Blay locks horns with Dr. Sarpong in show of power at GNPC
A turf war at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has gotten the Chief Executive Officer and Board Chairman entangled in a disturbing leadership brawl.
Available evidence points to the two leaders holding each other’s throat over the controversial hiring of a Procurement Manager.
The CEO Dr K.K. Sarpong is angry that the chairman of the board, Mr. Freddie Blay, bypassed him to make appointment at GNPC through the Chief Finance Officer.
In a letter addressed to Mr. Blay dated February 5, 2019, Dr. Sarpong wrote, “I wish to reiterate that the responsibility for hiring personnel lies within the purview of the Chief Executive and not the Chief Finance Officer. I have already advised Mrs.Comfort Aniagyei, Chief Finance Officer that she has no mandate to recruit personnel, notwithstanding your directive unless I expressly instruct her to do so.”
He asked Mr. Blay to avoid creating “parallel authority in the organisation” that would make “governance and management extremely difficult. This is exactly the situation you have created in GNPC.”
Dr. Sarpong therefore advised him to “desist from issuing out instructions to my subordinates and rather deal with me as Chief Executive on matters relating to the Corporation.”
Three days later, Mr. Blay, who is the National Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party, responded without hesitating to also register his chagrin, retorting the CEO for questioning his authority.
“The truth is, under your leadership and watch; our Corporation has had no Procurement Manager, for so long, in spite of several directives from the Board to your office to take the necessary steps to fill that vacancy. This dereliction of duty can simply not continue,” he replied Dr. Sarpong.
He also pointed out to the CEO, “It should be clear to you that the Board and not the CEO is the appointing authority. Professionalism, which you refer to in your letter, requires that the CEO of a state-owned entity operate within and respect the law.
“While you must take the initiative, you are legally and professionally obliged to seek approval of the Board for all recruitment and any restructuring.”