December 12, 2015
In one of Shakespeares’ writings on Julius Caeser, he wrote:
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves
The unprecedented generosity of GNPC, reported variously as ex-gratia, End of Service
Benefit (ESB), Entitlements, Provident Fund, is such a tide in the affairs of Ghana. Ghanaians must reach into the depth of their consciences and ask the questions that must be asked. Else, as a People and as a country, our voyage risks being bound in shallows and miseries.
Ordinarily, a Corporate Board approving payments running into millions of cedis to a few individuals 3 governments after the fact and about 15 years after the fact will raise some eye brows. But considering some of the circumstances of this Board-approved GNPC package, much is left to be desired. The deal sounds too neatly packaged and too self-serving to be allowed to go without some serious questions.
Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata was appointed in November, 2000 as Energy Policy Advisor by President Rawlings. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Tsikata had been the CEO of GNPC. Nana Boakye Asafo Agyei was consequently appointed as Acting CEO at GNPC, also in November 2000. Why a gargantuan Payout to these gentlemen and a few others at this time in 2015?
No state-owned enterprise in Ghana has paid ESB or ex-gratia to any ex- employee since 1987 when the practice was abolished by the PNDC government. Why a gargantuan Payout at this time?
On the Board of GNPC is Mr. Abraham Amaliba. Mr. Amaliba served as one of the lawyers of the NDC in the Electoral Petition of 2013. Mr. Tsikata served as lead Counsel for the NDC in this same Electoral Petition. Mr. Amaliba infamously said on Newsfile during the Electoral Petition that “I will die a happy man after hearing Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata do his cross-examination”. With such a disposition of thought, what will Board Member Mr. Amaliba vote against where the interest of Mr. Tsikata is concerned? Could this be the reason why the Board overturned the advise of GNPC’s lawyers not to go ahead with the gargantuan payout?
On June 18, 2008, Mr. Tsikata was pronounced guilty by an Accra Fast Track High Court for having caused financial loss to the State of Ghana in matters relating to his stewardship at GNPC, a
stewardship that ended in 2000. And in 2015, following his defence of the NDC in a Court case, he is now the beneficiary of a scheduled, gargantuan payout authorized by the Board of GNPC?
The Mahama Administration endorsed the contracting of a loan of $700m by the GNPC outside the scrutiny of Parliament. In the midst of dumsor, high unemployment, and declining agriculture, is the Mahama Administration going to endorse such a gargantuan payout by a State-Owned company to a few under circumstances that the lawyers of GNPC raised the red flag over?
To be found sleeping in front of Stores and Stalls in Accra, under the open skies are scores of women and girls who do so because they are homeless. Labouring under the scorching sun in Kumasi are young women with sickly and badly-fed babies strapped on their backs. Carrying heavy loads on their heads with sweat streaming down their faces in the sweltering heat are long-suffering women in Tamale. It is those such as these whose monies President Mahama must ensure do not get siphoned to pad the already well-padded retirement nests of a few under dubious circumstances.
For the sake of long-suffering Ghanaians, NPP-Canada is asking: Why such gargantuan payments at this time?
Gilbert Adu Gyimah
Director of Communications, NPP/Canada
Tel: 587-708-9915 / 647-800-3585