The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has confirmed the payment of end of service benefits to some senior management personnel who were removed from office in 2001.
The Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, Mr K.T. Hammond who had called for a probe in the payments argued that it was illegal and that the various sums paid to the individuals had been taken out of monies approved by Parliament for GNPC to use for some specific projects.
He alleged that Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, a former Chief Executive of GNPC who left the corporation 15 years ago had been paid Gh?1million as compensation for work done during his tenure as head of the organization. Mr Tsikata was removed as Chief Executive of GNPC in 2000 by former President J.J. Rawlings.
According to Mr Hammond, another former Chief Executive, Mr Asafu Adjaye, as well as a former staff member of the corporation, Ms Esther Cobbah, received almost Gh?1million and about Gh?600,000 respectively.
These monies according to Mr Hammond were meant for specific projects. He explained that out of the $342 million which accrued to Ghana from the sale of oil this year, $98.3million was set aside for the GNPC to use for some specific projects.
Mr Hammond argued that the decision of the GNPC to use part of the money to pay the sums mentioned to the individuals in the course of the year instead of disbursing the money for the reason for which it was released amounted to “wanton dissipation of monies allocated to the GNPC” and therefore called for a Presidential probe.
But a press statement issued on Monday afternoon by the Corporate Affairs Department of GNPC explained that the former senior management personnel were entitled to the monies.
“They were all removed from office in 2001 under circumstances that did not allow for the payment of their respective accumulated separation and entitlements. The board of directors of the corporation after an in-depth review of the situation, concluded that the payment of the end of service benefit to these management personnel who have made invaluable contribution to the development of the corporation is a valid obligation,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the board took the position that meeting this obligation however belatedly, is the right thing to do. It explained that the corporation computed the amounts to be paid to each of the affected senior managers on the same basis as what has been used with respect to all staff who are made redundant or separated from the organization.