Barely two months into his tenure, Joe Dadzie, the new CEO of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), is encountering fierce resistance as he tries to settle into his role.

The GNPC has been grappling with leadership and boardroom crises since the exit of Dr. K.K. Sarpong in 2017.

Joe Dadzie succeeded Opoku Ahwenee Danquah, whose brief tenure was marked by controversy till his surprise resignation.

Now, Dadzie faces a smear campaign orchestrated by certain elements within the corporation who feel threatened by his reforms and leadership style.

These conspirators, believed to be loyalists of the former CEO, have unleashed a media assault on the new CEO.

A prime example of this campaign is a front-page story in the political tabloid newspaper “The Herald,” headlined “New GNPC boss, Joe Dadzie, stirs trouble already.”

The article criticizes Dadzie’s recall and appointment as CEO, claiming his position is a mere extension of Dr. K.K. Sarpong’s administration because he is seen as his protégé.

It contrasts Dadzie’s commitment to completing and financing projects initiated by Dr. Sarpong with Danquah’s refusal to continue these projects, which had incurred significant financial costs.

Reports from GNPC indicate that Joe Dadzie, in his short time in office, has committed to resuming stalled projects, including Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives like scholarships, schools, roads, markets , dormitory blocks and clinics spread across the country.

These actions have rekindled confidence in his leadership among the majority of management and the Freddie Blay-led board, as it ensures that previously invested funds are not wasted.

The Western Regional House of Chiefs recently acknowledged these efforts during a courtesy call on them by the Board and Joe Dadzie led management.

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“The Herald” article also claims that officials disgruntled by Danquah’s administration are returning to the corporation to assume significant roles, painting Dadzie’s administration as a continuation of Sarpong’s tenure as some of these personnel were seen as proteges of Dr.K.K Sarpong.

It further accuses Dadzie of granting post-retirement contracts to favored retired officers, suggesting that others will be sidelined despite drawing salaries and benefits.

Additionally, the story alleges that current officers are being replaced by relatives of Akufo-Addo’s ministers, including those supervised by the Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh.

It cites the case of Florence Ossew, who retired voluntarily last year but was re-engaged by Joe Dadzie and immediately promoted to Deputy Manager.

GNPC insiders, however, defend her reappointment, emphasizing her qualifications and extensive experience in managing the CEO’s secretariat. Ossew’s career at GNPC is noteworthy:

Ossew joined GNPC in September 1989 as a Private Secretary, later working in various roles before resigning in May 1995. She returned to GNPC in 2012 as Executive Assistant to the CEO and continued in this capacity under multiple administrations.

Her recall by Dadzie according to inside sources was based on her institutional (memory) knowledge and unmatched administrative skills and the valuable role she plays to the GNPC Board as part of her administrative duties interms of record taking and keeping.And it is said of her that she is the only Administrator to have managed five (5) CEO’s of GNPC, namely;

Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata: September 1989 to May 1995

  • Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye : April 2012 to September 2013
  • Mr. Alexander Mould : October 2013 to January 2017
  • Dr. K.K. Sarpong: January 2017 to April 2022
  • Mr. Opoku Ahweeneh-Danquah : April 25, 2022 to May 31, 2022.
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“The Herald” story also highlights the swift rise of Emmanuel Owusu Afriyie Prempeh, the Minister for Energy’s younger brother, within GNPC.

Employed in 2018 under Dr. Sarpong, Prempeh rapidly ascended from Senior Officer to Manager. In Dadzie’s first month, Prempeh was transferred to head the Corporate Finance department. Insiders suggest these moves were based on the “Acolatse” Committee report and board approvals which predates Joe Dadzie’s recall and subsequent appointment as CEO, aiming to address deep-seated financial management issues within GNPC, notable among them is the issue of GNPC’s financial instruments at their various operational banks yielding no interest but however serving the interest of a “cartel” within the GNPC.

This “cartel” according to sources was crushed during the K.K Sarpong era but were quickly reinstituted after his exit, hence the apprehension of the “Cartel” with the recent restructuring of the finance and audit department .

Despite these controversies, Joe Dadzie has received initial goodwill from stakeholders, including the Western Regional House of Chiefs and the Asantehene, who have urged him and the board to restore GNPC’s functionality.

As Dadzie navigates these challenges, industry players and stakeholders are keenly observing whether he can steer GNPC through its current turbulence, avoid the pitfalls that led his predecessor to resign, and tame the internal factions vying for control.

The pressing question remains: Can Joe Dadzie successfully lead GNPC through these challenging times, or will he, too, struggle under the pressures that come with the position?
Only time will tell as he settles into his role and endeavors to make his mark on the corporation.

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