..MD, Finance Officer & Others Shielded
Workers of the ailing State-owned transport company, Intercity-STC Limited, are fuming with anger following the release of a five-member committee report that investigated the allegations of financial malfeasance, workers agitation and suspension of the operations of the company by workers sometime last year.
The workers, described the report as a “Kangaroo Report” and explained that it shielded the outgoing General Manager, Mr. Charles Thompson and Director of Finance and Administration, Nuhu Jansbaka, who have been principally accused of fraudulently blowing company cash.
The two, Mr. Thompson and Nuhu Jansbaka were said to have pocketed US$800 dollars and US$400 for just a day’s traveling allowance to Cotonou –Benin. They also grabbed CFA 300,000 over the same trip, from a company in serious crisis said to be bankrupt.
Meanwhile, documents available to The Herald have revealed that STC is capable of making money to finance its operations by buying spare parts, repair its fleet, as well as pay its workers.
Indeed, transport companies such as, VIP, City Express, O.A, Pegah Transport are doing exceedingly well, but poor attitude towards state-owned companies has been the cause of STC’s wreckage.
STC indeed, has offices in Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo, and has been reaping fortunes from these outlets, yet the state-company is on its knees with most of its buses broken down as a result of mismanagement.
The report from the investigation headlined, “Committee of Enquiry (ISTC)” and titled “Committee of Enquiry to Investigate the Circumstances Leading to ISTC’s Workers Agitation and Closure of Operations of Service”, has been intercepted by The Herald.
The committee was jointly formed by the STC and SSNIT boards on October 8, 20013 and chaired by Ms. Rebecca A. Lomo, Operations Accountant at SSNIT.
Others include, Legal Manager/SSNIT, Joyce Wereko-Ampim Opoku, the Principal Labour Officer, Anthony Awotwe of Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Brother Charles Nortey, the Chief Administrator of Transport Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union of Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC).
The Legal Manager of STC, Doris D. Bekoe was co-opted as a Secretary to the Committee.
A study of the report established that the committee consciously failed to indict any management member. It also failed to address several grievances raised by the workers, which were the rudiment for their agitation.
The workers had questioned “how come the Managing Director and General Manager Finance & Administration travelled to Cotonou for one day and claimed fours night allowance? Their hotel accommodation was fully paid (CFA 218, 000), meals provided and paid for by the company and yet they took extra CFA 300,000, why?”
But shockingly, the committee claims it “Could not obtain all the facts as the documents on the alleged protocol payments are all in Cotonou” but endorsed that “payment of Out of Station Allowance is part of Management Staff Conditions of service under article 26”.
The committee recommended that “the internal audit department should be tasked to do further work on the issue of the visit to Cotonou by the Managing Director and General Manager Finance & Administration”, having realized the report is indeed, shoddy on the claims against Mr. Thompson and Nuhu Jansbaka.
On the issue of unapproved and one per cent deduction from the Provident Fund of workers by Mr. Jansbaka, the Head of Finance and Administration, the committee report confirmed the allegation that it “sighted evidence of payment of GH¢13, 019.67 representing 1 per cent of the provident fund to Mr. Nuhu Issahaka Jansbaka”, and described it as conflict of interest situation.
“Mr. Jansbaka’s act of preparing the statement of accounts and taking a fee for it, amounts to conflict of interest”, it said, but failed to recommend any punitive action to be taken against him Mr. Jansbaka.
Isaac Dorkey, the acting Head of Administration and Human Resource, who was also cited in the report for paying a contract worker, Serah Boadi two months’ salary, while her contract had expired and was not at post. Amazingly, the committee only asked the lady to refund the money, without subjecting them to punishment.
Interestingly, one Kwabena Dadzie Frimpong, had been fired from his position as Head of Administration and HR, by the Mr. Thompson-led administration, for mistakenly approving a 10-day leave for Samuel Nii Ankrah, the Head of Audit, The Herald gathered.
Again, Grace Domfeh, a parcel manageress in Kumasi, who could not account for paltry GH¢5 after sales was also fired by the same administration.
Another worker, Thomas K. Puni, who had served more than 20years as a driver in the company, was viciously sacked from the company for allegedly picking an unauthorized passenger and collecting GH¢5.00.
But in spite of these glaring misconducts captured in the report, the committee, did not recommend any punishment against anybody or group of persons.
The workers insist that people who should have been severely punished or sacked have rather been set free.
According to them, the committee was made up of people who were very close to the outgoing MD, hence unable to implicate him on the blazing violations of company policy, especially on his inflated travelling allowance to Benin.
Most members of the committee were staff of the STC serving under Mr. Thompson. Mrs. Joyce Ampim Opoku, is a Secretary to STC board, Mrs. Bekoe, a Legal Manager of STC acted as the Secretary to the Committee.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Ms. Rebecca A. Lomo is from SSNIT, the institution which appointed Mr. Thompson, and his biology brother Ernest Thompson as Managing Director.
Meanwhile, the committee has recommended that “the workers should be made to sign an undertaking to respect the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) in all their dealings with management.” adding that “this is to ensure workers commitment towards the company for sustainability”.
The committee also recommended that “management should put measures in place to ensure that extra hours are done to compensate for the loss in productivity covering the three days of agitation”, but again nothing incriminating has been made in the report against any of the accuse.
These measures, the workers say is a desperate efforts to intimidate them, instead of rescuing the crawling company from visionless individuals who are about to kill an otherwise viable state-company.