I haven’t received any ex-gratia – Esther Cobbah
Esther Cobbah, one of the four former employees of the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) who have reportedly benefited from an ex-gratia payment by the company has denied receiving any money from the state agency.
According to her, claims by former energy minister K.T Hammond that she and the rest, including her husband, Tsatsu Tsikata have received the monies are baseless and untrue.
The regulatory body confirmed in a statement Monday that it indeed paid Tsikata and three others ex-gratia, but failed to mention figures.
“The Board of Directors of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), has approved the payment of ex-gratia to four former employees of the Corporation, comprising of two former Chief Executives and two Managers.
“The four and the positions at which they exited GNPC are: Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata (Chief Executive); Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye (Ag. Chief Executive); Mr. Benjamin Dagadu (Field Evaluation and Development Manager); and Ms. Esther Cobbah (Public Affairs Manager).
“The four served the Corporation for periods ranging between 12 and 21 years. They were all removed from office in 2001, under circumstances that did not allow for the payment of their respective accumulated separation entitlements,” the GNPC statement read.
Though GNPC did not state the amount, the Minority spokesperson on Energy and Mines has alleged that Esther Cobbah has been paid GHc600,000, while Tsatsu Tsikata took home GHc1 million and called on the President to probe the matter.
In a statement to clarify the matter, the Chief Executive Officer of STRATCOM Africa said “as at now, no payment has been made to me by GNPC though I am owed significant amounts for work done and from my contributions to the Provident Fund whilst I was in the employment of the Corporation.”
The statement continued:“I worked in various capacities for GNPC from 1989 when I set up the Public Affairs Department of the Corporation, including being Public Affairs Manager. In 1999, I was sent on secondment to the West African Gas Pipeline project as the External Affairs Manager. I set up the External Affairs Department of the project with staff from the four countries – Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana. I was in that role when in May 2001, I went with the Project Manager, an employee of Chevron, to a meeting at the office of the then Minister of Energy of Ghana. Quite unexpectedly, the Minister announced that the Government was removing from the project.” She explained that though her appointment as External Affairs Manager of the West African Gas Pipeline project, “I decided not to contest the issue, having regard to the circumstances of the day.”