The EDC Facility
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has explained that it did not capture Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) in its handing over notes because it was still in talks with individuals at the Energy Ministry, who were in charge of EDC.
In a press release signed by its Communication Officer, King Adawu Wellington, the Ministry said the $5 million project was rather captured in its handing over notes to the Transition Team.
“This is why it was not captured in the handing over notes,” officials of GNPC stated.
A member of the Transition Team in the Western Region, Kwesi Biney told BUSINESS GUIDE in an interview that GNPC did not capture information on EDC in its handing over notes to his outfit.
He also indicated that some officials of GNPC attempted to move out equipment from EDC to a private warehouse in Takoradi but were prevented from doing so by the BNI.
In the February 2, 2017 edition of BUSINESS GUIDE, there was a report that officials of the GNPC had failed to inform the government about the existence of the $5 million public-private partnership (PPP) project in Takoradi in their handing over notes to the new administration.
“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 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 Donkor, 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 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.
Meanwhile, the Energy Ministry has expressed shock at the assertion by the landlord, indicating that Mr Donkor was misleading the good people of Ghana.
The ministry’s statement explained that a tenancy agreement between the landlord and the Jubilee Partners ended on 31st January 2017, but the Jubilee Partners had paid the rent up to December 2016.
According to the statement, Tullow Ghana indicated to the Ministry that they required a month to refurbish the building and hand it over to the landlord by 31st January 2017.
“It is in this regard that in December 2016, the owner of the rented building housing the EDC was invited by Tullow Ghana to meet the Ministry to renegotiate the rental fee downwards from $6,000 per month to enable the Ministry pay for the rent,” it pointed out.
The statement noted that the Ministry offered to pay the landlord, Mr John Donkor $3,000 per month as rent but he rejected the offer and so another meeting was scheduled to enable further discussions but prior to that meeting, the landlord communicated to the Ministry that his initial agreement was with Tullow Ghana and would not deal with the Ministry.
Moving Of Equipment
Since the initial option was unsuccessful due to the refusal by the landlord to accept a lower rental fee, the Ministry had no choice but to move out of the building by 31st December 2016 to enable Tullow Ghana refurbish the building and hand it over to the landlord by January 31 2017.
Head of Local Content at the Ministry, Mrs Afua Amissah, therefore engaged GNPC later and presented it with the options of a more affordable building or relocation in the interim to Rigworld’s warehouse in Takoradi.
The landlord, Mr John Donkor, was informed by Tullow Ghana about the Ministry’s decision to vacate and handover his building to him because of his refusal to reduce the rental fee.
“So the assets of the EDC were being moved out because the tenancy agreement between Tullow Ghana and the landlord would expire in January 2017 and also because the Ministry decided not to pay $6,000 per month as rent to the landlord but seek a more affordable alternative,” statement indicated.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi