There was a heated debate in Parliament over the Ghana National Petroleum Cooperation’s (GNPC) decision to provide a $100 million guarantee to the owners of Karpower barge, to address the shortfall in the country’s power supply.
The debate centered on whether the deal was approved by the House, and was also within the core mandate of the state petroleum entity to be issuing such guarantees.
[contextly_sidebar id=”9xI4FMx7xzctQuiXj36HY167WBRrc2QN”]The Member of Parliament for Efutu, Alex Afenyo Markin, who raised the issue in Parliament, asked why the GNPC committed public funds to the project without seeking approval from the House.
“We need to know why GNPC will commit public funds not for its core business when same has not been approved by this House. Mr. Speaker; we are looking at 2016. It is only this House that can approve for the purpose of our population, or any mandate held by the GNPC.”
But the Minister of Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, in a sharp rebuttal, said the GNPC did nothing wrong by funding the project since it is within their mandate to undertake such an activity.
“The core functions of GNPC have been laid out in PNDC law 64 and they are very clear. Their mandate is to undertake exploration, development and disposer of petroleum products including gas.”
“As we speak today [Tuesday], Mr. Speaker; the jubilee gas that GNPC produces powers thermal plants in Aboadze. GNPC’s role in making sure they provide funds to support the barge that was brought in was quite frankly within their mandate because GNPC has been mandated as the aggregater of gas in the country and so the comment that this was not within GNPC’s mandate is completely wrong. This is rightly within GNPC ‘s mandate,” he argued.
Mr. Markin’s concerns come days after Parliament deferred the approval of the programme of activities of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), pending some questions to be answered by the Minister of Petroleum on their operations.
Members of the house expressed serious reservations about some activities of GNPC which they say amounts to a waste of the country’s resources.
GNPC justifies $ 100 Karpower investment
The Chief Executive Officer of the GNPC , Alex Mould earlier mounted a strong defence for the Corporation’s decision to undertake the project.
He downplayed suggestions that his outfit has breached its mandate by undertaking some projects in areas considered to be outside its jurisdiction.
Some concerned staff of GNPC are reported to have forwarded a petition to President John Mahama demanding the removal of the acting CEO, following the move, arguing that, he had over-exposed the financial situation of GNPC by providing guarantees for major projects such as the 225 MW KarPower Barge.
Speaking on the allegations, Mr. Mould noted that the guarantee was actually in line with their mandate as an enabler of the petroleum industry in Ghana.
“The GNPC is not over extended. GNPC is well capitalized and GNPC has a mandate to ensure that it is an enabler in the industry especially for its mandate of disposing the petroleum it generated from the ground,” he stated in an exclusive interview with Bernard Avle.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana