General News of Friday, 13 September 2013
Source: Daily Post
If the NDC government, on assuming the reins of government had done enough audit of transactions of the NPP government of John Agyekum Kufuor, it would have discovered gigantic corruption whose smell will choke an elephant to death. Among the tall list of financial malfeasance it would have discovered is the sale of the GNPC Drill ship, Discovery 511 at $24 million.
That discovery was eventually made at the sitting of the Sole Commissioner into Judgement Debts this week when it was revealed by officials of the GNPC that the ship was sold to defray a judgement debt of $19 million owed Societe Generale as ordered by a High Court in London.
The revelation and publication without stating specifically when the ship was sold saw some NPP activists quickly mounting the moral high ground and accusing the NDC government of this act of financial impropriety. But as it is turning out, this accusation of the NPP propagandists is the usual case of the thief calling the farm owner a thief because the farm owner is slow to catch him. Investigations have unearthed the fact that the Drill ship was sold under the NPP government. In fact, it was sold just seven months after the NPP government of J.A. Kufuor came into office with Kan Dapaah as the Minister of Energy.
Clearing the air on this issue yesterday, the Ministry of Energy, in a press statement signed by its Head of Communication, Edward Bawa, explained that the sale of the ship at the blind-side of everybody was effected by the Ministry of Energy under the NPP government and not under the NDC. Below is the statement from the Ministry to clear the air.
‘GNPC SHIP SOLD TO PAY JUDGEMENT DEBT”
Accra 12th September, 2013 - The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has noted with great concern some confusion that has been created as a result of a front page publication of the "Ghanaian Times" newspaper dated September 12, 2013 and captioned: “GNPC SHIP SOLD ... To pay judgment debt". The story states inter alia that "the Drill Ship belonging to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has been sold without the knowledge of the corporation." The story continues "the Discoverer 511 (Drill Ship) was sold at $24 million by the Ministry of Energy, to defray a judgment debt of $19.5 million to Societe Generate, as ordered by a high court in London."
This reportage has generated some level of confusion in the media as to the period this alleged transaction occurred, how much was involved and who authorized it. The Ministry of Energy and petroleum wishes to state categorically that this deal took place on the 17th July, 2001 during the administration of the New Patriotic Party.
As to questions like: what precipitated the case in the UK court; how much money was realized from the sale of the drill ship, Discoverer 511 and when was it sold are subject of investigation by the Commission of Inquiry into Payment from Public Funds Arising from Judgment Debts. The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum is currently cooperating with the Commission to unravel the mystery surrounding this transaction and therefore wishes to reassure the general public that it will at all times endeavor to be transparent and accountable to Ghanaians.
EDWARD BAWA HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS
Obviously, Kan Dapaah is in the eye of the storm and has a lot of explanation to give Ghanaians concerning the sale of the drill ship and how the entire money was used.