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10.02.2017 Feature Article

Information Against Propaganda!!. Dr. Ben K D Asante CEO Ghana National Gas Company

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I have read with keen interest the recent publication made by the NYA captioned “Nzema Youth Association protest against Dr. Ben Asante's Imminent Appointment as CEO of Ghana Gas”.

I find this developed impression of the supposed ‘lobbying’ allegation made by this youth group quite interesting if not amazing. I also have serious difficulty in how people can push falsehood to mean truth.

Of what great benefit would this small youth group have done for the people of Nzema if they had duly checked and deservingly given an objective truth?

As is rightly politicised, the purpose of any kind of appointment to a position comes with an equally informed criterion that has to be carried over by the appointee. The appointer having realised the potential and qualities so desired would naturally then exercise discretionary powers to institute action of the appointment.

It is so confirmed when it comes to the affairs of the State as well. Power is vested in the President of the Republic in consultation with its Hierarchy and Councils as enshrined in the constitution do critical scrutiny on its appointees, and when confirmed made to manage positions for and on behalf of the State whether political or otherwise.

The issue of the appointment of a CEO for Ghana Gas Company naturally followed same. The appointment of Dr. Ben K D Asante in my opinion is a perfect one exercised by the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo. I am pretty sure it’s the same process if not a more stringent and rigid one taking into consideration the sensitiveness of the position involved.

In the portrayed statements made by the concerned citizens, it is important to take these statements one after another with the indicated responses.

  1. […….NDC mole and technically bankrupt…….]

Dr Ben Asante is a consummate professional who is well respected for his contributions to the international gas community and academia and do not represent politicking before commitment to work.

  1. […brought in from Texas in 2010 by the NDC government… help kick start the Early Phase Gas Infrastructure Project…]

Dr Asante’s immense contribution to the nascent Ghanaian gas industry started in 2007, (not 2010) when he initiated and developed the first Gas Master Plan for the country in 2008 right after the discovery of Oil and Gas in commercial quantities in Ghana. Between 2008 - 2011, he was out of the country but was later recruited by GNPC in May 2011to assist with the implementation of Ghana’s first gas project, which had three key project components - offshore pipeline, onshore pipeline and gas processing plant. He was one of three technical directors, and his primary responsibility was the offshore pipeline.

  1. […..decision to relocate gas plant……]

The decision to relocate the gas plant had nothing to do with Dr. Asante whose mandate was the offshore pipeline. I would find the allegation propagated in this relocation hugely absurd if not irrelevant. How possible would it have been for Dr. Asante whose mandate and responsibility was the offshore pipeline to have influenced and masterminded the changed decisions to relocate the Early Phase Gas Infrastructure Project from the Domunli enclave to Atuabo. Of what capacity and power did he have to effect that change, when both the previous Minister of Energy and CEO of Ghana Gas come from the Ellembelle area? Furthermore, GNPC original choice was Atuabo, before Bonyere, then eventually settled on Atuabo. He simply had nothing to do with that.

  1. [….extend the lean gas pipeline…..]

Just like the above, spread of falsehood on Dr. Asante has been the brand of his detractors. Dr Asante

was on secondment (2015 - 2017) to the Energy Ministry. How could he have then caused the said extension of the lean gas pipeline to the supposed “No Man's Land" in the Prestea area which was installed in 2016.

  1. [..…cost overruns……]

The project management consultants (PMC) who were managing the project will tell you that any perceived overruns had little to do with technical issues and more to do with financing and timely disbursement of funds. In any case, let me ask the youth association if they really found out the true course of the supposed Ghana Gas huge cost over-runs if there ever was?

  1. […LPG loading gantry]

Dr Asante had nothing to do with it.

  1. […. Petroleum commission].

Dr Asante has never worked at the Petroleum Commission.

I would find myself in a more comfortable position if I can unravel some difficulties in this whole publication. Permit me to ask these few questions:

  • Are we or did we anticipate/envisage the President’s appointments to be on tribal lines rather than qualification and experience?
  • Are we talking about noise making as performance instead of competency?
  • Are the youth not showing disrespect in telling the President that he’s not done what is right and expected?
  • Is this small group of people from Jomoro saying that they have better eyes and insights to see through than the President and the party Hierarchy which had spent sleepless nights scrutinizing and putting nominations together to represent quality over fame?
  • When did projects in Nzema become statutory stools and seats supposedly meant to be occupied by Nzema’s in successive manner.
  • Did the youth group know Dr. Sipa Yankey and Hon. Armah Buah only accommodated Dr. Asante because his expertise was critically needed?
  • Would a genuine party youth get manipulated to fight and sabotage the very person they helped in voting into power?
  • In any case, may we ask what happens to areas where there are massive installations but non-indigenes are made to man such? Has there been hue and cry from those areas? (*Hue And Cry: A clamour of alarm or protest).
  • Let’s face the act of truism and ask what kind of impression we want to create? Have we thought about the imminent chaotic platform we are mounting for trouble to stand on and destroy?
  • Did Dr Asante play roles in Anorkyi Quantum Terminal set-up as alleged? No.

Interesting as it is, the plotters and schemers behind this whole move are not real Nzema youths. I am staring deep into the eyes of some greedy power hungry individuals well-known who are pushing for their own crony and agenda because they believe in the era of loot and share as against President Nana Addo’s principles of making life comfortable through appointing quality hands to support his developmental agenda. What Ghana Gas really need are competent and loyal professionals who will serve their country in their respective designated capacities.

Folks, having set the records straight, and you all attesting to the fact that you have nothing against Dr. Asante; I strongly believe that you would rather be affirming positive recommendations for him to graciously put into motion the President’s agenda for the people of Nzemaland.

It is finally worth mentioning with great emphasis placed on record that the President didn’t need Dr. Ben K D Asante’s lobbying to make him the CEO of Ghana Gas. Dr. Asante didn’t need to do antics and machinations to implore His Excellency Nana Addo to cave in to his lobbying if there was any. Dr. Ben Asante is an astute Petro-chemical Engineer with specialty in natural gas and as such highly and competently qualifies to handle Ghana Gas that is why the President considered him.

Background of Dr. Ben K D Asante. Dr. Asante is a product of Mfantsipim School, and holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering (KNUST, Ghana) and MSc in Chemical Engineering (University of Calgary, Canada). He completed a dissertation on Multiphase (Oil and Gas) Flow and obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, London/University of Calgary. Dr Asante is a board certified Professional Engineer. He has published 15 technical papers and made over 80 technical presentations within and outside North America on Oil/Gas Infrastructure Design and Operations.

He is a world-renowned Oil and Gas professional with more than 25 years of experience. He has worked for major Operating Companies as well as Engineering Consulting companies in Canada, US and Ghana in various technical and management roles. Dr. Asante has also provided engineering services, project management, and technical support for various projects throughout the world including Abu Dhabi (UAE), Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and USA. He has also provided consulting services to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) and provides expert witness testimonies on gas custody transfer disputes in respected law courts.

He also developed the Gas Infrastructure Master Plan for Ghana working with the Energy Commission/Ministry of Energy in 2008. He was one of only five Africans invited by the US Department of Energy to contribute to the writing of a book on Natural Gas and LNG.Addthis

Dr. Asante also taught Gas Processing and Pipeline Engineering at Imperial College, London, UK and at the School of Engineering at KNUST.

Be objective as possible before you head to a conviction that leads you nowhere.

Kofi Amoabin
Kofi Amoabin, © 2017

The author has 9 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KofiAmoabin

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