The board of the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company Limited (GCMCL) has ordered the company’s Chief Executive Frances Essiam to step aside with immediate effect.
The action comes on the back of the impasse between the board and Madam Essiam over some of her decisions since assuming the post last year.
In a statement Tuesday after a meeting at the Robin Hood Hotel on the Spintex road, the board decided that all contracts entered into by Madam Essiam have also been put on hold pending investigations.
The Board, has in the interim, appointed the Technical Director of the company, Mr. Ezekiel Mensah to act in the absence of Madam Essiam. Mr. Mensah, however, does not have the power to take “major administrative decisions such as promotion, termination of appointment, dismissal or engagement of new employees without the consent of the Board.”
The Board has also reversed the “purported termination of appointment of the Finance and Accounts Manager until the committee of Inquiry recommends otherwise.”
Essiam on Tuesday ordered the company to be locked up over reports the board intended to hold a meeting at the premises. She, however, denies the allegations of financial malpractices.
“For all the things that he [board chairman] said, I will take the appropriate means administratively, legally to seek redress and repair my image. The law will take its course…and trust me the law will take its course because I am talking as a woman whose reputation is being wounded,” she told Starr News Monday.
Commenting on the development, anti-corruption campaigner Vitus Azeem urged the appointing authority step in and restore order.
“President Akufo-Addo or the Minister who oversees the company may have to come in very soon to resolve the matter. Obviously, there is friction between the CEO and the Board Chair. The CEO is answerable to the Board and so the Board has the power to ask the CEO to do what is right”.
Also in the view of IMANI Ghana, the Energy minister who has direct responsibility over the company must swiftly act.
“The Energy Minister may have to step in to handle the issue at GCMC. The issues under contention will have to be looked at as well. The Minister should launch a commission of inquiry. The company should not be shut down on the orders of the CEO especially when there is nothing to hide,” Vice President of IMANI Africa Selorm Brantie told Francis Abban.