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Unpaid Ghana Heavy Equipment Workers Want CEO Sacked

Workers of Ghana Heavy Equipment Limited (GHEL), have called for the immediate removal of their Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yaw Ntow-Ababio, for gross incompetence, financial mismanagement, insensitivity, among others.

Among the grievances listed against the CEO, are nonpayment of their salaries for 26 months.

“Administratively, he is not a team player, poor human relations, very insensitive to the plight of the workers, refusal to support needy workers resulting in loss of lives, low morale and high labour turnover”.

They argued that Mr Ntow-Ababio, has outlived his usefulness at the company responsible for importation, services, and selling, hence must be ousted immediately.

“We are in an era of bad leadership, lack of communication and transparency, in conclusion we simply put that the CEO Mr Yaw Ntow-Ababio is highly incompetent, insensitive and not a team player and hence can’t be the Moses in biblical terms that can lead GHEL to our promised land. He is highly incompetent and must be changed”, a letter from the Union Chairman Johannes Odjidja, dated December 2018, addressed to the board, said.

Several SOS calls to the board of directors, State Interest and Governance Authority(SIGA), Ministry of Trade and Industries, Finance Ministries have yielded no favourable result over the past four years.

They contend, the appointment of their CEO in September 2017 by President Akufo-Addo, has further dwindled the fortunes of the company making it not viable.

A document sighted by The Herald dated August 19, 2020 captioned “Issues of unpaid salaries and the future of Ghana Heavy Equipment Limited” addressedto SIGA said,effort to draw the attention of the Board of Directors about Mr Ntow-Ababio sheer incompetence, has falling on death ears.

They lament, the Board which is mandated to act on Mr Ntow-Ababio’s non-performance, has failed to act on the complaints by the Union Leaders.

“The Union Leaders drew the attention of the Board of Directors of his incompetence but very little was done to reverse the situation and the results are what we are all witnessing today”.

They continued “The CEO is doing practically very little to work with the limited resources that he came to meet to salvage the company”.

Though, he had on his appointment assured them he was coming to salvage the little that was left; according to the unimpressed workers, he has rather worsened the plight of both workers and the company further by bringing it on it knees.

The aggrieved workers, tabled pressing issues such as unpaid salaries of staff, financial mismanagement, absenteeism on the part of the CEO, nonpayment of utility bills among others, as acts that are bringing the company down.

But instead of the CEO working to raise funds for his outfit to be viable, his critics say, he appears unperturbed about the current state of the affairs of the company as he hopes for funds from central government.

An income statement record, documented between 2017-2020, showed decline in revenue of GHEL over the period. While in 2017, the troubled company made GHc1, 335, 490.70, being sales and accounts, the following year 2018; it reduced to GHc321, 255.56, also as sales and accounts.

In the subsequent year, it made GHc 211, 518.20, while this year, the company has done abysmal GHc4, 334, being sales and accounts.

Other incomes generated were the sale of 14 company vehicles and obsolete GNTC workshop equipment totaling GHc180, 000 and the hiring of company warehouse to Operation Christmas Child amounting to GHc10, 000, said to be with Mr Ntow-Ababio.

There was also the hiring of the company’s warehouse to Dignity fabric, servicing of trucks and machines in the company’s workshop for black discovery company without job cards, as well as diverting a complete engine for Benz Truck number GR 1186 N all, “unaccounted” for.

The document also stated the support the GHEL received from the Ministry of Trade and Industry in February 2018, as GHc 240, 000 and another from SIGA in the same year being GHc150, 000. In total, the document from the staff to SIGA pegged the entire income of GHEL from 2017 till date at GHc5, 242, 277.46.

But, despite being able to raise this amount for close to four years, the workers claim Mr Ntow-Ababio, has paid no one their salary, but managed to pay the salary of an accounts officer he employed.

“From the table above, out of this total income of GHc5, 242, 277.46 generated from 2017 to date, the CEO has not been able to pay even one Ghana Cedi (GHc1) as salary for staff for the period under review. However, he has been able to pay the salary of casual accounts officer in the person of Mr Elvis who was engaged by the CEO all these years.

The CEO, is also accused of disposing obsolete GNTC workshop equipment, heavy duty spare parts in it Kumasi stores valued at GHc 1, 449, 527.57 and 14 used company vehicles, one diverted vehicle with registration number GE6152-11.

Mr Ntow-Ababio is accused by the workers of not following the procurement process resulting in a big financial loss to the company.

They expressed concern about the decision by the CEO to increase his salary when the company was not making any profit. They also had issues with the company’s Human Resource Manager who resigned from the company in last June and left with one of the company’s vehicles with registration number GC9843-11.

According to them, effort by one of the workers, Kwame Dorgbetor, to retrieve the said vehicle was stopped by the CEO who asked “Dorgbetor to leave the vehicle with the HR and go back and that ended it”.They also raised the issue of the closure of the sales office by the same CEO and then his absence from work, non-payment of utility bills as well as moneys belonging to a private security company.

“He has not been coming to work for the past three months without putting in place proper structures and measures to keep the company running”.Since becoming the CEO, ten workers have died adding the Accra workshop is left with only a mechanic and one electrician with the rest quitting due to conditions at the company.

A letter dated May 2, 2020, addressed to board chairman raised issues concerning non-payment of provident fund, SSNIT contributions, as well as the non-payment of their salaries among others.

An operational report on sales and services sighted by The Herald said “Our Provident Fund which was supposed to be deducted and sent to our fund managers to operate to earn us interest too has not been sent for almost two years”.

According to the workers, funds that were deducted and kept at GCB in the unions name, to be managed by themselves, has since February 2018, not been paid by management.

The letter signed by Union Chairman, Johannes Odjidja and copied to the CEO, Director General of SIGA, Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanten, said “In great despair, we wish to inform your honourable office that if we don’t have our salaries and the others paid in the nest week after receiving this notice, we will be forced to make our grievances known to the public through the media and all other options we will find. Please treat this as urgent and let us hear from you as soon as possible”.

 

Source: The Herald

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