The Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr Kwabena Donkor, has refuted the Minority New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) claim that the government of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has packed its cronies in the oil importation sector and awarded them contracts to bring oil into the country.
Addressing a press conference in Accra last Friday to respond to the Minority NPP’s press conference in Parliament a day before, the Deputy Minister noted that as at 31st December 2000, there were only eight Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in the country but this number sky rocketed to forty-seven as at 31st December, 2008 when the NPP was in power.
He explained that the then largest opposition party, the NDC never raised issues with the number of OMC’s that was registered because all such companies were Ghanaian entities and so saw nothing wrong with that.
The Deputy Energy Minister pointed out categorically that there was no such influx of new OMC’s to the already existing ones and that since the ruling party assumed office, only two new ones have been given their license to operate in the country.
Dr Kwabena Donkor explained that there was a difference between OMCs, Oil Trading Companies and Bulk Distributors. He explained that Oil Trading Companies were the ones that imported oil into the country and that the only one in the system that has been bringing oil into the country has been UBI.
He, therefore, described the minority’s allegations as baseless and unfounded as the ruling NDC has not given the mandate to none of its cronies to import oil into the country. The Minister indicated that the government did not issue out permits to OMC’s but rather it was the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) that has the mandate to carry out such a responsibility.
Dr Donkor therefore asked the minority NPP to summon the NPA to Parliament since they have the records and will be better placed to answer any question regarding the number of companies that have been given licenses to operate as far as the lifting and importation of oil was concerned in this country.
According to the Deputy Minister, any person, group of persons or company either local of foreign seeking to be in the lifting and importation can apply for a license which was subject to a very strict scrutiny.
Responding to the Minority’s claim that a top guru of government had gone for a loan of $300,000 from SG-SSB to import oil into the country, Dr Donkor said the oil business require so much money as one needed between $80m to $90m to be able to import 1000 barrels of oil.
Touching on the pricing formula of petroleum, he explained that government would not determine that since that was determined by parliament and that the NPA could be asked to come to the house to explain it to the people of this country.
On the Jubilee Field issue that was also raised by the Minority MPs, the Deputy Minister noted that the substantive Minister, Dr Oteng Adjei had gone to China on an official visit and would respond appropriately on his return.
Dr Donkor further noted that the government did not have any underhand dealings in the oil sector and would continue to be transparent to the people that they are serving.
Source: The Crystal Clear Lens
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