Details, have emerged on how Ghana Heavy Equipment Limited (GHEL) lost a juicy contract valued at GHc2, 562, 412.50 due to alleged incompetence and greed of the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Yaw Ntow-Ababio, whose removal is vigorously being sought by the workers.
The contract to supply 87 multicrop threshers to farmers in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and parts of Bono Ahafo Regions, was terminated because Mr Ntow-Ababio, the workers alleged, could not follow due procurement processes as expected of him.
According to documents in the possession of The Herald, the state-owned GHEL, did not only lose out on the contract, it also incurred a huge financial loss.
It is unclear, the level of due diligence the procurement was subjected to, but the institution is reported to have it own arrangement of acquiring such facility ensuring they met the accepted standard.
Interestingly, the under fire CEO, purportedly travelled all the way to India using the company's scarce resources as a result of the same contract to no avail.
Additional funds, had to be used to repair the facility to be made usable. It was obvious, he did not have the requisite expertise to travel to India to purchase the 87 multicrop threshers.
"The CEO messed up the whole deal up. He did not follow the procurement process resulting in a huge financial loss to the company".
"We were of the high hopes he was going to do due diligence but rather caused a huge financial lost to the tune of GHc1.2 billion just for the correction and repairs of the said thrashers he spent the company's money all the way to India", the workers alleged.
The Herald has in the meantime, learnt that there had been some correspondence between the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as the Ministry of Finance, following the publications and the concerns that the workers have not been paid for over 26 months now.
Interestingly, the contents of the letters remain unknown as Mr Ntow-Ababio, is reported to have told some of his subordinates to be routing the correspondence to his secret location.
But the workers, who are unable to feed their families, pay their bills, rent and clothed themselves, following the nonpayment of the salaries for over two years, are still hopeful that the Akufo-Addo government will come to their aid as Christmas draws nearer.
The Herald's information is that Mr Ntow-Ababio, these days hardly comes to the office, fearing the angry workers could lynch him. He is reported to be running the office from an unknown location by telephone.
He is reported to be on phone mostly. He mostly calls and directs some of the staff to hand over correspondence sent to him to motorbike operators to be delivered to him.
The irateworkers, continue to blow the cover of Mr Ntow-Ababio, accusing him of turning the state-owned company into private business, where he serves as both director and secretary at the same time.
The story of the state-owned company responsible for importation, services, and selling of heavy duty equipment, portrays Trade Minister, Alan Kyeremanten and Stephen Asamoah Boateng alias "Asaa Bee", the Director-General of the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), as sleeping on their jobs, because several petitions to them by the workers have not yielded any fruits.
The new company known as Ghana Bus Company Limited, which has a Chinese interest was registered in August 2, 2019, with other directors listed as Alhassan Samari and Yong Liu, a Chinese national.
Per copies of the registered company, the Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) were provided as P0000311324, P0000618896 and P0028383990 respectively.
The company registration number and the digital address were captured as C5167332019 and GA-100-9967.The company is housed in number 47 with Street name being Kwame Nkrumah Avenue at Adjabeng-Accra. Postal address was provided as P O Box 1524, Accra
Media reports sighted by The Herald revealed that in July 2020, Ghana Heavy Equipment reached an agreement with a Chinese global motor firm, ZEV, for the assemblage of buses and coaches in Ghana under a joint company called Ghana Bus Company Limited.
The coaches were to be produced for local use as well as export to other African countries under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) headquartered in Accra. But the otherwise great news, did not go down well with the workers who have not been paid in 26 months and are not even involved with the new company.
The workers in a document captioned "Issues of Unpaid salaries and the future of Ghana Heavy Equipment Limited" addressed to SIGA on August 10, 2020, revealed that their checks showed that MrNtow-Ababio was the director and secretary of the said Bus Company.
"This news came as a shock to us the staff of Ghana Heavy Equipment Limited. We the staff went further to do our search and realized our CEO Mr Yaw Ntow-Ababio is the director and secretary of the said company and the company was registered in August 2019 and the shareholders of the company is attached".
They went on "this again is a clear indication that the CEO lacks transparency and good governance by diverting a whole state enterprise without involving all the key stakeholders (Employees of Ghana Heavy Equipment Limited)
The dream of it all is that the number of employees envisaged in the new Ghana Bus Company Limited, a bus manufacturing company as per the agreement and or business registration document dated 2 August 2019 is only three (3) employees".
The workers who have called for the immediate removal of Yaw Ntow-Ababio, for gross incompetence, financial mismanagement, insensitivity, say the current state of affairs has brought untold hardship leading to them losing as many as ten colleagues to death.
"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".
"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 Interests 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, has further dwindled the fortunes of the company making it not viable.
Several efforts to draw the attention of the Board of Directors about Mr Ntow-Ababio sheer incompetence, has falling on deaf ears.