Caught In War of Words Over Procurement At GNPC
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Authority (GNPC) Dr. K.K Sarpong and his Board Chairman, Freddie Blay, have turned the institution into a boxing arena, where they engage each other in war of words to the amazement of many onlookers and to the detriment of the strategic national asset.
What is strange is that the Office of the President is aware of the turf war at GNPC, and it is unclear what President Akufo-Addo is doing about it to rescue the state institution responsible for the exploration, licensing, and distribution of petroleum-related activities in Ghana.
While, Dr. Sarpong is accusing Freddie Blay of undermining his authority, Mr Blay, who also double as the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in response, also accused the GNPC boss of hijacking every conceivable role and responsibility at the institution and not allowing his subordinates, especially his deputies to work, and in his absence, nothing works, until he returns to the office.
But Dr. Sarpong, insists, the NPP chairman is interfering in roles specifically assigned to the Chief Executive.
Correspondence exchanged by the two men, reveal their disagreement and clashes is over recruitment of a procurement officer.
In the correspondence addressed to the Energy Minister; John Peter Amewu and Mr Blay himself, Dr. Sarpong, urged the former Member of Parliament (MP) of Elembelle in the West Region, to desist from engaging his subordinates without his knowledge.
“It is clear to me that, you are using your position as chairman of the ruling party to force your way through on matters which must be handled professionally. I will humbly advice that you desist from issuing out instructions to my subordinates and rather deal with me as chief executive.
“Some of your directive to my immediate subordinates pertaining to award of contracts and engagement of personnel as in the instant case, have been a source of concern to me especially to the extent that laid down procedures are circumvent.
These also go to undermine my legitimate authority as chief executive. Unfortunately, these subordinates are unable to advice your on the need to company with our rules and regulations for reasons best to themselves.
Responding to the claim, Mr Freddie challenged the allegation that he does not have the right to engage in recruiting senior officers of the company.
” I find the rest of your allegations about interference, involvement in procurement, instructions to your subordinates, festering, parallel etc, to be malicious, wicked and spurious fabrications. If these ever occurred it must be in the figment of someone’s imagination.
“Ordinarily, I would have preferred not to dignify the said letter with a response in respect of the matters you have raised and the allegations you made against my person and as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of an important national corporation of which you, Dr. K.K. Sarpong, are the Chief Executive. However, for the records of the Corporation, and considering that you chose to copy the allegations to various personalities, it is appropriate at least in my capacity as the Chairman of the Board to correct the several misrepresentations and to set the records straight.
“As you Very well know, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is a corporate entity set up by law. The office of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is subject to the direction of the Board of Directors. The day-to-day management role and business of GNPC, delegated by the Board of Directors to the Chief Executive Officer, cannot and does not cease when the Cl'( is temporarily absent from the country or on vacation. Indeed, best corporate practice worldwide, enjoins a good and competent CEO to have a management succession plan. Within that context, the CEO hands over to a Deputy, who continues with die day-to-day corporate management functions in his or her absence”.