The Minority in Parliament has accused government of paying in excess of $2 billion in the gas exploration deal with Italian oil firm ENI.
They argue that the negotiations for the project were skewed to give Ghana a bad deal.
Speaking to Citi News after a press conference in Parliament on Thursday, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Afigya Kwabre South, William Aidoo said government must admit it entered a bad deal so that the necessary steps can be taken to revisit the contract.
[contextly_sidebar id=”QUxGdEbkc3wKNAFguVDrN8YVvdpYagrF”]“We are estimating that government of Ghana is probably overpaying by more than 2 billion dollars. It’s the negotiation. I don’t know which negotiators went to speak on behalf of Ghana, and what interest there was. Looking at the agreement and the analysis that has been done, we believe it is too skewed against Ghana,” he argued.
The MP further explained that “there is a clause in the original Petroleum Agreement (PA) that in case there is no agreement with the two parties, one party can walk away without any repercussion. These are hard knock businessmen who are in business for money and if they can squeeze a lot more than they have agreed previously from you, they would. We are saying that government of Ghana negotiators encapsulated under the pressure and gave them all these guarantees.”
The NPP had earlier called on the Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi during his visit to Ghana, to use his influence to review portions of the deal with the Italian owned oil conglomerate, to ensure that both countries benefit fairly.
A statement signed by Nana Akomea, NPP’s Director of Communications, said the ENI-Sankofa 20-year gas deal for the exploitation of the Offshore Cape Three Points Block (OCTP), does not give Ghana value for money.
Among several issues raised, the NPP said “the Government of Ghana’s provision of financial terms to ENI and its partners of 20% return on investment, instead of the normal 12.5%, is an unusually high rate for commercial transactions of this nature, especially as GNPC assumes all the risk in the project.”
Meanwhile government rejected the claims and described them as misleading insisting the deal is in the best interest of the country.
About the ENI deal
Ghana signed a $7 billion agreement project with Italy’s largest oil company, Eni Spa for the development of the Offshore Cape Three Points ( OCTP) integrated oil and gas project.
The $7 billion project, being undertaken by Eni Spa, in collaboration with Vitol Energy, was to ensure the development of the Sankofa and Gye Nyame fields that will provide substantial gas to operate Ghana’s thermal power plants for 20 years.
But the minority in Parliament believes Ghana is being short-changed in the agreement hence their call for a review.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana