A minority member, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah, of Parliament’s Finance Committee is accusing the Ghana National Petroleum Authority (GNPC) of quoting old laws to justify its illegal loan acquisition.
The Corporation has currently secured a $700million loan to fund its activities.
Dr. Assibey Yeboah insists the GNPC erred in going behind Parliament to secure the $700million loan and has promised to haul the Corporation’s boss, Alex Mould before Parliament to justify his conduct.
The loan would among other things be used to support GNPC’s increasing oil and gas infrastructure investment and cash call requirements from its participating and commercial interests.
But the procedure used in acquiring the loan has sparked a huge controversy with the minority members in Parliament and some members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) describing the deal as illegal.
On Monday the GNPC boss, Alex Mould mounted a strong defense for the procedure used in acquiring the loan.
Quoting Section (15) of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation Act, 1983 (PNDC) Law 64, Mould said the Corporation did not need approval from Parliament before securing the loan.
On the contrary, he said they needed the approval of the Ministers of Finance and Energy to secure the loan, and that they have done so.
He added that they also sought approval from the “president’s lawyer” the Attorney General before going ahead to secure the loan.
Mould maintained “I am not afraid of going to Parliament” but this deal does not have to go to Parliament.
In a reaction however, Dr. Assibey Yeboah told Joy News the PNDC Law 64 which Mould religiously quoted is outdated and no longer in force.
“He (Mould) is dead wrong. The PNDC Act is 1983 [but] with the coming into force of the 1992 Constitution why would you go back to the PNDC law.
He said in place of the outdated law are two legislations- the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 815 and the 1992 Constitution.
Sections of Act 815 states that: “Parliament shall in each year approve the programme of the activities of the national oil petroleum company being GNPC.
“Clearly this supersedes the law being quoted from the PNDC law,” he stated.
Dr. Assibey Yeboah further quoted Article 181 (3) of the 1992 Constitution which in part states that government or its public institutions shall not procure loans until and unless Parliament gives approval.
He added these two laws make redundant, the law being quoted by Mould.
He added if the Finance Minister was that powerful to authorise the acquisition of loans, like Alex Mould is suggesting, why does he have to come before Parliament to seek approval before securing loans himself or on behalf of COCOBOD and other institutions.
He hinted the GNPC boss would be brought before Parliament to answer why it [GNPC] went for the loan without seeking Parliamentary approval.