Parliament defers vote on GNPC due to low turnout

Mr. Edward Doe Adjaho,Speaker of Parliament

Mr. Edward Doe Adjaho,Speaker of Parliament

Some members of Parliament failed to turn up in their numbers yesterday to approve the work programme of

the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for the year 2016.

Consequently, the Speaker, Edward Adjaho, was forced to defer the question for the voice vote on the programme because the members were not enough to take a decision on the matter.

As of the time the Speaker put the question for the voice vote only 48 members of parliament on the side of the minority were present while the majority had only 58 members available.

This is the third time the approval of the GNPC’s programme of activities had been deferred in the House.

The GNPC programme of activities is a document which needs legislative approval to enable the corporation to carry out its projects for the year.

The corporation had planned to construct a national emergency response centre, among a number of other capital projects this year.

Members on the minority side have raised concerns over the programme, arguing that, the capital projects the GNPC had planned to undertake this year had nothing to do with its core mandate.

They questioned why the GNPC provided a US$100 million guarantee for the Karpowership which had been contracted by the Electricity Company of Ghana.

They said they would not allow the GNPC to waste public funds on activities which did not fall within its domain.

However, the Minister of Petroleum, Emmanuel Kof Armah Buah, said the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) did nothing wrong by providing the US$100 million guarantee for the Karpower Ship which had been contracted by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to help deal with the power crises.

He argued that it was within the mandate of the GNPC under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) law 64 to provide guarantee for such contracts and explained that the role of the GNPC in the Karpower deal was to help provide funding to supply gas to power the thermal plant.

The question for a voice vote on the document is expected to be moved today, subject to the availability of two-thirds of the members in the House.

By Yaw Kyei

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