Akufo-Addo’s “Temporary Ban” on Petroleum Contract is a Big Hoax!

“…Ghana’s oil in the ground that currently do not have a contracts for those lots will not spoil in 1 year, or ever…We know that a recent report by KOSMOS showed that KOSMOS did not strike even a pint of oil in…in Mauritania… Clause (3) of…Act 919, stipulates that “A petroleum agreement shall only be entered into after an open, transparent and competitive public tender process…. So, what exactly is Ghana going to lose by suspended negotiations with…ExxonMobil?…Why, after nearly a year in power, why has the Akufo Addo Government not “operationalized” Act 919?….Why is Dr. Amin Adam not using the other side of his mouth to demand that every Oil Contract be reviewed so Ghanaians know exactly who owns what piece, what block, what contract?…”, (Prof Lungu, 16 November, 2017).

The recent announcement by Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, formerly of the UK -DFID-funded ACEP, and now the Deputy Energy Minister, is a mighty big hoax.

It is nothing less than a grab for power and resources that belong to the Ghanaian public.

It is a mighty big hoax being perpetrated by Dr. Amin Adam and the oil interests in Ghana to siphon oil contract cash into their pockets.

All of Ghana’s oil in the ground that currently do not have a contract for those lots will not spoil in 1 year, or ever.

Even with all its flaws, Section 10, Clause (3), of the 2016 Petroleum and Exploration Act, Act 919, stipulates that:

“….A petroleum agreement shall only be entered into after an open, transparent and competitive public tender process…”.

All that, before the Act provides under same Section, Clause (5) that:

“….Where all or part of the area offered for tender in a public tender process has not become the subject of a petroleum agreement,…the Minister…may initiate direct negotiations with a qualified body corporate for a petroleum agreement….”.

Why, we must now ask, after nearly a year in power, why has the Akufo-Addo Government not operationalized Act 919 and is now asking “until “the middle of next year”?

Why is Dr. Amin Adam suddenly telling Ghanaians the Akufo-Addo government has merely “…. placed a short-term ban on the award of fresh petroleum contracts until requisite regulations that will allow for an open and competitive bidding processes are enacted….by the middle of next year.”

Are they serious, or not?

Why?

Why not stop all contracts issuance until “the middle of next year” when protocols and standards of performance for transparent tendering and open bidding have been vetted and established, protocols that would better allow for that meaningful “era of competitive bidding for oil contracts”, same they are promising Ghanaians via Act 919?

Isn’t Ghana reviewing the AMERI contract?

So, what is the precise Ghanaian interest in Dr. Amin Adam rushing to award contracts before the so-called Act 919, the Petroleum and Exploration Act of 2016, is “operationalized”, as proposed by the current ACEP Executive Director, Mr. Benjamin Boakye (and Ms Linda Ahunu, a policy analyst at that same ACEP)?

Why?

We know that a recent report by KOSMOS showed that KOSMOS did not strike even a pint of oil in their exploration efforts in Mauritania, that this had the effect of making Ghana’s oil resources under the ground even more valuable to KOSMOS and a whole lot of other companies, COMPETITORS, if we must direct Dr. Amin Adam’s attention.

What exactly is Ghana going to lose by suspended negotiations with “the American oil giant, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Ghana Limited”, for 7 months, Dr. Adam?

Tell Ghana when the “negotiations” with ExxonMobil commence and why it is that the interest of Ghana is not better protected under Act 919 with open, competitive bidding, yet?

What, Dr. Amin Adam, is the review of the AMERI deal by Ghana but just another “retroactive” review of a potentially one-sided, energy deal that is not entirely defensible as supporting Ghanaian interests, as opposed to those of corporations taking from Ghanaians what they do not own, what they have not fully earned?

And while we are at it, tell us, Dr. Amin Adam, why are you not using the other side of your mouth to demand that every Oil Contract be reviewed so Ghanaians know exactly who owns what piece, what block, what paper, what contract?

In short, what happened to Dr. Amin Adam’s fight for all that information about “Beneficial Ownership” while he was sitting on the outside, and the government was under the purview of the Mahama NDC?

What gives, Dr. Amin Adam?

What gives, Ghana?

So it goes, Ghana!

By Prof. Lungu

SOURCES &  NOTES

  1. Government places temporary ban on petroleum contract negotiations, Ghanaweb, at: (https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Government-places-temporary-ban-on-petroleum-contract-negotiations-600805).
  2. Govt urged to operationalise, by Petroleum Act, by Ms. JESSICA ACHEAMPONG, 19 APRIL 2017, at https://www.graphic.com.gh/business/business-news/govt-urged-to-operationalise-petroleum-act.html

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