A coalition of 29 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in the extractive sector has urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to fire GNPC’s CEO, Opoku Ahweneeh Danquah, and its Board Chair, Freddie Blay, for acting against Ghana’s interest.
The CSOs, which include ACEP, CDD-Ghana, COPEC, Imani Ghana and others, have expressed their displeasure over GNPC’s attempt to sell half of its stake in Jubilee Holdings Limited (JOHL) to PetroSA, a South African state-owned oil company.
JOHL is a subsidiary of GNPC that holds Ghana’s interest in two offshore oil blocks: Deep Water Tano (DWT) and West Cape Three Points (WCTP). These blocks are among Ghana’s most productive and profitable oil fields.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, May 23, Abdul Karim Mohammed, the Coordinator of the CSO Coalition on Extractive Governance, said that GNPC’s CEO and Board Chair have become a threat to Ghana’s interest in the petroleum sector.
He said that they have ignored the advice of the Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who has opposed the deal with PetroSA on grounds that it is scandalous and absurd.
According to him, Mr Blay wrote a letter to PetroSA offering it a 50-50 share in JOHL’s stake in DWT and WCTP without due diligence or consultation.
He said that this would mean that PetroSA would benefit from half of Ghana’s earnings from these blocks without investing anything in their development.
“The field is viable and it is giving us a lot of money. If we allow this to go forward, PetroSA will be entitled to 50 percent of the earnings from the field, whereas they have not had any role in developing the field to where it is now viable.
“The information we have is that the Minister for Energy has objected to this transaction but the Chairman of GNPC Board is pushing this transaction to the extent that the Minister of Energy had written to Jubilee House over this transaction.”
The CSOs also demanded swift political action to address another controversy involving Aker Energy and AGM operations in Ghana’s oil sector.
They said that Aker Energy tried to sell its shares in two offshore blocks to GNPC for an inflated price of $1.65 billion despite their objections.
They said that Parliament later approved $1.1 billion for GNPC to buy these blocks but Aker Energy defaulted on a $200 million loan from AFC Equity Investment and lost control of one block while retaining only the Pecan field.
They questioned what happened to the $1.1 billion borrowed by GNPC and called for accountability from the Energy Minister and other state agencies involved.