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Business News of Saturday, 16 January 2021

Source: Business Ghana

Government must appoint only qualified persons to energy sector boards – COPEC

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has called on the government to ensure that only persons with requisite knowledge and expertise are assigned to manage the various energy sector institutions.

A recent circular from the government on January 7, 2021, had indicated a dissolution of the various boards and corporations in accordance with the country’s presidential transition laws.

Speaking to Citi Business News, Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, stressed that based on precedence in the management of energy entities, deliberate efforts have to be made to ensure these entities are functional and profitable.

“Your energy institutions contribute either positively or negatively to your economic life. Once you have leadership that is mindful of numbers and are willing to take economic decisions, the energy establishments are safe. If you put in leaderships that are also there to take political-reign-seeking decisions that only allows them to enrich a few people at the expense of the Ghanaian people, we will continue to have the kind of misalignment and problems that we have in the energy sector".

"We are hoping that the government will make it a priority to appoint performers whose only basis for an appointment is on competence and the fact that they some previous accomplishment or track record that Ghanaians can look up to. And then again, it shouldn’t become business as usual; square pegs in round holes. You’d continue to find all the excuses whereas energy companies in Germany sometimes become over profitable and even give free energy in our part of the world if you go now to audit some of the energy institutions you will bleed.”

The energy sector has been eventful over the past couple of years with several industrial unrests and some concerns with regard to the management of some state institutions.

Last year, for instance, workers of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) gave the President a one-week ultimatum to dissolve the board of the company because they claim it was incompetent in overseeing and managing the refinery.

The workers made the demand when they staged a peaceful protest at the company’s premises.

They argued that, aside from the minimal production that goes on in the refinery as and when there is a contract, there hasn’t been any major production for close to two years hence their call for members on the board to be sacked.

On the other hand, there were agitations at the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company over the CEO, Frances Essiam’s alleged disregard for some directives issued by the company’s Board.

Six of the nine members of the Board had suspended Madam Essiam over claims that she had mismanaged GCMC and also awarded some contracts without the approval of the Board or the Energy Ministry. The CEO denied the claims.

The government subsequently removed the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC) together with all the members.

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