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Opinions of Friday, 20 November 2015

Columnist: Lungu, Prof.

IEA Hugs Bawumia's "Bloated" Case As Ghana Loses $6 Billion in Oil Money!

By: Prof Lungu

Ghana has humongous economic problems, and a lot of it now has to do with the Nigeria-Size-Oil palaver. So, we will never understand why the IEA has neglected and abandoned the purely economic matter of Ghana's oil contracts and the loss of more than $6 billion in oil money over the last five odd years. (This week, Mr. Seth Terpker told us that Ghana actually received 42% less in oil revenues this year, compared to last year).

How much more distressing economic news can the IEA of Ghana take?

Dear reader, we would have thought that the matter of the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) that has long been advocated as the best contract for oil that belongs to Ghana (a sovereign country, the country the IEA calls home), would be of paramount interest to the IEA, "The Institute for Economic Affairs."

But, thus far, this does not seem to be the case!

The IEA has not done any important papers on the matter, for a very long time.

Meanwhile, certain politicians and lawyers in Ghana are taking advantage of the absent-mindedness about the matter and profiting from shady deals, resulting in loss of billions of dollars to Ghana, every year.

Recall the other day when Lawyer Effah-Dartey said he would never accept a judgeship in Ghana because judges, apparently, are paid poorly. Rather, he, Effah-Dartey, could write a simple oil contract and collect Ghc 100,000.00, in just one shot.

How many oil contracts have been written for Ghana's oil, for how much and why? And which Effah-Dartey-type lawyers and judges are at the center of the pillage of Ghana's economic resource, with modus operandi (MO) similar to what Anas exposed recently?

Does the IEA want to tell Ghanaians that they support the so-called Ghana Hybrid System that is causing severe loss of economic resources to Ghana?

You know, the same system Effah-Dartey-type lawyers earn Ghc 100,000.00 a shot by using templates to create contracts for Ghana oil!

Is the IEA abandoning its raison d'être and primary mission?

We would like to know as a matter of urgency, through another one of the IEA symposia of instance, why Ghana is a whole lot better off with the so-called Ghana Hybrid System of oil contract, (versus the PSA), which has already been proven to have led to the loss of over $6 billion just the last 5 years alone, and counting.

That, to us, would be economic justice to Ghana in 2015, 2016, and to the end, until all the oil is gone from the grounds in Ghana. You know, when all the oil is depleted and Ghana's beaches, wetlands, marshes, fishing, and drinking waters are polluted with derelicts and sunken oil and vessels, and all the foreign oil companies have long packed up and left!

After all, prior to hosting the symposium on the "National Debate On Ghana’s Voters’ Register" 20th October this year, the IEA itself had a set of very detailed "Resolutions and Recommendations." They already had them from several workshops and symposia the IEA conducted with major stakeholders during 2012-2014. The multitude of 2012-2014 un-numbered "Recommendations" covered the following six (6) areas:

1. The Role and Powers of the Electoral Commission in the conduct of Elections

2. Biometric Voter Registration

3. Voting and Documents of the Polls

4. E-Voting

5. Election Security

6. Election Petitions

As far as we can tell, none of the "Recommendations" included a call for (1) National Debate On Ghana’s Voters’ Register, (2) New Voters' Register, or (3) that Ghana's Voter's Register was "bloated".

So, why did the IEA abandon its own recommendations? Furrther, why did the IEA neglect to reference participants of the 20th October symposium to its own 2012-2014 "Recommendations", to its own "literature" on the important matter of "a Peaceful and Credible Election 2016"?

Further, when were the 2012-2014 IEA "Recommendations" delivered to (1) the Electoral Commission, (2) the Parliament of Ghana, (3) the President of Ghana, (4) the Attorney General, etc, given that all of these entities had pieces of the puzzle the IEA was interested in solving?

Dear reader, in a previous review of the "Bawumia Bloated" case, we showed that Dr. Bawumia's case was "bloated with more gas than evidence. (See, under Prof Lungu Says....).

'Nuf on that one!

On the other hand, our case for the loss of more than $6 billion of oil revenue to Ghana is evidence-based and material today. The Ghana Institute for Governance and Security (GIGS), has proven the case for all who care to see and hear. This is an economic matter of great importance to Ghana that the IEA can only neglect to its shame.

It is time!

The IEA could advise Ghanaians exactly where the IEA's "economic" interest lie vis-a-vis the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for all of Ghana's oil contracts.

And the IEA, at it own option, could neglect this important matter with respect to the finite oil resource.

From our vantage position, however, it is not nearly enough to merely discuss how much money government collected in a solitary year, as the IEA has done in several of its documents relating to Ghana's oil.

It is more important to show (1) how many barrels of oil were actually lifter from the ground in Ghana by the foreign oil interests, (2) how many barrels of oil were kept by the oil companies, (3) how many barrels of oil were delivered to Ghana, at what price and total gain, and (4) why.

Dear reader, those are the Stuck-On-Stupid questions GIGS has answered fully, over and over again, for the IEA, the Parliament of Ghana, the President of Ghana, and every Ghanaian who cares to know and understand.

We imagine a lot of Ghanaians would be interested in reading a serious paper and report by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on the subject of Ghana's oil contracts and the superior benefits of the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), the type oil contract strongly recommended for sovereign countries by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).

This is truly a golden opportunity for the IEA now that it's been reported that Ghana actually received only Ghc 1.24 billion (42% less) in oil revenues during the first 9 months of 2015, compared to 2014. It is plain to us that at this juncture, the critically-minded Ghanaian (and Ghana supporter) will realize that the reasons given by Mr. Seth Terkper and other commentators for the decline in oil income (i.e., decline in market price on the world market and drop in production at the Jubilee Fields) are not solely responsible for the drop in oil income to Ghana.

As such, our critical questions are especially relevant right now.

So, for the first nine months of 2015:

(1) How many barrels of oil were actually lifted
(2) How many barrels of oil were kept by the oil companies
(3) How many barrels of oil were delivered to Ghana, at what price and total gain
(4) Why?

Where is the IEA in the matter of Ghana's oil contracts?

So it goes, Ghana!

1. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA):
a. acceptable-elections-in-ghana-a-review-of-ghanas-electoral-system/#sthash.cSZSC1jn.dpuf.


c. The IEA Petroleum Transparency and Accountability Index, 2012.

2. Ghanaweb. IEA hails decision to abolish EC’s ‘strong room’. General News, 14 November 2015.

3. Maxwell Akalaare. Oil revenues fall to 5-year low. Graphic.Com.Gh. General News, 14 November 2015.

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©Prof Lungu is Ghana-Centered/Ghana-Proud.
Prof Lungu is based in Washington DC, USA.
IEA Hugs Bawumia's Bloated Case As Ghana Loses $6 Billion in Oil Money!
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