The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is becoming a conduit for siphoning state funds for all sorts of things that cannot be accounted for in the Government of Ghana budget, energy axpert Kojo Poku has observed.
Parliament on Thursday May 26 deferred the approval of a GHS2 billion loan facility meant for the GNPC for its activities this year, pending questions to be answered by the Minister of Petroleum on the state oil firm’s operations.
Speaking to Class News’ Paa Kwesi Parker-Wilson, Mr Poku, who is also the Managing Director of GASSOP Oil said if GNPC had managed its resources well, they would not be in need of a loan.
“If you look at the way in which GNPC is being used by the government, anytime the government wants to do something outside the GoG budget, they try to use GNPC as a vehicle. They were used to do KarPower; they gave the guarantee for KarPower. They are the ones paying the fuel for KarPower”, he stated.
“GNPC sponsors Black Stars, GNPC is involved in all sorts of operations that does not come under the upstream operations of GNPC”, he emphasised.
Mr Poku debunked arguments that GNPC sponsoring the Black Stars was part of their social corporate responsibilities. “GNPC is a government company, not a private company to do social responsibility. Government does social responsibility by making money and doing social intervention; that is what government does, so, GNPC cannot come and replicate the work of government. Make the money; give it to government as dividend or as profit and let government take the role of performing its social responsibility”.
In Mr Opoku’s opinion, “GNPC is a limited liability company, has its board, has a managing director, but the majority shareholder of GNPC is government, so, more or less, it is a government-run institution and whatever monies come from them is supposed to be for the government. So, if GNPC makes a profit, government makes a profit…so to me, it is not just right for GNPC to start to go to ask for a loan, to do what?
“GNPC does not need a loan. If GNPC in the last seven years has been run prudently and their money saved, they will not need a loan, you will have a tough time convincing me that GNPC needs a loan. If GNPC needs a loan to undertake a spec survey, drill a well, conduct geotechnical or geophysics or something to do with the mandate, which GNPC is supposed to do, then that is fine, but GNPC is buying fuel for KarPower, how are they finding the money?” he wondered.