A former National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nanton, Murtala Mohammed, says the rift that has ensued between the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC), Frances Essiam, and the Board of the company, is an indication of who is closer to the appointing authority.
The flexing of muscles by Ms. Essiam, he added, signals that she is closer to the appointing authority, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, than the Board of the company.
Such attitude, according to the former Nanton legislature, is not the best as far as corporate governance is concerned in a limited liability company.
On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, the Board of the GCMC directed Ms. Essiam to step aside moments after a meeting it held at the Robin Hood Hotel in Accra.
The directive was in the wake of the rift between the two parties over some of the management decisions sanctioned by Ms. Essiam since assuming the post last year.
At least 6 out of the 9-member Board voted in favour of the CEO’s suspension.
The board asked that all contracts entered into by Ms. Essiam be put on hold pending investigations.
Consequently the Board, in the interim, appointed the Technical Director of the company, Mr. Ezekiel Mensah, to act in the stead of Ms. Essiam pending investigations into the various allegations leveled against her.
But Ms. Essiam in a swift response urged the public to disregard the directive of the Board since she was still at post.
Her position was corroborated by the State Enterprises Commission (SEC) following a statement by the Ministry of Energy that announced as null and void the suspension of Ms. Essiam.
“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.
The Chairman of the State Enterprises Commission, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, in an interview with Kasapa FM, emphasized that he’s met with both parties and they are all under firm instructions as to what to do going forward until the 3-member committee comes out with their findings.
“In the meantime there should be calm for the continuation of work. They are to work within the confines of the law and maintain their roles. Yesterday we issued a statement from the ministry, and that supersedes basically some of the decisions they took. The decision was taken in consultation with some of the Board members. And they ought to communicate the new decision to everyone concerned. I don’t know the process it will take for them to do that, but they should find a way to do that. ” he told sit-in host Kwaku Owusu Adjei on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5FM.
But Murtala Mohammed reacting to the issue on News Day on TV 3, Saturday, May 12, 2018, said the directive of the Board should have been upheld by the Ministry of Energy and the State Enterprises Commission.
“If it is a case of a Board of limited liability company, it doesn’t matter whether the State has a stake in it or not. What matters is that the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the company, whether the State owns part of it or not, those rules and regulations ought not to be disrespected. To that extent, the Board’s decision out not to be disregarded”, he noted.