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Opinions of Sunday, 11 July 2010

Columnist: Ayivor, Kofi

GNPC Radicals as Middlemen for Ghana’s Oil?

Kofi Ayivor, (GET) Accra

In the saga of the Kosmos/ExxonMobil purchase agreement, objective voices that have dared to tell the other side of the story from GNPC and the government’s perspective have been called traitors. Ghanaians would be shocked to discover that the very people whom their tax cedis are paying to seek the interest of the country are actually the very people who not only want to sell Ghana, but are cloaking their deception with nationalistic incitement to achieve their objectives.

When Ghanaians finally gain knowledge of the facts surrounding this saga, it would become clear that some controlling elements at GNPC are in fact the traitors with patriotism being the last thing on their minds. Ghana Energy Transparency (GET) can declare with no equivocation that claims by those unpatriotic elements at GNPC’s are not supported by facts. GNPC can of course prove all of us wrong by publishing its agreement with Kosmos. For a bunch that has spent 17 months denigrating the image of the other parties to the PA, this is but a small request.

Ghana and really the world need to know the truth. Ghanaians have tasted freedom and will never again be intimidated into silence and submission by a sinister mafia with no mandate from the people via election. Those of us who have inside information about the workings of GNPC would never sit down and allow jealousy and envy to dictate policy especially when what is being done underground is far more sinister. For example, those who call the shots have opened up companies that are representing international companies seeking to do business in Ghana.

The truth is that radicals at GNPC wanted to personally gain from the sale of the Kosmos stake. They could not do so. Now their objective is to torpedo the agreement and replace it with a corrupt deal they can personally benefit from. Essentially they want to buy and sell to the Chinese so as to pocket a middleman’s booty. Either way Kosmos’s stake will end up not with Ghana but with another foreign company. So where is the nationalism? Where is the patriotism?

How is this buying and selling going to benefit the average Ghanaian, the foot soldiers, the fisherman, the farmer who actually own the asset? These communists have never stood for or won any elections in their lives. They have, therefore never gained the mandate of the Ghanaian voter at either local or national levels. So how can such unvested set of people position themselves to not only control our most vital asset, but are willing to undermine the President’s decision to accomplish their sinister objectives.

Meanwhile the so-called nationalist and patriots seek out American, and not Chinese hospitals when it comes to their own personal health and survival while the rest of us line up at Korle Bu and Komfo Anokye Hospitals all day just to see a physician. When the Tourism Minister Zita Okaikoi wanted to have a baby, she came to the United States. When Energy Minister Oteng Adjei needed medical care, he came to the United States. When Tsatsu Tsikata was sick, he came to the United States. These people trust American Team A technology with their personal health, but when it comes to the development of our first major oil discovery, they want to entrust it to Chinese team B technology? Ordinary Ghanaians also deserve good Team A technology from United States.

Meanwhile they are lying to Ghanaians that GNPC wants to buy Kosmos’ stake for Ghana. But those sucked into the belief that GNPC can buy the Kosmos stake for Ghana need to take note of the following:

Since last September, GNPC has not been able to raise the money to make an offer to Kosmos – not a single pesewa has been offered. GNPC has not even been able to afford the money to complete its own asset valuation needed to make a credible offer if and when it finds the money. That’s not all, GNPC has spent all $17 million left in the corporation’s coffers travelling around the world in vain looking for money to buy Kosmos out. So why is GNPC not telling this to Ghanaians

In fact so far, of the total amount of some $4.1 billion spent so far on the exploration through development, not one pesewa has come from Ghana. If therefore GNPC wants to make belief that Ghana can afford $4 billion to buy Kosmos the money would have to come from a loan shark. For starters, no reputable investment entity would sign an agreement with a country that now has the unenviable reputation of abrogating international agreements. But the Chinese would not mind acting as that loan shark. But we all know how loan sharks operate. Their terms are usually abominable.

It is a good thing that Ghanaians are excited about the prospect of Ghana owning Kosmos’s stake in the Jubilee Field. But let’s face it; Ghana is already sitting very pretty on this deal. We have a free 10% stake for investing nothing. Add another 5% in royalties to make 15%. Next, we will collect 35% petroleum tax on all oil revenues. Finally throw in the paying interest of 3.5% to put Ghana’s cumulative interest at just over 53%. Why is it necessary to cause such international rancor to meddle with the sale of another 23% stake that we don’t have money to buy? So when Ghanaians are looking for traitors in this oil impasse, they should look no farther than the very people purporting to have the nation’s interest at heart.