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General News of Tuesday, 27 August 2019


Flagstaff House elements oust BOST MD

The Herald’s investigations into last Friday’s resignation of the Managing Director for Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST) Company Limited, have revealed some interesting details, including a massive turf war in the Office of The President as to who should control the state institution.

Also making the rounds about the resignation of George Mensah Okley is that, a Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) report, had been cooked by some elements at the Presidency and fed to President Akufo-Addo to kick him out from BOST, although two separate reports from the BNI, had earlier cleared him of some allegations by some ruling party moles at BOST.

The ousted BOST boss, had been at post for a year and two months. He was appointed following the dismissal of Alfred Obeng Boateng, with a letter signed by the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, dated June 5, 2018.

Interestingly, while Nana Bediatuo Asante and Deputy Chief of Staff, Francis Asenso Boakye, are reported to have forced out the BOST boss by getting him to tender in his resignation last Friday, August 23, on a claim that the President is very angry at him, hence he must resign.

The Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare and President Akufo-Addo’s cousin, Gabby Asare Otchere–Darko, are said to be supporters of George Mensah Okley, and have worked to keep him in office until last week Friday, when Nana Asante Bediatuo and Francis Asenso Boakye, had their way and kicked him out.

The Chief of Staff and Mr Otchere–Darko, according to The Herald’s sources at the Presidency, have been making frantic efforts to brief the President, not to accept the resignation, because it was orchestrated.

BOST is under the Ministry of Energy, but curiously, the resignation letter was not sent to the Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu.

The Herald is informed that the resignationwas news to him, having been busy with the funeral arrangement of his sister; Mrs. Esther Dey, who passed away in Tema, a fortnight ago.

Again, The Herald is informed that, the media reports that Mr Okley, resigned over some contracts issues are false. The reports were plotted and planted in the media to achieve an ulterior motive. This was after the Board Chairman of BOST, Ekow Hackman, had delivered a message from the Presidency, that President Akufo-Addo, wanted Mr Okley’s immediate resignation from BOST.

This paper further leant that, Ekow Hackman, had had a good working relationship with the BOST MD, and hence was only acting on orders from the Presidency.

The Herald is informed that some elements at the Presidency were rather pushing the ousted BOST boss, to handover a procurement contract somewhere in Buipe in the Central Gonja District, to a company linked to the ruling NPP at a price above GHc4 million, but the eventual winner is charging less than GHC1 million.

The decision to ensure that the contract was awarded to the company with the less value and not the company with the high value, is said to have angered the group, who pushed out Mr Okley.

Same group, The Herald learnt appointed the Deputy Managing Director BOST, Moses Asem., creating unnecessary tension at the state facility.

After succeeding to kick out Mr Okley, this paper is informed that the group has appointed one Vangor as acting MD of BOST. Many fear, Vangor, was only appointed to play ball by going according to the groups dictate.

Many NPP elements at BOST, had accused Mr Okley, a former NPP Constituency Executive at Krowor Constituency in the Greater Accra of allowing employees linked to NDC for having their way and even getting promotions, at their expense.

They further accused him of poor human relations, but people close to him say “Okley just wants to work in a manner that President Akufo-Addo will be happy about”.

Additional claims are that supporters of Alfred Obeng, as well as beneficiaries of his weekly and monthly contracts and financial collections, have not been happy about attempts to streamline BOST to run smoothly, and the incessant verbal attacks, petitions and false claims to the President about him

Ruling party bigwigs getting fuel contracts to many parts of the country, want more allocations, and are unhappy with what they’re getting presently, therefore, part of the plots to force him out.

President, Akufo-Addo, had appointed Mr Okley, as the Acting MD. Until his appointment, he was the Director of Upstream Petroleum at the Ministry of Energy, from February 2017.

Mr Okley, who was a Research Scientific Officer at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission from 2005 to 2007, subsequently became a Petroleum Engineer at the Ministry of Energy from 2008 to 2012.

He later became the Acting Head of Upstream of the Petroleum Division of the Ministry of Energy from 2013 to 2017.

George Mensah Okley, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST); a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dortmund, with a focus on Fluid Separation Process, Process Modelling & Optimization, Process Control Design and Modelling of Dynamic Systems.

He also holds a Masters Degree in Reservoir Evaluation and Management from the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, with a focus on oil field operation (petroleum economics, production and drilling), reservoir engineering, reservoir concepts, reservoir sedimentology, formation evaluation, well testing and production, reservoir simulation, rock mechanics with geophysics and modeling with management.

In 2014, he undertook a professional course in petroleum engineering at the Imperial College, London. He also holds a certificate of completion in Well Surveillance Principles and Reservoir Management; holds a Certificate of Completion of Petrad course in Petroleum Economics; holds a Certificate of Completion of 8-weeks Petrad course in Petroleum Policy and Resource Management; and a Certificate of Completion in New Era in Oil, Gas and Power Value Creation (Project Economics).

He has been involved in the monitoring of the implementation of the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP); and a member of the Government Negotiation Team that negotiated Petroleum Agreements with International Oil Companies; was the Ministry’s representative on the Gas Power Infrastructure Committee for the implementation of OCTP gas project; and co-ordinated the development of the Gas Master Plan.

Mr Okley has a good understanding and experience in Ghana’s Petroleum Regulations as member of the team that developed the Regulations; has strong Reservoir Engineering skills in Raven, Eclipse, Terra Station, Petrel, and Pansystem; and has extensive exposure in the Oil and Gas industry.

He is a native of Nungua, in the Greater Accra Region, and is married with four (4) boys.

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