Alarm Blow $5m Oil Project

Boakye Agyarko, Energy Minister

It has now emerged that the Local Content Coordinator at the Ministry of Energy under the previous government, one Afua Amissah, was the one who ordered two officials of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to move items from the Enterprise Development Center (EDC) based in Takoradi to a private warehouse in Takoradi without the consent of the Centre Manager.

The centre, which cost $5 million and funded by Tullow oil, was an initiative of the previous administration to ensure coordination between the oil and gas companies and the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs).

It was fitted with expensive state-of-the-art equipment to train small-scale enterprises to get contracts in the oil industry.

It would be recalled that last Friday, January 27, 2017, two workers of GNPC went to the EDC building allegedly to move out some valuable equipment to a GNPC-owned facility at Sekondi but personnel from the BNI and Police CID prevented them.

The officials of GNPC covertly tried to retrieve items at EDC without even notifying the officer managing the centre and it took the representative of the then incoming transition team, Kwesi Biney, to foil their attempt.

“We initially got wind of some Energy Ministry staff 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, the current Energy Minister, who did not know of the existence of such facility in Takoradi,” a member of the transition team told DAILY GUIDE.

“The move by the officials and their collaborators at the Ministry is yet one more attempt by some non patriotic to create, loot and share at the expense of the people of Takoradi.”

Information reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates that officials of the GNPC failed to inform the incoming government about the existence of the $5 million public-private partnership (PPP) project in Takoradi in their handing over notes to the new administration.

The GNPC’s failure to mention the existence of the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) project between Tullow Oil and GNPC in the handing over notes raised suspicions, according to some members of the transition team.

GNPC

According to the GNPC, the reason the EDC was not captured in the handing over notes of the ministry was because GNPC had been asked by the Ministry of Petroleum to take over the operations of EDC.

“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,” officials of GNPC were reported to have stated.

Touching on why GNPC sent people to the EDC to relocate the equipment, they stated that “a joint team from the partners – GNPC and Tullow – visited the office on Friday to relocate EDC assets to a GNPC-owned facility.”

“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 minimize cost.”

However, the landlord of the building in which the centre is located, one John Kwesi Donkoh, has indicated that he had written several emails to GNPC and Tullow, informing them that he was willing to let the equipment be kept in the building for free until the current government settles down and decides on what to do with the centre.

“So I can’t fathom why officials of the GNPC were in a hurry to relocate the equipment at the centre,” he declared.

Contradiction

Meanwhile, the Local Content Coordinator, Afua Amissah claimed in an interview with the media that she was the one who asked two officials from the GNPC to move items from the Center to the warehouse of Rigworld, a private company also in Takoradi.

From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi

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