Warning: getimagesize(https://cdn.ghanaweb.com/imagelib/src/): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden in /data/www/africaweb/utils2/article.engine.build.php on line 93
Oil Democracy - Government of Ghana, By GNPC For the Chinese
You are here: HomeNews2010 07 25Article 186720

Opinions of Sunday, 25 July 2010

Columnist: Bonsu, Akua

Oil Democracy - Government of Ghana, By GNPC For the Chinese

Akua Bonsu

Never in the annals of Ghanaian history could one imagine that an entire administration could be held to ransom by a bunch of ideological dinosaurs in one government agency. These people are whipping up nationalistic sentiments and using the reaction of an uneducated public to cloud common sense. Well here is one PROOF that these people are in it solely for the purpose of furthering Chinese interest.

The Petroleum Agreement (PA) gave Ghana 10% initial stake that is free of charge. In addition, Ghana has 5% in royalties – also free. Next, Ghana gets to collect 35% taxes for being the host country. Finally, Ghana has a paid interest of 2.5%. That is called a paid interest because for Ghana to enjoy the benefits of that percentage, it has to pay 2.5% of all developmental costs leading up to production and thereafter. Even that Ghana cannot pay. We are relying on the very people whom we are damaging to pay that for us so that we can reimburse them when the oil starts flowing.

As an example, Ghana had to pay 2.5% of the cost of the FPSO, the super tanker that would lift the oil. Its price tag was $900 million so Ghana had to come up with $23.5 million. We did not have the money. Other partners had to pay for it for us. Yet here we are fighting to buy Kosmos’ 25% stake that is worth over $4 billion. Everyone knows we do not have the money and GNPC’s own internal strategy paper concedes that we will look to the Chinese for funding.

Do not forget that the Chinese are also aware that over the last few months, if there is one thing we have done well, it is our ability to cancel international agreements. Do you think the Chinese would dole out $4 billion and not get us to sign away the country? The Chinese may be everything, but fools they are not. So Ghanaians must be ready to give away more than we can afford in exchange for the $4 billion loan if we are able to get it from them. But here is where it gets interesting.

If Ghana were to successfully buy Kosmos, assuming we do not immediately offload it to the Chinese, our total stake will become 27.5%. Now may be I am terrible at Mathematics, but if one partner (Ghana) cannot afford 2.5% of all costs associated with development and production, how can that partner now afford 27.5%? As an example, our portion of an FPSO-like development and production costs would be $247.5 million. We could not afford to pay $23.5 million but we can afford to pay $247.5 million? Just who do these ideological dinosaurs think they are fooling?

Those who have long argued that all this nationalist chants are nothing but a ploy to take from ExxonMobil and give it to the Chinese have been called all kinds of names including sellouts. Fine. They may deserve the tag even though they are the ones on the right path. But what is clear is that not only can Ghana not afford to BUY Kosmos’ stake, we cannot afford to KEEP that stake. Thus everything points to the fact that we are not buying for Ghana. People open up your eyes.

It is well known that these ideological dinosaurs were trained in the east and thus have socialist tendencies. Even that, it is hard to imagine why they are so married to the Chinese interests. The NDC is on record for accepting “gifts.” I wonder what “gifts” these ideological dinosaurs received on their numerous trips to China.

Join our Newsletter