Aker-GNPC deal vindicates our long-held position – Minority
The Minority in Parliament says the decision by the current government to acquire higher stakes for the country in the Aker/AGM oil blocks vindicate its position and that of their party, the opposition National Democratic Congress.
In a press statement signed by the Ranking Member for Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, and copied to GhanaWeb, the Minority said the decision by government comes off as a clear indication of governments appreciation of the wisdom in the position consistently held by the NDC.
According to the Minority, it has always advocated for an increase of the Ghana National Petroleum’s stake in the nation’s oil assets as a way of maximizing revenue for the development of the nation.
“The Minority in parliament has consistently canvassed and advocated for a significant increase of GNPC’s stake in the country’s oil assets to maximize 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 the year 2015, with the aim of making it an operator in the foreseeable future.
“Thus, the current decision by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to acquire higher stakes for the country in the Aker/AGM Oil blocks is a vindication of what we as a political party have always stood for. It is refreshing that the NPP has come to appreciate the wisdom in this position,” the release said.
Despite their position, the Minority says the current government, by virtue its own reckless actions, has put the country in a spot where it will have to pay more for the acquisition.
“The sad reality is that the country will now have to pay more for the acquisition of higher stakes in the Aker/AGM blocks as a result of the reckless decisions taken by the NPP in the year 2018, as have been explained above,” it stated.
Although not being against the need to acquire more stakes for the state in principle, the Minority in its release raised some concerns it has with the proposal by the current government.
“With regards to the current proposed share acquisition transaction by GNPC in the Aker and AGM blocks, the NDC Minority is not against the policy or decision for 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 GNPC to ensure value for money for the country before the deal is approved by Parliament.
“This must be done with a high sense of transparency, while taking on board the views of stakeholders, particularly Civil Society Organizations in the Extractive Industry,” the Minority said.
Consequently, the Minority has listed a number of observations and demands relative to the August 2, 2020, request for approval tabled before Parliament by the Minister for Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh for government of Ghana’s acquisition of higher stakes in the said oil blocks.