The CSO Coalition on Extractive Governance is demanding for the immediate removal of GNPC Board Chairman, Freddie Blay and its CEO, Opoku Ahweneeh Danquah.
The demand for their removal comes in light of GNPC’s intention to sell 50% stakes in Jubilee Holdings Limited (JOHL) to PetroSA, despite the substantial revenue potential this interest holds for the state.
Addressing the press earlier today May 23, 2023, the Coordinator for the Economic Governance Platform, Abdul Karim Mohammed said the continuous presence of these individuals, closely associated with petroleum operations, poses significant risks to Ghana’s interests.
“We demand the immediate removal of GNPC’s CEO, Opoku Ahweneeh Danquah and the Board Chairman, Freddie W. Blay from their respective positions as they have become a threat to Ghana’s interest in the petroleum sector”, he said.
The CSOs made up of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), Imani Centre for Policy and Education and 25 others.
Mr Mohammed explained that the Energy Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh is against a decision by the Board Chairman of GNPC, Mr Blay for offering interest in Ghana’s oil fields to a South African oil company, Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA).
Mr Blay in his capacity as the GNPC Board Chairman is said to have written to PetroSA offering it an equal split in the interest held by GNPC’s subsidiary Jubilee Oil Holdings Ltd.
“It is a viable field, and it is giving us a lot of money if we allow this to go forward. What it means is that PetroSa will be entitled to 50 percent of the earnings from the field, whereas they have not had any role in developing the field to the point where it is now viable.
“The information we have is that the Minister for Energy has objected to this transaction but the Chairman of GNPC Board is pushing this transaction to the extent that the Minister of Energy had written to the Jubilee House over this transaction.”
The group also demanded swift political action to address two major developments in the country’s petroleum sector.
Controversies surrounding Aker Energy and AGM operations, as well as the sale of Jubilee Oil Holding Limited’s stake in the Deepwater Tano block, have raised concerns among civil society organizations.
According to the CSOs, Aker Energy attempted to persuade Ghana’s GNPC to pay an exorbitant $1.65 billion for shares in offshore petroleum blocks, despite their objections.
Parliament later authorized GNPC to spend $1.1 billion on the blocks.
Recent developments have seen one block returned to Ghana for free, while the more promising Pecan field is now controlled by AFC Equity Investment due to Aker’s default on a $200 million loan.
Abdul Karim Mohammed demanded answers regarding the $1.1 billion borrowed by GNPC and the lack of accountability from the Energy Minister and other state agencies involved.
The CSOs’ campaign is a reminder of the importance of holding governments accountable and ensuring that the interests of the people are protected. It is also a reminder that value for money should always be a key consideration when making decisions about public resources.
The sale of 50% of Jubilee Oil Holding Limited’s (JOHL) interest in the Deepwater Tano block to PetroSA.
GNPC’s acquisition of a 7% stake in the sale of Anadarko’s interest in
the Jubilee and TEN fields in 2021.
For 2022 alone, the interest of JOHL raked in some $290 million, according to the 2022 PIAC annual report, even though the amount was not lodged in the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF).