Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast and the Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital, an equity fund based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sir Samuel Esson Jonah, has mounted a strong self-defense over claims that he did little or nothing to develop the mining city of Obuasi in the Ashanti region.
According to the Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital Equity Fund, there was little he could do as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the then Ashanti Goldfields Limited which later changed into AngloGold Ashanti to see Obuasi develop to the status of Johannesburg,
Sir Sam Jonah put out this spirited defense when he appeared on the GTV Breakfast Show, Friday, April 22, 2022 in an interview with Kafui Dey.
He explained that Ghanaians especially people in the mining town lack understanding of his role as the CEO when he was with the gold firm.
“I get very worried that I’m so misunderstood in that sense. First and foremost, when one says I should have done more for Obuasi. I was just an employee using other people’s money including the government, the government was the biggest shareholder before we became public, the State has 65 % of the company.
I was the Fund Manager who was taking orders from shareholders and so when they say I should have done more for Obuasi, I think the people misunderstand the role that the CEO of a company does. A CEO of a company does not have absolute freedom and authority to do what he or she likes” Sir Sam Jonah told the Host.
The Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast and the Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital claimed that he did what Napoléon could not as a CEO. Saying despite his shortfalls and limitation, he was able to come up with a well-thought-out plan to bring some development to Obuasi.
“When I became the CEO, in 1996, I and my team came up with a plan for rehabilitation and modernisation of Obuasi and we worked closely with the architecture department of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology and the town planning department and it was accepted by the company.
Under my watch we did the roads, we installed street lights, we had three major dams constructed and everybody in Obuasi had water, we change the face of education by modernizing school blocks, etc and we also expanded the hospital” , he noted.