Parliament has approved the 2016 programme of activities of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). The approval, however, came with a condition that the GNPC provide further details on the expenditure of some items listed in their programme.
“Hon. Members, I am directing the GNPC to submit details of these to the House latest by Friday, June 17, 2016”, said the Second Deputy Speaker, Mr Joe Ghartey, who presided over proceedings.
“Additionally, this House serves notice and notice is hereby served on the GNPC that henceforth, the House will demand the approval of their programme of activities before their budget for the ensuing year is approved,” he said.
Rejections in the past
Parliament had, on two occasions, rejected the programme on the grounds that the GNPC was wasting the country’s financial resources.
Some members of the Minority had appealed to the Speaker to reject the 2016 programmes and activities of the GNPC because the corporation had veered off its core mandate and as well become a lawless institution.
The MP for Effutu, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, argued that the GNPC had provided a $100 million bank guarantee for the Karpower barge without the approval of Parliament, insisting that that was not part of the core mandate of the oil exploration firm.
But the Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee, Alhaji Amadu Sorogho, explained that anything that had to do with the development and exploration of oil and gas was part of the core mandate of the GNPC.
He told the House that the US$100 million Karpower guarantee was part of activities approved in 2015.
The MP for Atwima-Mponua, Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah, contributing to the debate, wondered why the GNPC gave US$50 million to the government without stating what the money was meant for.
Aside from that, he said, another US$47 million belonging to the corporation has been locked up with the Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) without any explanation to the House, stressing that the “GNPC is becoming a monster”.
The MP for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem, Dr Stephen Nana Ato Arthur, discussing the matter, called for further explanation on a proposed new office building for the GNPC estimated at GH¢115.42 million.
According to him, the GNPC in 2013 spent about a million dollars on the design of the new office building but has since failed to complete the project.