The days of Opoku Ahwenee Danquah, as Acting Chief Executive (ACE) of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) appear to be numbered, as the candidate foisted at the head of Ghana’s national oil company, has failed twice to convince an interview panel of the Public Services Commission (PSC) that he is fit for the job.
The Herald’s information is that, not even the mobilisation of ‘support’, with GNPC Board Chairman, Freddie W. Blay in attendance at his second interview, could spur him on to rise to the occasion before a bemused panel.
His lack of depth, is said to have exposed his scanty managerial track record and experience.
Interestingly, a publication on Danquah’s failure to cross the pass mark was countered by a GNPC Board release of March 7, 2023 stating that the Acting CEO’s appointment was confirmed by the PSC.
Unfortunately for the GNPC Board, a PSC press release to the earlier publication was at variance with theirs. Even though the PSC, denied the publication that it had ‘shot down’ Danquah’s appointment, it did not confirm the GNPC Board’s claim of their approval either.
“The Commission is currently working with relevant stakeholders for the completion of the processes for the appointment of the Managing Director of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation,” concluded the PSC release signed by its almost retired Chairperson, Dr. Janet Ampadu Fofie on Wednesday, 8th March, 2023.
Danquah’sfailure to impress the PSC interview, did not come as a surprise to many at GNPC as within his short tenure in an acting position.
He has had open and hot exchanges with not less than five management staff, betraying his lack of managerial and interpersonal skills required to lead the team of highly skilled professionals that the Corporation harbours.
Partner circles are many-a-time shocked at his open display of immaturity, as he openly admits being clueless about official correspondence among partners and issues for meetings that he had presented himself for.
Danquah, who appears more like a foreign envoy of GNPC, with an unprecedented travel record, could not convince the panel at the PSC that he possessed the basic managerial skills required to head a state organisation, let alone the all-important GNPC.
He was appointed Deputy Chief Executive of GNPC, in June 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, at a time that the oil industry globally, including GNPC’s lead partners Tullow and Kosmos were downsizing and the country was in lockdown.
His appointment letter was signed by GNPC Board Chairman, Freddie W. Blay.
He never saw eye to eye with the beleaguered K. K. Sarpong who exited last year after a five-year tenure as CEO. Immediately he assumed office in April 2022, he embarked on cross-transfer of staff across departments, in many instances on the blind side of their managers.
Staff have been transferred without regard to the relationships between their skills sets, qualification, career paths, competencies and roles, leaving the HR Division and its professionals dumbfounded. In fact, some of the HR professional staff have themselves been transferred from their division to other departments.
Danquah is said to be taking counsel only from his cohorts he has surrounded himself with, denying the Corporation the benefit of counsel from an experienced management team on its payroll.
Information gathered by this paper on developments at GNPC shows that if National Security was indeed minded by the interest of the nation, it would have long advised the Presidency to do away with this obvious misfit as head of GNPC.
This was said to have been fuelled by mistrust as it was seen as an obvious attempt to break K. K. Sarpong’s network of family and friends who were massively recruited from Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club and the collapsed Royal Bank Ghana Limited into GNPC.
But Danquah’s venture is said to be doing more harm than good to the state institution.