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President Akufo-Addo’s government that promised it was coming to weed out corruption from all state institutions has once again been involved in an alleged crude and contaminated oil racketeering.
Some indigenous unlicensed companies have lifted crude oil grades valued at Ghc 2.3 trillion in the last ten months. Three months enquiry into Ghanaian and global registries by a respected global institution have revealed that the repeated failure by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and BOST to provide clear and accurate identity of some companies they awarded multi-million dollar oil lifting contracts to this year is helping these companies to escape public scrutiny.
A New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyepong has revealed that about 800 new oil companies have been formed since the NPP took over power in January. Some top NPA officials responsible for oil sales approached for confidential response to the discrepancies in the companies identities did not respond.
The refusal to make information about the status and identities of the companies available contradict provisions of the country’s Public Procurement Act which is the legal framework for awarding contracts and public procurements in Ghana.
Independent analysis conducted by another respected U.K based firm through foreign corporate registration database of 45 of the new companies showed that some officials at NPA may have deliberately collaborated with these unlicensed companies to embark on illegal act.
Also, AMG Petroenergy, which the NPA awarded a contract to didn’t exist in NPA’s database when it was traced, rather, it was discovered that it has a website named AMG Petroenergy Limited based in Nigeria that has been dealing with BOST and NPA as an indigenous company. It was revealed that AMG is well established in Nigeria’s oil and gas downstream.
Corruption, ineptitude and inefficiency thrive in the midst of opacity.
Some government officials according to information available, pocketes margins from Ghc 2.3 trillion oil deal. All the names of the unlicensed companies and their operations have been documented, the number of barrels per day they received and oil lifted from February to October by Petroenergy and other unlicensed companies have all been captured in the document.
It was also revealed that the NPA, BOST and other auxiliary agencies sell the country’s oil share to companies at discount price, when compared to Brent Crude, the global crude benchmark.
The investigative body studied Argus and Platts, two of the leading global commodity market price producers and found out that the official selling price the NPA and government set for Ghana’s oil generally fluctuates, but they are often lower than a barrel of Brent crude, the benchmark for most oil produced in Africa.
It was also revealed that a nephew of President Akufo-Addo and three former directors of DataBank are local representatives of a powerful Nigerian oil company “Cassiva Energy”. The company operates as an indigenous oil company and registered by NPA and BOST as Cassiva Energy but checks showed that the real name of the company is “Casiva Energy”.
According to estimates done by another credible agency, each of the oil trading companies could be reaping millions of cedis margin monthly on a standard cargo load depending on what it negotiated in oil marketing agreement with the NPA and BOST.