By Gifty Arthur
Seven Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), including the embattled Managing Director (MD)ofGhana Maritime Authority (GMA), Kwame Owusu, have been fired by President Akufo-Addo in what had been said to be government attempt to avoid an altercation with the Public Services Commission (PSC) over age issues.
This is a prelude a major government shakeup, which according to insiders is intended to remove weak limps and also introduce fresh ones onboard the Akufo-Addo government.
The 67-year-old GMA boss, is going on compulsory retirement with the likes of 65-year-old former General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and CEO of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, alias “Sir John” and six others.
Close sources have told The Herald that some of them are begging to be allowed to stay on, but the Presidency is insisting that the PSC, has not been happy with the fact that they are over 60, but still in office although the Act, allows for an extension of about five years if the President so wishes.
Additional information available to The Herald is that the Presidency, say the action by the President is to pave way for a major ministerial reshuffle in the coming weeks, if not days.
The much anticipated reshuffle, is likely to cause a stir as very key government appointees, including Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives are son their way out.
The last reshuffle which had casualties such as Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, Otiko Afisah Gyaba, removed was described by many, including civil society groups as unimpressive.
According to reports, the CEOs, will bring their tenure as bosses of the various institutions to an end by March 2019.
They have been asked to hand over to their deputies until substantive heads are appointed by the President.
The sole reason the Presidency assigned to their removal is because of the provision in the Public Service Act which enjoins public officers to retire from the public service on attaining the age of sixty (60) years and getting a possible extension of five (5) extra years.
But there are speculations that there is a hidden motive behind decisionto oust the eight, but government is merely using age as cover up to get them out of office. The biggest motive is to bring
The six others The Herald gathered are,67 year old Managing Director (MD) of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and former Member of Parliament (MP) for Subin in the Ashanti Region, Isaac Osei.
The rest are Controller and Accountant General, Eugene Ofosuhene, said to be 67, the National Health Insurance Authority’s (NHIA) boss, Dr. Samuel Annor, who is 64, and Ghana Industrial Corporation Holding (GIHOC) boss, Maxwell Kofi Jumah. The former lawmaker for Asokwa is 68.
Also, affected by the decision is the CEO of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Dr. K K Sarpong, who is 65.
Then there is the 65 year old Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare who was in the news last year, over government’s controversial decision to purchase drones for medical supply.
While some of these CEOs discharged their mandate with less or no controversy, same cannot be said about a few of them.
For instance, the Ghana Maritime Authority CEO, Kwame Owusu , was in the news for weeks over his controversial decision to purchase 11 air-conditioners for his official residence, last year.
He was heavily criticized with many calling for his immediate removal.
Regardless of the outraged, Mr Owusu, defended the purchase in a hurriedly organized presser, confirming also that he renovated his bungalow with a whopping GHc1million of the taxpayer’s money and awarding parts of the contracts to known relations.
Interestingly, he had argued that the number of ACs were not enough considering the rooms added during the renovation.
“The places that I listed to you, for each one of them to have air conditioner, will be 13, so the 11 is not even enough and by the way, we don’t put on all together.”
He also paid his own hotel, Luxe Suites Hotel, in Accra, an amount of GHc135, 000 for the Authority’s end of year party in 2017.
His utterances and decisions embarrassed government.
CEO of the Forestry Commission, did not also find his tenure all smooth as there were series of actions against him by officials of the Youth in Afforestation, who are still demanding that he pays them.
Meanwhile, the Forestry Commission boss, is said to be very unhappy with his removal.