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Business News of Tuesday, 7 June 2016


GNPC 2016 programmes finally approved but with a caveat

After days of back and forth argument over the 2016 program of activities of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Parliament has finally reached a consensus and subsequently through a majority voice vote, approved what the Corporation was requesting for.

But the approval came with a condition that the GNPC provides further details on the expenditure of some items listed in their program of activities for the 2016.

Among the items are the proposed new head office building including its location; and guarantees for the Karpowership.

“Hon. Members, I am directing the GNPC to submit details of these to the House latest by Friday, June 17, 2016”, Second deputy Speaker, Hon. Joe Ghartey who presided over the motion at a sitting on Tuesday ruled.

He added “Additionally, this House serves notice and notice is hereby served on the GNPC that henceforth, the House will demand the approval of their program of activities before their budget for the ensuing year is approved”.

Some Members, especially, those from the Minority side, had earlier appealed to the Speaker to reject the 2016 programs and activities of the GNPC because the Corporation had veered off its core mandate and as well become a lawless institution.

MP for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markins had argued that the GNPC has committed an amount of US$100million with the Stanbic Bank as guarantee for the Karpower barge without the approval of Parliament, insisting that wasn’t part of the core mandate of the oil exploration firm.

But the Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee and MP for Madina, Alhaji Amadu Sorogho explained that anything that has to do with development and exploration of oil and gas is part of the core mandate of GNPC.

He told the House that the US$100 million Karpower guarantee was part of activities approved in 2015.

MP for Atwima-Mponua, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, contributing to the debate wondered why the GNPC gave US$50 million to the government without stating what the money was meant for.

That aside, another US$47million belonging to the Corporation has been locked up with the Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) without any explanation to the House, stressing that “GNPC is becoming a monster”.

The MP for Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem, Dr. Stephen Nana Ato Arthur discussing the matter called for further explanation on a proposed new office building for the GNPC estimated at GH?115.42 million.

According to him, GNPC in 2013 spent about a million dollars on design of the new office building but has since failed to complete the project.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, who presided over the debate last week after listening to the concerns of the Members, suspended voting on the matter until they have quorum to do so.