The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), has urged the government to avoid interferences in the mandate of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
PIAC made the call in its report issued on March 1, 2022, titled “Assessment of the Management and Use of Ghana’s Petroleum Revenues (2011-2020),” which examined the use of petroleum revenue over the past ten years since oil was discovered in commercial quantities.
According to the report, over the past 10-plus years, GNPC has sought to maintain a sole focus on its commercial mandate by forming joint ventures and other forms of cooperation with international or local partners but the interferences by the government have not allowed the motive to be achieved.
From the reports, Ghana’s US$6.55 billion total oil revenue entitlements since the commencement of oil, GNPC had received 30 per cent ($2 billion), representing both equity financing costs and other operational expenses made by the GNPC.
It said GNPC’s total equity financing costs amounted to US$1.14 billion over the period, representing 55 per cent of the total GNPC allocations and other expenditures such as staffing and other operational costs amounted to US$921 million or 45 per cent of total allocations.
Analysis of the data over the past ten years, it was discovered that part of GNPC’s equity had been used to meet other government needs and programmes which were not aligned with its mandate.
Speaking to the Co-ordinatorof PIAC, Mr Isaac Dwamenasaid,the mandate of GNPC was to represent the interest of the state and the people of Ghana with regards to upstream petroleum operation but interferences from government was hindering their mandate.
“The corporation is subject to external interference or political capture, which often compels it to undertake quasi-fiscal expenditures and advances to other parastatals.”
MrDwamena revealed that government directs GNPC to do a number of things, saying “The Tema Oil Refinery entered into some transactions and GNPC was asked by government to go and provide guarantee.”
He added that looking at the report it provided a tall list of state institutions that GNPC had provided guarantees for as all those were directives from government which were not independent decisions of the corporate GNPC.
Mr Isaac Dwamena said GNPC has been challenged to take decisions based on profits and promoting the interest of the state rather than performing the government’s agenda which might not necessarily be profit-oriented.
The PIAC report reiterated that the GNPC needed the right corporate governance structure, by appointing the GNPC Board based solely on technocratic expertise, needed to re-prioritise its investment portfolio to operate commercially.
Source: The Ghanaian Times
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