Sources at State owned Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) say workers are calling for the dismissal of new managing director, Mr. George Mensah Okley, over alleged illegal payment of GH¢14.4 million in judgment debt.
They are challenging the President, Nana Akufo-Addo to demonstrate his commitment to fight corruption by sacking the MD as well as the Head of Finance, Mr. John Kojo Arkoful who is equally fingered in the scandal.
The workers claim, “There are countless occasions where His Excellency President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo had indicated his readiness to fight corruption in the country and indeed the sacking of the former Energy Minister points to that fact.”
The workers are however disturbed at the President’s silence over the recent expose of corruption allegedly perpetuated by the current Managing Director, Mr. George Mensah Okley and his Head of Finance, Mr. John Kojo Arkoful to the tune of GH¢14.4 million (equivalent to US$3 million).
They indicated that failure to sanction individuals involved in fraudulent acts like the BOST GH¢14.4 million scandal will demoralize well-meaning Ghanaians and civil society organizations interested in fight against corruption.
They indicated that it is a shame to see offenders enjoying state protection after whistle blowers have risked bringing such fraudulent and scandalous transactions out and the information is swept under the carpet eventually.
The workers claimed, “Whistle blowers will be discouraged from exposing future corrupt practices. In the end it is the nation and the ordinary citizens that suffer.”
The source revealed that a company (name withheld) took BOST to court for the recovery of principal amount of US$ 11,104,143.29 at an interest of 19% from 13th November 2015 till the final payment.
The court reportedly granted these claims but the company, entering the judgment, back-dated the duration for the interest to October 2013 so that BOST would pay more interest.
BOST external lawyers Nsiah Akuetteh & Co then came in to challenge the period for the calculation of the interest and the 19% interest rate for a dollar transaction.
The trial judge stayed his ruling, allowing BOST to pay the principal that was not in dispute and appealed against the 19% interest rate and the back-dated period for the accrual of interest.
On 20th December 2016, BOST paid fully the principal amount of US$11, 104,143.29 through a Five Year Term Loan facility from Fidelity Bank, which according to sources, BOST is still servicing, using all their revenues from Storage and Rack.
According to the staff, this has seriously affected their cash flow leading to management inability to settle its other genuine debts thereby bringing the company’s reputation into disrepute.
As the matter was pending in court, the company approached BOST to settle it. During the settlement both parties agreed to 12% but BOST later changed its decision and offered 8% upon further consultations.
The company did not agree after it had been paid US$4 million interests. The parties went back to court for the case to continue to its logical conclusion and is still pending.
Experts have looked at the matter and assuming the back-dated starting day for the accrual of interest is accepted by BOST and the 12% interest rate is also accepted by BOST, then by computation: The total interest from the October 2013 to the December 2016 when the principal had been fully paid amounts to US$ 4,219,574.45
On the face of it, the maximum amount the company is due from BOST is US$219,574.45
The workers concern is how the strange figure emerged and on what basis did George Mensah Okley and John Kojo Arkoful pay additional US$3 million, which is equivalent to GHS 14.4 million to the said company?
Some concerned employees are very angry about how this expose is being handled because till date they have not received their second quarter bonus and management keeps giving flimsy excuses of insufficient funds in the company but the same management could quickly find money to make this huge illegal payment.
They warned that if they rise against the management and the Board, the government should not blame them because they have exercised maturity by providing sufficient information for the authorities to deal with the current Managing Director and the Head of Finance who, they claim, have been running the company down within the last three months.
“We believe that some big men in government and the Board are shielding them,” they stressed.
News Desk Report