General News Wed, 9 May 2018

Gas Cylinder Board suspends Frances Essiam

Report reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates that the board of Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC) has suspended the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Frances Essiam, following a fracas.

The board members were yesterday locked out of the company’s premises allegedly on the instruction of the CEO, who had reportedly ordered the closure of the company and asked the workers not to report for duty yesterday.

Following this action, the board met outside the company premises and returned with a verdict that the CEO had been suspended.

Customers of the company were left stranded with “no gas” inscription boldly written at the entrance of the company.

The board, chaired by Frank Boakye Agyen, former MP for Effiduase Asokore in the Ashanti Region, had reportedly queried Frances over her handling of the company, including the award of contracts without the approval of the board or the energy ministry.

The chairman said the decision to close down the company was in bad taste.

Apart from dismissals of senior staff, the CEO was also accused of procurement infractions as well as the disposal of assets of the company.

A board meeting expected to be held yesterday to address some of the nagging issues had to be moved outside because of the confusion.

According to the report, the board is said to have queried the CEO for allegedly disposing of obsolete equipment without the knowledge of the board.

A letter written by the board titled, ‘Urgent issues for which the board needs answers from the CEO’ dated April 13, 2018, and signed by Mr Frank Boakye Agyen, questioned why Frances Essiam never sought approval from the ministry of energy before awarding several contracts.

“You verbally informed the board but belatedly after you had borrowed money to enable you pay the salaries of the workers for February 2018. Please, explain why you did not seek the Board’s approval before contracting the loan to pay workers,” the letter demanded.

It continued, “At the meeting of the board on the 5th of April 2018, members unanimously asked me to write to you to demand answers for the following actions of yours; in ordering the company’s old and disused machinery for sale as scraps, did you follow due process laid down by law? If yes, please state the processes you followed.”

The board in a resolution asked Frances to desist from disbursing the stimulus package of GH¢5,000,000 government secured for GCMC.

Some of the contentious contracts are procurement of office furniture at GH¢250,430; procurement of hand gloves at GH¢26,537.38; construction of a canteen at GH¢484,575.59; construction of offices at GH¢373,339.50; renovation of bungalow at GH¢127,341.90 and a new plant at GH¢26.4 million.

Source: dailyguideafrica.com
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