Workers of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company, BOST are calling on President John Mahama to urgently set up an independent inquiry to investigate their Managing Director and his management of the strategic national asset.
The angry workers who spoke to rawgist.com insist Kwame Awuah Darko should be made to stand aside and a meticulous audit conducted into his activities at BOST.
They say a lot of his decisions and actions are costing the company financially. They believe the time has come for them to voice out all that’s going wrong before things get worse.
Workers at BOST cite several instances of deep mismanagement and corruption for which they believe the President must act immediately to forestall the collapse of the company.
“Management should brace themselves for legal battles and huge compensations”, some angry workers exclaimed to rawgist.com.
- BOST/TSL partnership:
BOST pays TSL a total of $56,170.21 every month for twelve months as management fees whiles at the same time paying $594,000 every month for twelve months each year to cater for reimbursable. The amounts include money for maintenance, training, standard operating procedures as well as salaries. The staff however say TSL is not doing any of these and does not have the capacity to do so. “They turn around to use BOST staff to do the same job and then accuse BOST of lacking capacity”, they tell rawgist.com.
The amount paid to TSL is an amount that could have been saved. That amount should be sitting in BOST’s accounts.
The alarming thing about the deal is that these hefty payments are being made without invoices nor any form of acceptable documentation. The payments continue to go through with the express support of the MD.
TSL continues to bill BOST for training fees for no training at all whiles BOST pays separately for their own training.
“BOST paid for a number of pick-up trucks for TSL. TSL has given back four of the trucks to the MD to aid his parliamentary campaign”.
Evidence provided to rawgist.com by some highly placed sources reveal the Managing Director presented a budget of $8million for the total cost of automation across all BOST depots countrywide. In less than a year however, he has revised the amount to $16million. The board has also approved the amount; a situation that bothers the workers as they believe it was done without due diligence. They say it is a clear case of financial loss to the state; a case the President should personally take an interest in.
The TSL deal was to cut product losses but what the workers have discovered is that, the losses they seek to prevent is far less than the cost of solving the problem as far as their partnership with TSL is concerned. “The kind of job they are doing and the amount we are paying them is unreasonable, the MD is taking kick-backs”, they opine.
The workers believe the nation has been deceived about the deal being carried on a pilot basis. They tell rawgist.com there is no piloting ongoing and that what is going on is the “real deal”.
- Relocation of office and office furniture:
Under the current MD of BOST, the company has relocated from their Airport residential area office which according to rawgist.com sources cost about $13,000 a month to a smaller office around Dzorwulu which costs $43,000 a month.
“Our former office was significantly bigger than our new place. We just don’t understand what’s going on”, some workers lamented.
They also expressed anger at the fact that the MD has ordered new customized furniture for his office from the United States of America whiles other staff as well as managers got office furniture they liken to “kindergarten tables and chairs”. They reveal again that the cost of the furniture is inflated.
- GNPC deal:
The staff members also accuse their managing director of failing to account for a whopping $15 million from BOST’s partnership with the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC).
“He is the one accusing the previous management of incurring losses amounting to approximately $6 million. Look at the losses he is incurring in less than two years in office”, a source queried.
- Restructuring and staff motivation:
The MD attempted a restructuring of the company. Majority of the people he is bringing in are from his former company; money systems. They owe allegiances to him and are mostly unqualified for the jobs they are doing. “The fascinating thing is that the MD is elevating them above existing managers at an alarming rate”.
The MD of BOST is accused of witch-hunting members of staff he thinks are not in support of his leadership style. He is alleged to have suspended the company’s health and safety manager on “frivolous” grounds for well over five months without any committee to look into the “trumped up” charges against him. Whiles the manager is on suspension, the MD is reported to have gone to find a replacement for him.
“He also suspended a lady in charge of Human Resources after accusing her of aiding the Senior Staff Association to unionize without his authorization”, a staff member reveals adding that “he also sacked another lady who was on sick leave. It took the woman going to court to force the MD to quickly pay her benefits”.
Last year, he paid “13th month salary” to some staff and refused to pay those he suspects were not in favour of his management style. When they protested, he paid half the amount to them and left the rest pending.
- MD’s debts
Before coming to BOST, the MD is found to have been indebted to a certain bank (name withheld) to the tune of $6m. Staff of BOST are almost convinced the MD is in to use BOST to repay his debts. They feel his continued stay as MD is a great risk considering his indebtedness.
The workers say they expect the President to take action and urgently begin an inquiry.
“The MD should be made to step aside immediately so as not to compromise any investigations. If he is found not guilty, he should be reinstated but if he is found culpable, he should be dealt with as the law demands”, the staff demanded.
The workers tell rawgist.com “the Senior Staff Union petition to the board is just a tip of the iceberg compared to what is to come if nothing is done about the status quo at BOST.”
Several calls by rawgist.com to the Communications Manager of BOST; Salifu Nat Acheampong, proved unfruitful as he declined comment on all the issues raised.
Keep following rawgist.com for more as our investigations continue.