How MPs were Swerved in Dubious AKER/AGM Renegotiation

-As Ghana loses out on potential US$ 10 billion.

A disturbing revelation from the Ghanaian Parliament on the dubious renegotiation of the Norwegian AKER/AGM deal shows that that not all parliamentarians were given the chance to scrutinise the proposal that ensured Ghanas stake in the estimated US$ 10 billion South Deepwater Tano (SDWT) oil bloc was reduced from 48 per cent to 18 per cent.

According to the Parliamentarian from the South Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah, the renegotiation agreement forwarded to Parliament from the Akufo-Addo cabinet was not printed for the entire 275 parliamentarians to adequately scrutinise as the process was rushed through for approval.

Mr. Okudzeto revealed this curious insight on the sideline of Tuesday (May 7, 2019)s explosive public forum at the Holiday Inn Hotel, where renowned energy experts revealed the level of official complicity involved in robbing Ghana of its latest lucrative oil bloc.

The revelation also reinforces expert criticisms that the Akufo-Addo administration was complicit in sponsoring a deal that has deprived Ghana the full benefit of one of its biggest oilfields.

The Akufo Addo cabinet has raised eyebrows pushing through for the renegotiation on a closed Petroleum agreement that it had explicitly stated that it cannot renegotiate because any form of renegotiation would require an entirely new bidding process for that particular petroleum agreement.

On June 26, 2018, Mr. Agyarko wrote in his reply to AGM which has requested a renegotiation of the agreement on behalf of the AKER/AGM group saying: ” it is not in the best interest of Government to renegotiate the terms of a closed Petroleum Agreement… We are therefore not in the position to accept your request for a review of the terms of the AGM Petroleum Agreement.” Mr. Agyarko quoted portions of Ghanas Petroleum Act to re-emphasis the governments rationale for saying the deal cannot be renegotiated.

Not long afterwards, Boakye Agyarko was given the boot and Peter Amewu was appointed to replace him. Barely a year into his new appointment, Peter Amewu and the Akufo-Addo Cabinet suddenly decided they were going to accept AKER/AGMs hitherto rejected renegotiation bid.

The process was rushed to Parliament, with the Ghanaian Parliament forced to reconvene from their recess on April 29, 2019. By May 3, 2019, a controversial petroleum agreement of that nature which experts say should take a least six months to scrutinise, was approved.

The old agreement had Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) and its subsidiary state exploratory company Explorco having a combined interest of approximately 49 percent of the close to 1 billion barrel SDWT. By the time the Ghanaian Parliament endorsed the proposals of AKER/AGM to renegotiate the controversial agreement Explorco has been taken off the equation to be replaced solely by private company AGM. Additionally, Ghanas stakes in the oil field had dropped significantly to 18 per cent.

A former Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, Alex Mould has described the whole antics of Parliament as illegality. Also, Energy expert, Steve Manteaw has questioned the rationale for rushing a deal that only gave the country the lowest possible benefit.

In contracting, I know each party seeks the best for the constituency they represent, however it does appear to me that, our current leadership is in an indecent haste to sell our hydrocarbon resources, not to the highest bidder, but rather, to the lowest, he questioned during the public forum.

Interestingly, with the new agreement comes a new local partner who wasnt part of the old agreement. This local partner called Quad Energy only officially registered its operations on April 10, 2019 in sync with the call for the controversial renegotiation.

Whatsup News can confirm that the owners of Quad Energy have strong links to the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, as one of the Partners, Joseph Babatunde Ampah was a Vice President of Databank Limited, an investment brokerage firm owned by Finance Minister.

The Other partner of Quad Energy, one David Adomako is also a board member of AKER Energy. Adomako was forced to issue a statement seeking to explain away the curious emergence of his company. According to him, he is the only shareholder of Quad Energy, and that he had only invited Babatunde who is his nephew to assist in him registering the company.

Yet, copies of official registration documents from the Registrar Generals department available to Whatsup News shows that Mr. Babatunde Ampah is an equal shareholder of Quad Energy.

Source: Whatsupnews Ghana

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