Posted: Thursday 3rd July 2014 at 15:52 pm

Minority Slams Energy Minister


Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Minority in Parliament has called for the resignation of the Energy Minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah, for his poor handling of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) $63,000 rent controversy.

The NPA has admitted renting an office space at $63,000 a month – an amount the Minister of Energy has described as an ‘imprudent use of State resources.’

The Minister constituted a five-man committee to investigate how the rent transaction was sealed, but a counter directive has come from the Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, asking for a   dissolution of the committee.

The Chief of Staff wondered how the NPA could have entered into such a transaction when that amount of money could be used to build a new office apartment.

Prosper Bani also asked the NPA not to renew the rent contract when the current tenure ends.

But the Minority is embittered not only by the supposed ignorance of the Minister about the existence of the rent contract, but also by the action taken by the Chief of Staff.

MP for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo Markins, told Joy News the Chief of Staff’s intervention was nothing more than a ‘cover up.’

He said the directive further ‘heightens suspicion’ about the whole deal, accusing government of being confused about how to handle a simple matter.

He said it was not enough for the Chief of Staff to ask the NPA not to renew the contract when the current tenure ends. He insisted that heads must be made to roll.

Alexander Afenyo Markins stated that the Minister could not claim to be ignorant about the existence of the contract.

He argued that the Ministry has a statutory responsibility to oversee the activities of the NPA, for which reason the Minister could not be ignorant about the contract.

He said Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah must be sacked from office for his ‘dishonesty’ and ‘insincerity.’

He said the NPA boss, who supervised the signing of this contract, must also be sacked.

But the Communications Consultant with the Energy Ministry, Edward Bawa, said the Minority should draw a line between issues that are policy-oriented and day-to-day operations at the NPA.

He explained that while the Ministry takes oversight responsibility for the overall policy direction by the NPA, it does not manage the day-to-day operations of the NPA.

Mr. Edward Bawa said the procurement of office space falls under the operations of the NPA, but the Board of the NPA must have to give approval.

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