IMANI: GNPC acquisition of oil bloc highly risky venture

IMANI Africa has stated that the government has a key role to play in ensuring that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) does not go ahead with its planned increased acquisition of Aker Energy‘s oil bloc since it is a highly risky venture.

It noted that there was ample evidence that the planned activities of the corporation towards the bloc was not in the country’s best interest and should not be acquired.

According to the Think Tank, the Executive arm of government must take all the criticisms and arguments advanced by the various civil society organisations and ensure that GNPC’s planned activities were worthwhile.

Elaborating further on the issue, Bright Simons, a Vice President of IMANI Africa, indicated that all responsibility and burden lay on the government, Executive, to take into account all criticisms, respond to them and assure the nation “if they do not have compelling reasons why they do not have to spend all the money”.

He faulted Parliament for giving the corporation the mandate to go ahead to find deals since it behaved “recklessly” by approving application without interrogating in detail and asking critical questions however, the House could redeem itself by relooking at issues in substantive agreement.

“If they come back, and they spend $1.1 billion, as Members of Parliament with conscience, even though already given mandate, should revisit issues in substantive agreement and I disagree with claims loan agreement will be on GNPC’s books, and does not in any way affect the country’s direct spending.

“The government bears risk of paying up the loan if GNPC defaults payment or does not raise enough money for payment according to agreement, if it defaults, the government will actually borrow and if it does not get oil in 2024, there is no oil to securitise and pay.

“A commitment, dedication and determination to securitise is misdirecting risk, no guaranteeproduction will start on time, there will be technical issues, actual production if volumes are low, even securitise volumes and unable to service debts, the government has to intervene,” Mr Simon cautioned.

He assured that civil society organisations championing campaign against deal would continue to monitor situation and push for corporation to settle for lower than $1.1billion granted by Parliament with power to start soliciting for deals. –

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