By Julian Owusu-Abedi
For the first time in the over two decades history of the Minerals Commission (MinComm), the institution with oversight responsibility of all natural resources in the country has appointed three extra Deputy Chief Executive Officers(DCEOs) to steer its affairs, under the a New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
Interestingly, their appointments came at a time when the commission was less burdened in terms of work load, owing to ban on small scale mining and non-renewal of quarry and gold exporters licenses.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MinComm, Mr. Kwadwo Addae Antwi-Boasiako, in an interview with this paper on the rationale behind the new appointments stated that it was at the instance of then-sector Minister, Peter John Amewu. The former minister allegedly hired a consultant to evaluate the work of the Commission and decided that the agency needed three extra deputies to augment its work and same was sent to cabinet for approval “and therefore I see nothing wrong with that.”
Meanwhile, just last year, seven officers at the commission who have between 20 to 30 years’ experience to their credit were transferred from the Commission to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources(MLNR) without offices and have just been drawing salaries for showing up to work without a desk.
Notwithstanding the clarion call by President Akufo-Addo in one of his earlier speeches to caution his appointees that “money is made in the private sector, not the public sector”, these new DCEOs are drawing Gh¢40,000 salaries and when all allowances and salaries are put together the CEO and his DCEOs take home Gh¢70,000 to 80,000 a month.
These three DCEOs are: Mr. Martin Ayisi, initially appointed as a board member, Mr. Joseph Nayan, a former headmaster with no technical background, and a certain Mr. Aboagye. The latter has worked with the Commission for thirty years, was transferred to the sector ministry in 2013 and brought back to the Commission in 2017, rewarded with a DCEO post and shipped back to the ministry where he still draws his salary as DCEO of MinComm.
With regard to the Board Chairman of MinComm, Mr. S.K Boafo, he has arrogated to himself a brand new V8 vehicle, created a permanent office within the commission with a full time dedicated secretary and a special assistant, plus an armed police bodyguard which is quite strange.
That aside, the Commission’s flippant board meetings attracts GH¢3,000 per sitting which used to be just GH¢500.00, whiles the Chairman allegedly pockets GH¢12,000 as salary at the end of month.
Meanwhile, the CEO, Mr. Antwi Boasiako is yet to furnish this reporter with details of how an offshore Reconnaissance License granted to a particular company which per the Minerals and Mining Licensing Regulations 2012(L.I2176) costs US$1.523, 808.00(one million five hundred and twenty three thousand, eight hundred and eight United State dollars) was cut down to US$100,000.00(Hundred thousand US dollars) for that company in a two paragraphed letter he signed.
It has been three weeks since this reporter met Mr. Antwi-Boasiako on the Reconnaissance license matter but is yet to receive any information as the CEO promised.