GOIL’s divestiture move is dangerous – Dr Owusu-Ampofo

Dr Derrick Owusu-Ampofo an Economic Consultant on Wednesday described consultations to divest state holdings in the Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) to strategic investors as dangerous to the security of the country.

“GOIL remains one of the forerunners in the state-owned enterprises sector and the petroleum industry in general, which over the years had supported the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“It is therefore untenable for the state to attempt to divest its shares in GOIL to any strategic investor,” Dr Owusu-Ampofo stated at a press conference in Accra to launch a crusade against the sale of GOIL.

He therefore appealed to President John Dramani Mahama to look into the divestiture of GOIL.

Dr Owusu-Ampofo cautioned against the move, citing several instances where such divestitures turned into disasters; stressing that: “within the oil industry the multi-nationals control the upstream sector it would therefore be dangerous to handover the down streams.

“Ghanaians must take hold of the economy through active control of strategic investments,” he noted.

He said GOIL’s annual turnover rose from GH₵514.36 million in 2010 to GH₵617.67 million in 2011, saying that “an increase of 30 per cent cannot be described as not doing well,” he said.

He said in spite of the fact that there are over 102 oil marketing companies operating in the country; dividends pay-out by GOIL for last year was at GH₵0.014 per share, totalling GH₵2.94 million, which amounted to 37 per cent of profit after tax.

Dr Owusu-Ampofo said GOIL’s record indicates that the company is doing tremendously well positing profit after tax of GH₵7.888 million, representing 25 per cent improvement over the profits of 2010, whilst tax contributions to government – taxes and dividends, increased by 32 per cent over the contributions of 2010 to stand at GH₵65.083 million.

He said the share price kept its value over the year and increased to GH₵0.32 from Gh₵0.30, describing it as a remarkable vote of confidence from the Ghana Stock Exchange when stocks generally were on the decline.

The Economic Consultant cautioned government about the purported attempt to sell GOIL stressing; that strategic investors should be encouraged to enter into agriculture and industrial sector and not the retail sector.

“The retail sector must be protected for the indigenous people …we must all join the crusade to protect GOIL from divestiture,” Dr Owusu-Ampofo noted.