General News of Friday, 20 January 2017
The National Security minister-designate, Albert Kan Dapaah, has denied the knowledge of a committee that was set up to sell the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s drillship.
The GNPC’s drillship, Discoverer 511, was sold to pay off a US$19 million judgment debt owed to French multinational bank, Societe General.
The ship was sold during the previous New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration of former president John Kufuor.
Kan Dapaah was the energy minister then.
He and his deputy, K.T Hammond, had always maintained that US$24 million was realized from the sale of the ship and that it was used to defray the Societe General debt and that the remaining US$3.5 million was returned to the national coffers.
Reports that emerged during a Judgment debt Commission sitting in 2013 claimed that a committee was setup by the Kufuor administration to sell the national asset.
Answering a question to that effect before parliament’s Appointments Committee during his vetting Friday, Mr Daapah said no such committee was established.
“No such committee was set up to sell the drillship,” he said, disclosing that: “What happened was that there was an attempt to settle with the company that we were owing [Societe General] who a committee was setup to do that negotiation.”
“I do know that they did have some meetings but before they could come up with a final report the company that we were owing had been able to obtain judgment and at the point they were not willing to negotiate any further. So not much came out that committee,” he added.