Board Chair of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Freddie Blay, has refuted claims of a contract being brokered to sell a 50% stake in Jubilee Holdings Limited to South African oil business, PetroSA, despite the significant revenue this interest has for the state.
Mr. Blay has been accused by 29 civil society organizations of unilaterally reaching the agreement despite a caution from the Energy Minister, Dr. Mattew Opoku Prempeh.
However, according to the GNPC Board Chair, negotiations with PetroSA are yet to be finished and should not be misconstrued.
“I proposed the arrangements with PetroSA, but it is subject to the consent and agreement of the Minister. So, it is not a matter of disrespect. I did that with my fiduciary responsibility as a Board Chair, that is why I did that, subject to his [Minister] approval. But if you say, I shouldn’t engage them [PetroSA) at all, then it becomes difficult for an autonomous body like the GNPC that is why he disagreed with me. [So, my letter to PetroSA is not legally binding at all]. I have not signed anything at all.”
He further brushed aside the accusations and demands by some 29 Civil Society Organizations calling for his removal.
Mr. Blay stated that he had done nothing wrong in the deal to warrant his resignation insisting that he has a clear conscience regarding the sale of the shares and will only resign if the president, who appointed him, no longer wants to work with him.
At a press conference on Tuesday, May 23, the CSOs demanded the removal of the GNPC’s Chief Executive Officer, Opoku Ahweneeh Danquah, and Board Chairman, Freddie Blay.
The CSOs alleged that Mr. Blay, in his capacity as the GNPC Board Chairman, had written to PetroSA, offering an equal split in the interest held by GNPC’s subsidiary, Jubilee Oil Holdings Ltd.
The CSOs are 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.