It has emerged that, the board and management of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) could be indulging in an act of illegality by going ahead to pay a whopping GHC9 million as severance package to ex-Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Kofi Koduah Sarpong.
The Herald’s investigations into the demand by Dr Sarpong, who was a Managing Director of the GNPC, have revealed that he is entitled to less than GHC2 million, but not the GHC9 million the board and management are being forced to cough up on the orders of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame.
GNPC insiders, have disclosed to The Herald that per the agreement that brought Dr Sarpong to the institution in January 2017 to this year, when he left despite demanding an extension of his tenure in office, he is only entitled to GHC1.8 million, and that any amount beyond this, would amount to an act of illegality.
The Herald, had picked up reports that the board of GNPC, is about to dole out a whopping GHC9 million to Dr Sarpong, who was sent home after a five-year tenure.
The payment of the severance package is said to be on the direction of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice,. It is unclear, how the Attorney-General arrived at the GHC9 million.
However, details of Dr Sarpong’s contract in the custody of The Herald, mentioned his monthly gross basic salary at the time of his engagement as Eighty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢80,000.00) but added the “salary shall be reviewed annually by the Board on or about the anniversary date of the appointment”. He also took home a duty allowance of thirty five percent (35%) on monthly salary per the contract.
A portion of the contract and termination said that “upon separation from the Corporation, the Chief Executive shall if termination is before the end of his contract, be entitle to six (6) months’ notice upon payment of six (6) months basic salary in lieu of notice. Taxes due shall be borne by the Corporation”.
He was to “be entitled to four (4) months of his monthly gross salary for each year worked, as separation pay” and “be paid 30% of his full annual gross salary as performance bonus”.
The GNPC board led by Freddie Blay, the immediate past National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had earlier kicked against the payment of a severance package to Dr Sarpong, saying he was not entitled to any such payment, because he had finished his tenure.
But The Herald’s information was that, Dr Sarpong, who was dissatisfied with the decision of the board, through his lawyer, Kwabena Tahir Hammond also known as KT Hammond, petitioned the Attorney General on the matter.
The Attorney General, is said to have written to the GNPC, authorising them to pay Dr Sarpong some GHc9 million.
The directive is said to have left a bitter taste in the mouths of many staff and management of GNPC, and they have since been murmuring.
They feel politicians in the ruling party, have ganged up to rape the state coffers. The Herald, is meanwhile hearing about some huge debt left behind by Dr Sarpong’s management.
There are reports that even some members of the board, are livid at the instruction of the A-G.
Some insiders, have claimed that the amount previously demanded by Dr Sarpong from the board, was by far less than what the A-G, has directed GNPC to pay him.
.Dr Sarpong was over aged at the time of his appointment, having gone beyond the mandatory retirement age of 60 years for a CEO of GNPC. He was 63 at the time, but was pushed by the then Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.
Below are portions of Dr Sarpong’s contract signed on h July 26, 2017
a. In remuneration for the employment the Company will pay to the Employee a monthly gross basic salary of Eighty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢80,000.00)
b. Salary shall be reviewed annually by the Board on or about the anniversary date of the appointment
c. A duly allowance of thirty five percent (35%) shall be paid on monthly salary
d. An annual performance bonus shall be paid at the rate of thirty (30%) or the maximum rate approved for the staff of the Corporation whichever is higher.
e. Employer Provident Fund equivalent payments will be pay into a private fund of your choice. Similarly, Employee Provident Fund deductions will be paid into the same private fund of your choice.
f. The Company, shall provide the Chief Executive with a fully furnished residential accommodation. If he elects to live in his own private accommodation, he will be paid housing allowance annually at the rate of 50% of annual gross salary.
g. In addition, to the housing allowance, the Chief Executive will be paid the prevailing housing furnishing cash allowance of GH¢80,000.00, if he elects to live in his own private residence (This is paid every 4years)
h. The Company, shall provide or pay for One (1) Cook; One (1) House help, One Gardener and Security service at the Chief Executive’s residence.
i. The Chief Executive will be provided with a computer, printer, scanner, shredder, fax machine, telephone landline, internet facilities and a 45KVA generator at his residence.
j. The cost of utilities (i.e. electricity, water and residential telephone service, DSTV (premium bouquet), internet service, mobile phone and generator fuel will be borne by the Corporation. However, an election can be made for the Utility Allowance to be paid at the existing 12% rate (per Corporation policy) in lieu of the above utility costs
k. The Company shall provide the Chief Executive with two duty post for use together with a driver assigned on full time basis. The maintenance and fuel for the two vehicles will be cost to the Corporation
l. Once every year, the Chief Executive’s spouse is permitted to accompany him on official business at the expense of the Corporation for a period of not more than two (2) weeks. The spouse will travel the same class as the Chief Executive and shall be entitled to per diem at the rate equivalent to the two-thirds (2/3) of the rate of the Chief Executive.
m. The Chief Executive will be entitled to a thorough medical examination once a year overseas and costs shall be borne by the Corporation.
n. The Chief Executive will be entitled to a warm clothing allowance of USD1,600. This allowance shall be paid once every two (2) years.
o. An allowance for entertainment for the office and for reasonable outside entertainment for business clients will be provided per prevailing rates and reimbursement made with supporting documentation.
p. The Chief Executive will be entitled to the payment or reimbursement of professional subscription fees for two (2) foreign bodies and one (1) local body. Any participation fees for a professional annual general meeting will also be covered and paid.
q. The Chief Executive will be entitled to the payment/reimbursement for the Membership of a Club or Sports Gym.
r. Business Expenses: The Company shall reimburse the Chief Executive for all reasonable, documented, out-of-pocket travel and other business expenses incurred by him in the performance of Executive’s duties to the Company in accordance with the Company’s applicable expense reimbursement policies and procedures as in effect from time to time.
i. Upon separation from the Corporation, The Chief Executive shall if termination is before the end of his contract, be entitle to six (6) months notice upon payment of six (6) months basic salary in lieu of notice. Taxes due shall be borne by the Corporation
ii. Be entitled to four (4) months of his monthly gross salary for each year worked, as separation pay
iii. Be paid 30% of his full annual gross salary as performance bonus
More to come!