Why unionised staff want Ghana Post management dissolved

On Thursday, January 26, 2017 unionised staff of the Ghana Post called for the immediate dissolution of the current management board for misappropriation of funds. Some workers of Ghana Post demanded the immediate removal of their Managing Director, Eric Yao, and Deputy Managing Director Solomon Agyei and Head of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Godfred Aboagye. The aggrieved workers are alleging that three senior staff connived to embezzle funds belonging to the state company. Demonstrating at the forecourt of the Ghana Post head office in Accra, the group held placards and vowed not to allow the managing director Eric Yao to make entry into the company. The Ghana Post unionised staff declared a ‘RED FRIDAY’ during their demonstration on Thursday, January 26 to register their displeasure concerning the management direction of the current board. On Friday, January 27, the news crew captured several workers observing the Red Friday at counters, offices and various spots of the facility. The union made allegations against the management of the company, calling on the new president to dismiss the current board. RETIREES BENEFITS The Unionised Staff alleged that the current management since 2012 has not paid retirement benefits to retirees. According to the union, 13 staff members that proceeded on retirement in the year 2012 have not still received monies due them and out of the number, four were reported to have passed away. The union further stated that staff who retired after the 2012 group are also yet to receive their monies. The Divisional Chairman of Ghana Post, Isaac Bruce-Mensah Phoyon, alleged that the provident fund, which is deducted from their salaries monthly, is in arrears of 20 months. EQUIPMENT PURCHASE The union alleged that the current management used an undisclosed amount of money to purchase equipment that would be used to purchase ECG prepaid units in their branches. The executives indicated management explained that the equipment would help mobilise monies to support the operations and other demands of the company. Yet, the project never took off. At a durbar, when the union inquired from the head of ICT of the whereabouts of the equipment, they were told the equipment were being used for some other project that was in the best interest of the company.

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BARCODE PRINTING Again, the union alleged the current management took monies (GH¢15,000 each) to print barcodes on admission envelopes meant for Ho and Cape Coast Polytechnics to distinguish them from fake ones. According to the Union, envelopes that were sold at Ghana Post counters had no such barcodes and suspect monies had been squandered by the three management staff. [caption id="attachment_41409" align="alignnone" width="507"]vetting-2 Ursula Owusu-Ekuful is the Minister-designate for Communications, which oversees the operations of Ghana Post[/caption] 52,000 SERVER MAINTENANCE SCANDAL Between April and August 2015, Ghana Post through the head of ICT received several invoices from ICT-related companies to upgrade their two blade servers which were not performing as expected. Out of five companies that presented their invoices between $24,000 and $30,000, ‘Premium SMS’ was given the contract at a reduced price of a little above $14,890 at the time. The union, however, rebutted their member in the ICT department who is an expert alerted them the upgrade maintenance on the servers were basic (adding a HDD and RAM) yet the monies involved is outrageous. The union then concluded the managing director Eric Yao and the deputy managing director of finance and administration, Solomon Agyei took advantage of the server maintenance project to steal company funds. When TV3 visited the ICT department to take pictures of the server, a member of the staff there who spoke to TV3 stated there is no way 52,000 can be used for maintenance on the 2 blade servers. TV3 went further to engage the company solicitor, Agyenim Boateng, to get a reaction but the unionised staff executives stormed the office of the deputy managing director of finance and administration with warnings and threats.
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MOVEMENT OF OFFICERS The union executives stormed the office to warn the company solicitor and deputy managing director of finance to revert the movement of some managers to other departments. According to the union the move was to cover the under dealings of some corrupt management staff and relegate some competent individuals against managements crude dealings. Further investigations by tv3 revealed the auditor of Ghana Post in December 2015 refused to sign a $70,000 cheque that he was ordered by management to release to an entity. The union however suspects, management is trying to move managers who are not responding to orders that are against the interest of the company. 2 VEHICLES PURCHASED WITHOUT PROCUREMENT The union again alleged a 4-wheel drive and a saloon car were both purchased by the Managing Director and deputy managing director for finance and administration without going through procurement. The news team visited the transport department to ask for purchase documents on the two cars in question. Unfortunately, officers operating at the office reported there is no such document in their records. So TV3 asked the union chairman to call the head of transport department for documents on the two cars but he replied the two vehicles did not go through procurement. They vowed to seize the vehicles from the management staff until the president intervenes with a forensic investigation. 2-YEARS ALLOWANCE CLAIM The unionised staff of Ghana Post who are calling for the dissolution of the management has cautioned they would not accept the retainment of the Managing Director, Ekow Yao, and his deputy. They alleged few months after his appointment as managing director; he asked finance to pay him his allowances in two years advance which is over GH¢28,000. According to the unionised staff the MD illegally demanded his allowance when the time was not due at a time when the company needed resources to boost its operations to function effectively. MANAGEMENT REACTION According to the Deputy Managing Director of Finance and Administration, Solomon Agyei, he was not at post during the transactions, but admitted a GH¢52,000, which was an equivalent of the $14,890 was paid to ‘Premium SMS’. Supporting with documents, he explained ‘PREMIUM SMS’ initially presented an invoice with a sum of $24,000 as the maintenance charge. But after three months and series of discussions with the company, $10,000 was slashed off the maintenance charge to $14,890 which is the equivalent of a little over GH¢52,000 at the then exchange rate. On retirees benefit, the news crew also engaged the Ghana Post Solicitor, Agyenim Boateng, who admitted some retirees have not received their benefits but that is because the company do not make profits as it used to. And even with the retirees all have been paid expect about three who they are working hard to settle. He jokingly posed a question to this reporter, asking: “When was the last time you posted a letter?” He again admitted, the company purchased equipment to run an ECG prepaid unit in the facility but as the project did not take off, the equipment were used at another joint.
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HEAD OF ICT SACKED IMMEDIATELY On the Friday January 27, 2017, the TV3 crew visited the Ghana Post yard for a follow-up. Interestingly, several workers were captured in offices, compound and at the counters were clad in red. The union executives revealed that the appointment of the Head of ICT Department, Godfred Aboagye have been terminated with immediate effect after their demonstration. Divisional Chairman of the Union Isaac Phoyon again called for an immediate forensic audit from an independent body to ascertain their claims of corruption against the management. According to the Union executives, Ghana Post solely depends on operations to sustain the company. They took the news crew through the facility to capture shots of vehicles that had broken down for years, and motorbikes that were not functional and letter boxes that had rusted out. They alleged the courier and dispatch services are not enough to beat competition hence cannot support revenue generation initiatives. For the unionised staff, Ghana Post would bounce back to beat competition only if President Nana Akufo-Addo dissolves the current management. By Listowell Acquaye|TV3|3news.com|Ghana ]]>