General News of Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee in Parliament, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, has advised a free-spending National Petroleum Authority to put up its own office space before its three-year rent, worth $2.3m expires.
The NPA "does not lack cash to build. It is proper that within the period of the rent, they build," he indicated.
The NPA has admitted to renting an office space at $63,000 a month, an amount the Minister of Energy has described as an imprudent use of state resources.
The five-storey building located at East Legon houses over 200 staff. The NPA is a government agency tasked to to regulate, oversee and monitor activities in the petroleum downstream industry.
NPA officials appeared before the Mines and Energy committee Wednesday and revealed that they have committed $2.3 million to the payment of rent for the next three years.
Despite public pressure especially from the Minority to have the agreement abrogated, the NPA insists it will see out the rent agreement. The Chief of Staff Prosper Bani asked the NPA not to renew the rent agreement.
Dr. Kwabena Donkor blamed the past management of NPA beginning from the NPP regime and the Ministry of Energy for not ensuring that the agency with over 200 staff is housed in its own building despite its financial ability to do so.
He said there are too many state agencies paying exorbitant rent when they could finance the building of their own office space. He cited the Bulk Oil Storage & Transportation (BOST).
The Chairman said the Authority should ensure it does not renew the rent agreement but use the remaining years on the contract to put up its building.