers to go home, after picking signals that the board had scheduled a meeting at the premises of the company.
Mr. Asamoah Boateng said he has received a number of petitions and letters with regards to the impasse and is preparing to meet the President before close of day today [Wednesday] to discuss the matter.
“I am currently working on a report to be given to the appointing authority in the evening before the President who is billed to travel, leaves. I have also spoken to the factions involved. I have spoken to the leaders and there seem to be some form of calm at the moment,” he added.
He was however hopeful that the three member committee which is to produce its report in the next two weeks, will do a good job.
Energy Ministry, SEC set up c’ttee to probe Ghana Cylinder impasse
Meanwhile, a three member committee has been set up by the SEC and the Energy Ministry to investigate the issue.
This is in response to the recommendations of the company’s board at the meeting held on May 8, 2018.
“It is the considered view of the Ministry that due to the nature of the impasse and the fact that the Board is an interested party in the matter, an independent committee will produce a more objective result. Consequently, the Ministry, in Consultation with the SEC, has set up a three-member committee made up of a Senior Lawyer and Governance Expert, a Chartered Accountant and banker, and a petroleum expert at the ministry to investigate the matter” the statement from the Energy Ministry said.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Energy has said it is working with the State Enterprises Commission (SEC) to address the situation.
Essiam defies suspension
Frances Essiam has already challenged her suspension by the company’s board, declaring that she is still at post performing regular duties.
She made the comments on the back of a protest by some workers of the company who urged the board to revoke the suspension.
COPEC demands suspension of Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Board
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers [COPEC], has also called on the President to intervene in the current impasse at the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company [GCMC].
According to the Executive Sectretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, the board of directors of the company should also be asked to step aside while investigations commence into the current standoff in the company.
“We want the President to as a matter of urgency, before close of day, step in, call for calm, call for all parties to step aside while investigations are done on the issue at hand to ascertain allegations of corruption leveled against madam Frances. If the allegations are found to be true, the laws of the land must deal with her, but if the investigations reveal that Madam Essiam has done nothing wrong, I’m sure the board would apologize if they have to,” he added.