The Minority Caucus in Parliament has accused President Akuffo Addo and the NPP administration of blatantly using GNPC to borrow a staggering $431.5 million without the approval of Parliament.
In a statement released by John Abdulai Jinapor, the Member of Parliament for Yapei-Kusawgu and Ranking Member of the Committee on Mines and Energy, the Minority alleged that the decision was recently taken in a meeting at the presidency, held at the instance of President Akufo-Addo and chaired by the President himself.
“The President, the Chief of Staff, the Minister of Finance, the Deputy Minister of Energy, the Board Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer of the GNPC were all present.
In the said meeting the President instructed GNPC to borrow this amount from Lukoil International Trading and Supply Company (LITASCO SA), with allocations as follows; US$155 million for the refinancing of LITASCO debt, US$150 million to settle the debt owed by the Government of Ghana (GOG) to Karpower and US$126.50 million to renew the Karpower bank guarantees”.John Abdulai Jinapor
According to the former Deputy Minister of Power, John Abdulai Jinapor, the Minority is highly scandalized by the development which in its view is an attempt to side-step Parliament and violate the laws of Ghana.
He indicated that before Parliament went on its recent recess, GNPC had tabled for Parliamentary approval of a loan facility of $650 million as part of its Work Programme and Budget for 2023, which the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy has subsequently requested and directed GNPC to submit the full terms of the loan agreement for consideration and approval in line with Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution.
Mr. Jinapor revealed that even before GNPC will return to Parliament with the detailed terms of the loan request, President Akuffo-Addo has through what he described as an ‘Executive fiat” ordered GNPC to commit Ghana to yet another loan to the tune of $431.5 million, using oil from the TEN fields as collateral for over five(5) years.
“”This loan is being contracted at an interest rate of SOFR 1 Month + Margin, and a structured fee of 2.5% flat rate. Even more, worrying for us in the Minority is the fact that this shady arrangement is being routed through the tainted and controversial SPV called Jubilee Oil Holdings Limited (JOHL), from which the government intends to rely as a source of repayment instead of relying on proceeds from the Government of Ghana.
Not too long ago, Parliament had cause to query the Minister of Finance over his decision to lodge $100 million of Petroleum proceeds in this corrupt vehicle called JOHL, instead of the Petroleum Holding Fund as required under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act. It does appear that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government is bent on proceeding with this illegality”.John Abdulai Jinapor
Loan Agreement Would Hinder GNPC’s Ability To Operate- Minority
According to the Member of Parliament for Yapei-Kusawgu aside the clear breach of the laws of Ghana regarding the approval of the loan agreements, the whole arrangement will further hinder GNPC’s ability to obtain the needed funds to focus on its core mandate, such as continuing the reconnaissance works on the Voltain Basin Project and fulfilling its cash call obligations.
“The Minority’s biggest concern of all is the fact that this agreement affects all participating interests held directly or indirectly by the Seller (Government of Ghana), including royalty entitlements.
The arrangement further entitles the Buyer to substitute cargoes from other interests held by the Government of Ghana should production volumes from the TEN fields prove insufficient to meet the minimum quantity”.John Abdulai Jinapor
The Minority Caucus has therefore called on Civil Society Organizations and all well-meaning Ghanaians to rise and speak against what it considers another attempt by President Akufo-Addo, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the NPP administration to once again collateralize Ghana’s oil resources for their short-term expediency.
“We cannot allow this unbridled and reckless borrowing which has already brought Ghana’s economy to its knees to continue”.John Abdulai Jinapor
The Minority Caucus through the statement released has indicated that it would take steps to haul the necessary government officials, including officials of the GNPC, to provide the necessary answers regarding the matter.