…Angry Workers Pursue Him With ‘Vote Of No Confidence’
Managing Director of Metro Mass Transit (MMT), Bennett Aboagye, has incurred a rejection from workers of the company, who say they want him out over indiscretion that includes blowing some Ghc462,000 over an expensive car for himself.
A 20th September vote of no confidence that was issued against Mr. Aboagye by the Joint Divisional Union of the MMT decried his purchase of a GXL 8 Exclusive Toyota Land Cruiser, 2017 model, as one of many reckless actions in a mean-streak.
Among other things, the MMT workers had pointed out that the MD had gifted himself that expensive toy at a time that the government has placed a moratorium on the purchase of new vehicles by state agencies.
A letter communicating the vote of no confidence to Board Chairman, Hon. Ahmed Arthur, lamented that the price of the brand new Toyota Land Cruiser is a whopping $105,000, the cedi equivalent of Ghc462,000 (over 4.6billion old cedis).
“At this critical stage of the company, where Provident Fund contribution is in arrears, workers are not paid on time, staff do not have uniforms, poor sleeper rooms, non-payment of sleeper allowances, huge GOIL debt, not to talk of the numerous suppliers we owe, yet the Managing Director has found it expedient to buy a luxurious top of the range GXL 8 Exclusive 2017 Black Toyota Land Cruiser at a cost of $105,000.
“He is only four months into office and he knows the bad nature at which the account of the company is reading,” the letter to the Board Chairman underscored.
Signed by Dela Kumah and Samuel Kwesi Quaye, Chairmen for the Senior and Junior Staff unions respectively, the letter carried the sentiment of frustration for the expensive habits of the new MD.
The Republic has sighted a 4th September memo which indicates that prior to the purchase of the car for himself, the MD had collected Ghc5,000 every month as transportation allowance.
That memo, which had been signed by Administration Manager, Stephen Yeboah, and furnished to the Board Chairman, had explained that Mr. Bennet Aboagye, upon taking up the MD position, did not have an official car.
To temporarily solve the problem, the MD is said to have arranged special transportation for himself, which required that he be paid Ghc5000 every month as transportation allowance alone.
“It is worthy of mention that the issue came up during the HR Committee of the Board meeting on Wednesday, 30th August 2017, where the committee agreed that the matter be taken up with the Apex Committee of the Board,” the memo by Stephen Yeboah said in justification of the approval of Ghc5,000 as monthly T&T.
The revelation of these indulgences by the MD at MMT is coming at a time Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has lamented that a status quo in which CEOs and MDs of government agencies earn more than the President is inappropriate.
This paper has made attempts to speak to Mr. Bennet Aboagye for his side of the story, but the man has refused to avail himself of the opportunity granted, only picking his line once after several calls and cutting it before The Republic could ask any questions.
He has since refused to pick calls placed to his phone.
Meanwhile, the MMT workers’ letter to the Board Chairman asking for the removal of the MD catalogues a whole array of other improprieties, separate from his splurge of 4.6billion cedis on an expensive toy for himself.
Among others, Mr. Bennet Aboagye is accused of wasting scanty company money to hire a supposed consultant for the MMT, in spite of the fact that the company has two Deputy Managing Directors, who have been rendered idle by his action.
According to the workers, the consultant has so far been paid some Ghc9,000 even though his consultancy services have not been approved of by the Board of the MMT and a clear terms of reference is unknown.
A victimization angle to the alleged improprieties is that the workers allege in the letter that the new MD has sidelined the Finance Manager of the company to enable him to achieve the parochial aim of fleecing the company.
“The Finance Manager of the company has been reassigned to a non-existent department to create vacuum for his (MD’s) interest. This is all because the Finance Manager will not succumb to his whims and caprices.” The workers say this redeployment has also not been approved by the Board.
Allegedly, Mr. Bennet Aboagye has been indulging in political cronyism against the advice and recommendation of the Workers Unions, which have long urged the Board to end political recruitments into the MMT.
According to the letter, the MMT workers have clearly made it known that they want the MMT to succeed as a viable business brand and not end up like many parastatal entities which do not do well because they are used for political appointments.
However, in spite of the workers’ clear request on the Board to ensure that the MMT is not tainted with politics, the Kumasi Depot Manager has since been replaced with a political appointee.
According to the workers, when this was brought to the attention of the Board it asked the MD to reverse the appointment but the MD has since not reversed it.
Rather, Mr. Bennet Aboagye is accused of actually using his short time in office to chase out staffs that were in the employ of the MMT before the NPP came into power.
While chasing out old employees of the company and replacing them with political appointees, the MD is also said to have refused to remove a retired Deputy MD of the MMT, on the company’s payroll, since the man’s departure in 2013.
Ing John Awuku Dzuasah, who is now with the State Transport Company, is said to be holding on to a company car that he has not returned since his departure from the MMT.
The workers also charge that Mr. Aboagye reappointed a retired Manageress of the MMT, who retired in 2016, to her former position, but with an increased salary for reasons that are only known to the MD himself
Without implementing a staff appraisal policy, the new MD is said to have gone ahead to increase the salaries of some Depot Managers without recourse to due process, according to the workers’ unions.
“Based on the issues stated above, workers have lost confidence in the Managing Director of the company and therefore ask for his immediate removal,” the letter to the Board Chairman demanded.
The Joint Union served notice that if the removal of Mr. Aboagye was not effected by the 26th of September, the workers would advise themselves.
Mr. Aboagye has not been available to comment. He has refused to speak to The Republic.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels