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Business News of Friday, 8 March 2019

Source: Daniel Kaku

'NDC discovered 21 of Ghana's 23 oil fileds and NPP only 2' - Kofi Buah

Out of Twenty Three oil fields discovered in Ghana in the last 12 years, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) under John Agyekum Kufuor and Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo administrations combined, discovered just two though the party made the first discovery in 2007.

On the other hand, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) under Professor John Evans Atta Mills and John Dramani Mahama together discovered Twenty one (21) oil fields over the eight year period in government.

This stunning revelation was made by former Minister for Energy, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, on Tuesday 26th February 2019 on the floor of parliament during the debate on State of the Nation Address delivered by President Akufo- Addo.

In order to present unblemished facts and figures obtained from GNPC and Petroleum Commission, the former Minister mentioned one by one, all the discoveries made, their names, dates of the discoveries, months and years, and concluded that out of the 23 fields discovered, only 2 had been discovered under the NPP.

The former Minister subsequently explained that he never intended to reduce the debate in the house of parliament and the performance of the oil and gas sector in government to a partisan one, but President Akufo-Addo unfortunately introduced the partisan spectacle into the debate during his State of the Nation Address when he abrogated the privilege of oil and gas discovery in the country to only NPP administrations.

Consequently, he launched a blistering attack, saying, "on the issue of oil discovery, the President of the republic of Ghana was too partisan, and frankly inaccurate".

Pointing out several flaws in the submission made by President Akufo-Addo, the former Petroleum Minister now an expert in the field, said the president also fumbled big time with facts when he categorically stated that a new oil field had been discovered under his administration.

According to Armah Kofi Buah, the discovery referred to by the President, was only an appraisal done by Aker Energy in an existing oil field when it acquired the majority shares from Hertz oil and conducted appraisal in the said field to re-examine the amount of oil and gas that was contained in the specific block acquired.

Following this appraisal, he said the company (Aker Energy) then realized that there was more of the resource in the block than earlier anticipated by Hertz oil company, which apparently made the discovery.



He said the President also credited his administration with certain policy initiatives in the oil and gas sector as achievements which could only be credited to the past government for solidly laying the foundation, passing the required laws, and building the necessary gas infrastructure to shoulder the power sector and consequently placing supply on sound footing to end power crisis in the country.

Again in the power sector, the former Minister for Energy punched holes in the projections made by the government in two years, using statistics from the previous budgets under the administration of President Akufo-Addo as compared to the administration of former President John Dramani Mahama to buttress his point.

He said out of two thousand, one hundred and eighty five (2,185) communities penciled down to be connected to the national grid as projected in 2017 by government, not even three hundred communities could be connected to the power platform but just two hundred and eighty nine (289).

In the same vein, he said government had projected of connecting one thousand seven hundred and ninety six (1,796) communities to the national grid in 2018, but ended up with just one hundred and twenty two (122).

These abysmal performances, he said were just unfortunate and ought to be recognized by the President when informing the nation of his achievements in the energy sector. He posed several questions in the process of his submission whilst demanding answers from government.

These included "Are we investing in GNPC, when are we going to get GNPC to discover and produce oil hundred percent for our country, what is the state of our energy sector institutions, is GNPC building its capacity " among other questions.

He said aside the aforementioned questions requiring immediate response, the President must take note of acknowledging the foundation laid by the Mahama administration, with the introduction of the energy sector levy, installation of power plants, thus Ameri, and Karpower ship, as well as the introduction of gas master plan to reposition the energy sector.

On the part of current government, he said much has not been done in two years, therefore pushing the energy sector institutions to the brim of collapse with indebtedness.

He cited the seven hundred million dollar indebtedness of Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) and two billion loss made by Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in 2018, among other challenges currently hampering the energy sector under President Akufo-Addo.

Fuming with rage, the 'Action Man' pointed out "What investment has this government made in the energy sector, has the President put his hand where his mouth is", he asked rhetorically.



Under the circumstance, he advised President Akufo-Addo to stop doing propaganda with the energy sector, and as well avoid making partisan comments on developments of the sector, and instead build on this solid foundation laid by the previous government to avoid plunging the country into another era of power crisis.

The only aspect of the energy sector observations made by the President as contained in the state of the nation address he said he agreed with him, was when he stated that Ghana must consider making energy affordable "Affordable and reliable energy is absolutely critical to realizing our vision of economic transformation".

Following the heartwarming submission made by the affable MP for Ellembelle, two leading members of the house of parliament on majority side, Afenyo Marking, and KT Hammond, who felt uncomfortable with the submission made by interjected to rather project achievements of government in the energy sector whilst pointing out the first oil discovery made in 2007 in the country under the NPP as the hallmark of the transformation of the country's energy sector.

Afenyo Marking again referred to the energy guru as a potential running mate to the flag bearer of the NDC John Dramani Mahama, and therefore he should be mindful of facts been presented before the house in order not to mislead parliament.

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