We’ll ensure fairness in GNPC transaction — Minority

BY: Political Desk Report
John Abdulai Jinapor
John Abdulai Jinapor

The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament has stated that it will ensure that the state secures a fair deal in the acquisition of shares in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points and South Deepwater Tano blocks by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

“We will diligently scrutinise all the necessary documentations with eagle eyes and ensure value for money in this transaction for the country,” it stated. 

Context

The Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, on August 2, 2021, laid before Parliament a request for approval for the acquisition of additional shares by the GNPC Explorco of 37 per cent interest in Deep Water Tano/Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) operated by Aker Energy Ghana Limited and 70 per cent stake in the South Deep Water Tano (SDWT) operated by AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited.

It also requested for the establishment of a Joint Operating Company among Aker Energy, AGM, and GNPC Explorco; approval to mandate the Minister of Energy and the Minister of Finance to agree on a purchase price with Aker Energy/AGM as well as the provision of a loan not exceeding US$1.65 billion to finance the acquisition, made up of a purchase amount not exceeding US$1.3 billion for the two blocks and a Capital Expenditure share of GNPC Explorco of US$350 million for Peacan 1.

 The request is currently before the Joint Committee on Mines and Energy and Finance for consideration pursuant to Order 188 and 169 of the Standing Orders of Parliament.

Advocate

A statement jointly signed by the Ranking Member of Mines and Energy, Mr John Abdulai Jinapor, and the Ranking Member of Finance, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, said the Minority had consistently canvassed and advocated a significant increase in the GNPC’s stake in the country’s oil assets to maximise national revenue for the development of the country.

“It was in furtherance of this view that the erstwhile NDC/Mahama government established Explorco as a commercial wing of the GNPC in 2015 with the aim of making it an operator in the foreseeable future,” it said.

It said the current decision by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to acquire higher stakes for the country in the Aker/AGM Oil blocks was a vindication of what the NDC had always stood for.

“With regard to the current proposed share acquisition transaction by the GNPC in the Aker and AGM blocks, the NDC Minority is not against the policy or decision for the GNPC to acquire higher stakes in the said oil blocks per se. However, it must be made clear that we have serious concerns about the proposed hyper-inflated purchase price of the blocks and demand that all the necessary due diligence, independent audits, valuation and appraisals must be conducted by the GNPC to ensure value for money for the country before the deal is approved by Parliament,” it stated.

Transparency

The statement said that must be done with a high sense of transparency while taking on board the views of stakeholders, particularly civil society organisations (CSOs) in the extractive industry.