….Energy Minister & Parliament demands details on US$1,700 by day payments
There is disquiet at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) over the frequently expensive foreign trips by theActing Chief Executive (ACE) Opoku Ahwenee Danquah, which staff are complaining are of no benefit to the state institution.
The Herald learnt that, the GNPC boss reportedly pockets a whopping US$1,700 as travelling allowances per a day on foreign trips and as such he is always outside Ghana, so as to cream the cash.
His unprecedented travel frequency, costs the taxpayer over GHc300, 000 on ticket alone per trip, on some occasions, as he causes trips to even destinations like the UK to be routed through Dubai.
His insatiable appetite for travel is suspected to be motivated more by per diem considerations than anything us.
Some staff that The Herald spoke to, would rather refer to him as ‘Danquah the Traveller’, adding that anywhere there was an energy related gathering, you would find him attending.
Even before the first quarter of this year 2023 comes to an end, he is reported to have spent more than half of the period outside the country than within.
The Herald has gathered that, the beleaguered Danquah’s frequent absence from the country, has attracted the ire of the Minister for Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh.
The Minister, through whom energy sector institutions report to Parliament, has demanded of Danquah an account of his travels, especially since the president placed a ban on foreign travels by heads of State owned organisations, except with approval from Jubilee House.
The Herald, has also gathered that Danquah, a prodigy of the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, has ignored requests made of him by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy since last year, to provide them with information on his travels.
It is not clear, if he would make that information available to the Committee, as he comes face-to-face with them this weekend.
The Herald is monitoring to see whether information on the foreign trips, will be provided to the Committee and the Minister, as it is or be an edited version as we gather being hatched or full disclosure.
This newspaper can state that many suppliers and subcontractors of GNPC, are unhappy with what appears to be deliberate delays in honouring payments due them, contrary to industry standards, without justification.
Some, who have been doing business with the Corporation for many years, are shocked at these new developments that appear to be “leaning on us to compromise our business ethics”, as one supplier puts it. The industry standard for honouring invoices submitted is 30 days.
Meanwhile, The Herald has obtained some interesting voice recordings of conversations related to Quid pro quo negotiations for payments. We have referred them to our forensic team for analysis.
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