Details on how Kofi Amoabeng’s trust for a friend got UT Logistics to lose GH¢4m

In this story from Capt. Prince Kofi Amoabeng’s book, ‘The UT Story Vol 2: Building A Winning Team,’ he recalled how he paid a hefty, painful price for trusting someone he considered a friend, and offered him a job.

In the first place, as he states in the opening chapter of the book titled, ‘Never Interfere With The System,’ he had a strong policy to never get involved with the workings of such things like employments.

The farthest he said he would do, after CVs have been handed to him by relatives and close friends, would be to minute “Kindly invite these persons for an interview when an appropriate vacancy comes up.”

He added that with this, he had moved these persons straight to the interview session, and never doing anything else from there – that was as far as he went, and it did not matter whether the person were his direct relatives or close friends.

But as it is with every system, and through a circumstance that he did not think was fair to this friend, Kofi Amoabeng meddled with the system, and as he writes in the book, it “cost us the heaviest loss ever at UT Logistics.”

And it all started from a golf course at Tafo.

With time, Prince Amoabeng and Charles, the new friend, got close: they were so close to the extent that “We played golf together, literally every weekend, for about two years. He frequented my countryside residence. He even had a designated room he slept in anytime he visited. Everyone referred to it as Charles’ room. He garnished the room with his own personal gadgets to suit his taste.”

So, with that level of friendship, the UT boss said he did not think twice when there was an opening for him to support this friend and offer him a job.

Why this had become so was that Charles, who he described as a “hoot; he had a great sense of humour and always had a joke or an interesting anecdote on his lips,” worked with a man called Henry, in a business that supplied cyanide and all sorts of items to mining companies.

What was supposed to be a great working relationship between Charles and Henry turned sour at a point, forcing the latter to one day lock the former out, to the extent that “He could not even have access to his computer.”

After a few interventions, including personally speaking with Charles without any success, Prince Amoabeng made a decision.

“’Henry, if that’s your decision, then at least meet with him and settle. Give him some redundancy package and let him go.’ I pleaded. ‘But just so we’ll be clear, if you let him go, I hope you wouldn’t mind if I offered him a job?’

“’No. Not at all. I’ll be happy for you, if you gave him a job,’ he said,” he wrote.

And for Capt Prince Kofi Amoabeng (rtd) Charles was, to him, a hardworking and dedicated fellow, despite his “fun-loving nature,” and so making a case for him in his own company was not a big worry.

One thing led to the other and Charles became a part of his business, starting off in the role of Project Director, with a primary job of following up and retrieving some of their bad loans.

“I trusted him. Sadly, Charles did not reciprocate my trust. He blatantly betrayed my trust and cost us the heaviest loss ever at UT Logistics,” he wrote.

And this happened, or rather, he noticed the extent of rot one time when the company imported some rice for distribution. At this time, Charles was now the Managing Director of UT Logistics and having ridden on a principle that food should never be given out on credit, he said he gave a direct instruction to Charles.

“… don’t give out even one grain of rice on credit. Is that clear?” to which Charles answered, “Yes sir.”

But it turned out those words went with the wind and no regard was given to the orders of his boss until Charles returned to him later to lament about something.

“’What these guys are doing isn’t good at all. I gave them some rice but they’re not paying.’

“’Charles, what did you just say?’

“’I gave them some rice but it’s become difficult collecting the money from them.’

Still needing confirmation, Kofi Amoabeng wrote, “’Are you implying that you gave them the rice on credit?’”

“’Yes sir.’”

Scandalized and unable to believe his hears, he said that he asked why Charles refused to heed to his instruction but it was already too late.

The extent of damage Charles had caused him, not only with respect to the rice matter, was yet to be unfolded to him, after a committee was set up to investigate the whole issue.

“It was not just the rice distribution, it cuts across the entire affairs of the company. Charles had been messing up big time!

“There were even allegations that he gave huge quantities of the rice to his girlfriends! He asked them to set up shop (containers) so he could supply them with rice. Also, apparently, when he was a Project Director, he recovered moneys from clients alright but refused to lodge them into our bank accounts!” he added.

Now that all these had come to the fore, Prince Amoabeng wondered why no one had bothered to inform him about all these things and that was when he noticed that due to Charles’ closeness to him, he had used it to hoodwink everybody.

“After the final report was presented to me, I summoned Charles to my office, ‘You’re a big disappointment,’ I rebuked him. ‘I gave you an opportunity to make a living to take care of your family. But you brutally betrayed my trust. I’m not going to pursue you in court. Just go away and never return. Get out! You’re fired!’” he wrote.

Without pressing charges, Prince Amoabeng said he went to court to try and retrieve the monies from their creditors.

“It turned out to be a murky situation. Charles really messed us up massively. We ended up with a loss of over GH¢4 million on the rice project alone. It was the biggest loss UT Logistics ever suffered,” he added.

Charles, he added, later came to apologise to him on the golf course but he said he put him in his place and told him never to come anywhere close to him again.


Source: GhanaWeb

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