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Feb 1, 2017 | General News

Sources: GNPC 'hid' $5m project from Transition Team

By Samuel Dowuona | Adom News
Sources: GNPC 'hid' $5m project from Transition Team

It has emerged that when managers of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) presented their handing over notes to the NPP Transition Team last year, they failed to brief the incoming government about the existence of a $5million public-private partnership (PPP) project in Takoradi.

A member of the Transition Team, Kwesi Biney, told Adom News GNPC’s failure to mention the existence of the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) project between Tullow Oil and GNPC raises suspicion.

The EDC is a PPP project, between Tullow Oil and government (through GNPC), fitted with expensive state of the art equipment to train small-scale enterprises to get contracts in the oil industry.

Tullow Oil operated it for four years and subsequently handed it over to the Energy Ministry under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

However, shortly before the change of government GNPC had taken over the project from the Ministry.

But all of these did not make it into the handing over notes of the GNPC to the incoming administration.

Meanwhile, Adom News has learned that on Friday, January 27, 2017, two workers of GNPC, identified as Lawrence Kwao Sam and Paul Yeboah went to the EDC building allegedly to move out some valuable equipment but personnel from the BNI and Police CID prevented them.

Kwesi Biney told Adom News that prior to Friday's intervention by the BNI, "we got wind of some Energy Ministry staff were planning to move out equipment from EDC on Boxing Day, December 26, 2016, during the transition period, but they abandoned that mission because we informed Boakye Agyarko [current Energy Minister]”.

GNPC and Tullow response
When Adom News contacted GNPC, they explained that the reason the EDC was not captured in the handing over notes was because "GNPC has been asked by the Ministry of Petroleum to take over the operations of the EDC (but) there are ongoing discussions with individuals at the Ministry who are in charge of the EDC, and the transfer is not yet complete. This is why it was not captured in the handing over notes."

On why GNPC sent people to the EDC to move out equipment, GNPC said "a joint team from the partners GNPC and Tullow, visited the office on Friday to relocate EDC assets to a GNPC-owned facility. They were prevented from doing so – not because there was any issue – but because according to the Western Region office of the BNI, due to recent incidences of public property being taken over by some youth, the minister-designate (at the time) and the three-member representatives from the Western Region serving on the Transition Team, had to be informed before any assets were moved."

However, the landlord, John Donkor, has told Adom News the claim by GNPC is not true.

According to him, he has written several emails to GNPC and to Tullow informing them that he was willing to let the equipment be in the building for free until the current government settles down and decides what to do with the centre.

He described GNPC's response as a "mischievous lie".

Adom News has cited an email in which John Donkor has informed Mr Boakye Agyarko that he was willing to house the equipment for free for the next few months as his contribution to the jobs EDC is creating for the people of Takoradi.

"I am also aware that they were moving the equipment including cars to the warehouse of a private company within the oil industry and not to any GNPC-owned building," Mr Donkor told Adom News.

On why they claim that rent was an issue when the landlord had offered to house the centre for free for a few months, GNPC explains thus, "following the directive from the Ministry of Petroleum to GNPC to take over EDC operations, the EDC approached GNPC to finance its rent. GNPC thought it was more efficient, to move the EDC to a GNPC-owned property in Sekondi, to minimise cost."

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