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03.11.2008 Elections

Abodakpi accuses gov't of illegal oil exploration

By myjoyonline

Member of Parliament for Keta, Dan Abodakpi has accused government of illegally exploring oil in Keta in the Volta Region.

According to him, the President, John Agyakum Kufuor in collusion with the Minister of Energy, Felix Owusu Agyepong signed secret agreements with an oil company to drill oil in the region without parliamentary approval.

He said the NDC would not allow the government to deny the people in the Volta Region the right to benefit from the oil proceeds.

The MP made the accusations at an NDC rally at Ho over the weekend.

In a report filed by Joy News correspondent, Agbeko Ben Coffie, the MP also lashed out at the government over high standards of living which he said was as a result of failed economic policies.

He said the Kufuor government was not only laden with corruption but has also failed in key sectors of the country, including agriculture, health, and education.

However, an official at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), says Abodakpi's accusations on oil exploration in Keta could not be justified.

In an interview with Joy News, Ben Kofi Asante, lead Geophysicist at the GNPC noted, government entered into an agreement with an oil company, Devon Energy, to explore oil in Keta but insisted the agreement was ratified by parliament in 2002.

He however explained, Devon as part of their corporate policy decided to offload their international assets which was bought by a UK firm, Affrent Pillars PLC.

This he said necessitated another parliamentary approval which was subsequently ratified.

"There is nothing like secret agreement between Ghana government, GNPC and the ministry. It is an existing agreement which has changed hands from the old owners Devon Energy to Affrent Pillars."

He added the GNPC will in accordance with its own policies educate the people in the Volta Region particularly fisher-folks before drilling starts later this year.

Listen to the accusations from Abodakpi and Asante's rebuttal

Story by Nathan Gadugah