Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr. K.K Sarpong, has refuted claims by some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that the corporation is seeking a loan of $1.65 million to acquire stakes in Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum Ghana oil blocks.
The GNPC has announced plans to purchase a 70% stake in the South Deep Water Tano (SDWT) operated by AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited and a 37% stake in the Deep Water Tano/Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) operated by Aker Energy Ghana Limited.
The corporation is said to have asked Parliament to approve a $1.65 billion loan for the acquisition of the stakes in Ghana’s offshore fields.
The Energy Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh submitted a memorandum to that effect to the legislature.
“Provision of a loan not exceeding US$1.65 billion to finance the acquisition at a price to be negotiated which might not exceed US$1.3 billion and GC Explorco share of capital expenditure (CAPEX) to Pecan Phase 1 First Oil of US$350 million.”
CSOs Threaten Court Action
But some fifteen (15) CSOs have kicked against the deal and petitioned Parliament to stop it.
They accuse GNPC of acting not in the interest of the nation saying, "we are clear in our minds that the transactions, if approved, will shortchange Ghana. Therefore, we request parliament to intervene given that the deal has already gone through all the relevant branches of the Executive, ostensibly glossing over important threats of the transaction to the country’s fiscal situation".
Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons, speaking at a Town Hall Talk, indicated that the CSOs will take GNPC to court if nothing is done about their petition.
"We are not speculating that they are acting against the interest of Ghana. We are asserting that they are acting against the interest of Ghana.
"The level of commitment to our position is that GNPC action, not in this matter alone but in a wide range of various matters has consistently been against the interest of Ghana, this is not something we are sugar-coating.
"We are deeply concerned about the nature of the action and activities that GNPC is undertaking in this country and we seek to shine light on it . . . and if something is not done at some point, we may proceed to the law court eventually if we have the right grounds," Bright Simons said.
Tell The Truth
Speaking in an interview on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo' programme Thursday morning, Dr. K.K Sarpong set the records straight.
To him, the CSOs are either not privy to the facts or have decided to lie to the general public.
Explaining the facts of the deal, he said what GNPC submitted to Parliament is valuation figures for the acquisition of the stakes and nowhere in the valuation did they request a $1.65 billion loan.
"We gave all the valuations to the government and the government also, at Cabinet level to Parliament, they decided on the figure of 1.65 but it's just a guide . . . out of that money, 350 million dollars is GNPC contribution to development if we acquire the stake. We have to also contribute to development of the field to first oil wherever we are to develop . . . when you take out the 350, it means the amount that the government wants Parliament to consider is 1.3 billion for acquisition. The Parliament also gave an upper limit of 1.1 billion.
''There is nothing one can do about the 350; it's an estimated cost that you will incur once you want to do it . . . So, if someone says we have decided on 1.1, that price is yet to be agreed but what Parliament said is at no point go beyond 1.1 . . . even with that, it's not conclusive," he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi.
He asserted that there has been no agreement on a fixed amount on the deal stressing the figures quoted are "only indicative" and that, "GNPC will only provide support. When they are done and give us their final feedback, that will be the basis of the acquisition''.
Dr. K.K Sarpong admonished the CSOs to ''speak the truth''.
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