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Opinions of Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Columnist: Kwawukume, Solomon

Ghana institute of governance & security movement against the Ghana hybrid system

Ghana institute of governance & security (gigs)
Movement against the Ghana hybrid system

Fellow Ghanaians, time to wake up and rise against the Exploration and Production Bill! We are about to be sold down the river all over again! Our economic independence is in serious jeopardy!

Parliament has resumed and very soon our representatives in Parliament would be asked to pass a death sentence on the economic independence and emancipation of the present as well as the future generations forever. The death knell will be sounded by the passage of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill into law to regulate the Upstream Oil Industry in the country, as a result of recommendations from the Select Committee on Mines and Energy based on deceit, misinformation, falsehood and doctoring of calculations and conjectures by the Petroleum Commission and others to convince the Members of the Select Committee that the Ghana Hybrid System is the best for Ghana and superior to the Production Sharing Agreement GIGS have been advocating for the country with cogent calculations they are unable to challenge.
The economic hit men of the World Bank, Oxfam America, Natural Resource Governance Institute, Star Ghana and GIZ are responsible for the spread of these deceits, falsehood and misinformation through their sponsored CSO Platform on Oil And Gas, NGOs and local Think Tanks by organizing long oil and gas workshops for selected target groups such as some Select Committees from Parliament, journalists (scores of whom have been sponsored to study abroad by the foreign companies), heads of government institutions and organizations, leadership of Labour and Trades Unions and Associations, traditional rulers and any pressure group of interest in the name of capacity building. Participants who have no previous knowledge about the fiscal regime or arrangements applicable in the Upstream Oil Industry are brainwashed and fed with false and doctored calculations to show the superiority of the Ghana Hybrid System over the world accepted and popular PSA. The hundreds of millions of dollars splashed about in so-called corporate responsibility projects, programmes, funding of NGOs and scholarships, with promises of more to come, have effectively bought off the consciences of the Ghanaian elite comprising key government leaders in both the executive and legislature and in the civil society. As you all know by now, it does not take much to buy the souls of the Ghanaian elite!
The unassuming subjected to the misinformation sessions come out believing or pretending to believe that Ghana, the Star of Africa, has done it again, not knowing that their own fellow Ghanaians have been paid to deceive them and to pull the wool over their eyes. The question one may ask is: how experienced are their fellow Ghanaians in the Upstream Oil industry to devise a system better than the long tested PSA most oil producing countries are using?
Even Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam of ACEP in a testimony to a Sub-Committee of the US Congress implied that oil contracts in Ghana were bad deals, tinted with corruption. GIGS has also identified them to be illegal, ultra vires, unconstitutional and against UN Charters and Resolutions on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources. The fact that governments have approved them, and ratified by Parliament, do not make them legal. They are still illegal acts because they contravened the existing and subsisting laws governing the upstream oil industry which have not been repudiated. Both Governments and Parliament have erred.
The passage of the Exploration and Production Bill, a Ghana Hybrid System Law in the making, by our representatives in Parliament, would legalize the bad deals and corruption tinted contracts to perpetuate the fraud and robbery of Ghanaians forever in the name of investment. Our economic independence shall forever remain a mirage and poverty shall continue to reign in Ghana for the mass of the people.
The economic crisis facing Ghana and our perpetual least developed country status are self-inflicted, as a result of greed, nepotism, selfishness, mismanagement and corruption at all levels of governance. The cumulative effects of these evils over the decades cannot to be placed at the doorstep of one government but all the previous governments inclusive.
Many economic policies and decisions taken are self-seeking and not in the national interest. The Bill Parliament is about to pass tops the bill as most damaging since independence!
The current policies and decisions underlying the Upstream Oil industry are not the best and are likely to rock the stability and security of Ghana not too long in the distance future, if steps are not taken now to correct the wrong policies and decisions.
Follow Ghanaians, wherever you are on this Planet Earth, send a message to your Members of Parliament to reject and vote against the Bill. The Ghana Hybrid System can never ever be superior to Production Sharing Agreement in the Ghanaian context. Ghana has already lost a colossal $6.004 Billion under the Hybrid System.
Demand adoption of Production Sharing Agreement and call for renegotiation of all contracts and agreements now.
Be part of the Movement Against the Ghana Hybrid System (MAGHS).
We appeal to any concerned citizen or group of citizens or organizations that care for this country and can afford it to hire the Accra International Conference Centre for GIGS. It would be highly appreciated towards a good cause. We shall take time and explain what Production Sharing Agreement is and why Ghana should adopt it. We shall also prove to Ghanaians and the whole world how Ghana lost the US$6.004 Billion in 4½ years under the current prevailing system. Ghanaians, you must resist and stand up against the Ghana Hybrid System. If this obnoxious Bill is passed, know that the economic independence and emancipation of Ghanaians are sacrificed forever. We have lost on gold and diamonds; we cannot afford to lose this time round on the black gold. We live in the midst of plenty as a nation but we are poor and have become beggars, with only a very few living in opulence.
In the meantime, we are still challenging the Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Finance, GNPC, Petroleum Commission, the World Bank, Oxfam America, Natural Resource Governance Institute, Star Ghana and their local agents to prove us wrong. Ghanaians need to know the truth.
The Select Committee on Mines and Energy must stay the Bill until a national consensus is arrived at. They must realize they are dealing with the economic destiny of the present as well as the future generations.
Oil and Gas matters are not NDC or NPP issues, but Ghana matter, therefore NDC and NPP and other parties would have to wear the same knickers to handle it for the benefit of all Ghanaians. That is why we at GIGS are calling on all well-meaning Ghanaians to rally round to oppose the passage of this obnoxious at birth and cancerous Bill into law.
Solomon Kwawukume

Senior Research Officer
Tel: +233 57 434 5193