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Thursday, October 18, 2018
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Why Akufo-Addo is on a ‘sacking spree’

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The Presidency in an unprecedented twist on Monday announced the simultaneous dismissal of four heads of state agencies.

The Chief Executives for the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Paul Ansah Asare, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Felix Anyah, Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Gifty Klenam and the Managing Director of BOST, Alfred Obeng Boateng were dismissed yesterday.

Also, Madam Gifty Klenam’s two deputies Eric Amoako Twum and Sayibu Akilu were fired. Though replacements for the sacked BOST MD and the Ports and Harbours Chiefs have already been announced, GEPA and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital are yet to know their new bosses.
But why were these Chief Executives fired?

The government has been silent on this. However, Citi News’ analyses factors which may have fuelled the removal of some of the Chief Executives.

The tenure of Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng at BOST got off to a rocky start and has since been hit with one controversy after another. First was the allegation of the sale of the contaminated fuel in what came to be described by the media as the BOSTGATE Scandal.

The MD was alleged to have sold, or authorised the sale of 5million litres of contaminated fuel to two unlicensed companies; Movenpinaa and Zup Oil, costing the State about GHc 7 million in revenue.

Though he was later cleared by Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko, on the strength of a yet-to-sighted BNI report; and corroborated by President Akufo-Addo at a media engagement, policy think tank IMANI Africa called for a public enquiry. An NGO, Strategic Thinkers Network-Africa sued, demanding finality to the issues.

Those are however still hanging. But Mr Alfred Obeng was not free as he was hit by another major scandal.

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, COPEC in March this year accused BOST of causing financial loss to the state in excess of Ghc30million with the sale of some 1.8 barrels of crude oil. COPEC alleged that BOST sold 1.8million barrels, out of 2million barrels of crude; and at a discount of $2 per barrels.

But BOST, in a quick move, denied the allegations describing them as malicious. Could the Presidency have been so badly wounded by these major controversies that it felt safer sacrificing the head of BOST? Could the story have been more damning than this? Or, could this just have been a mere political reshuffle of public officers?

At the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Madam Gifty Klenam was accused of mismanaging the public kitty through flagrant violations of the public procurement laws.

She is alleged to have, in connivance with one of her deputies; Eric Amoako Twum, taken $132,000; a Ghana cedi equivalent of 580,800 for house rent, covering a period of two years.

She was also accused of paying herself GH¢ 93,000 for clothing allowance; paying $19,500 for a training programme at Harvard University in the United States of America; and authorising the purchasing of two new Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles and two new Saloon cars for herself and her deputy and a new Nissan Teana car for her assistant.

Even though the GEPA flatly denied the allegations without any explanations; it is believed that this may have cost the Chief Executive her job.

If that is the reason, will the Presidency go beyond the dismissals to authorise investigations for probable punishments?

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