The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is seeking private investors for the ailing Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited, one of the inherited unprofitable entities of the oil and gas-focused company, as it seeks to streamline its activities and focus on its core mandate.
“The prudent thing we have done is to look at the nature of the business, to bring it back to some health before we sell it.
All we are doing is that instead of liquidating we want to see if we can bring Prestea Sankofa back to operating level, making it attractive for a venture capitalist or investor to take it off our hands. These are steps we are taking,” he told B&FT in an interview at Parliament.
The corporation, in the interim, has earmarked an amount of US$24.78m to support the company meet certain pressing liabilities.
His comments follow criticism from the Minority in Parliament that GNPC is veering from its core mandate, given its decision to invest in the ailing mining company.
However, Mr.Agyarko indicated that the company is their inheritance: “They are not going into the mining sector; this was an inheritance. Now, if anybody had focused GNPC on its core mandate in the past, it was President Kufuor.
“Recall that in the past GNPC was into all kinds of things – cocoa-growing, everything. It was President Kufuor who refocused GNPC on its core mandate. While he focused on its core mandate there were still remnants, including Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited.”
Mr. Agyarko also stated that government cannot simply look and watch the gold mine derail, given that hithertothe company was a major source of employment for locals, and “to suddenly unwind would throw probably 3,000 to 4,000 people out of work”.
According to the 2018 Programme of Activities of GNPC, the breakdown of PSGL accumulated liability includes staff cost, payment to statutory bodies, local creditors, foreign creditors, bank facilities, severancepackages, as well as 2017 payments and payables.
Prestea Sankofa Gold Ltd. (PSGL) employs close to 300 direct workers with an average of 1,200 dependents, and 200 indirect workers and contractors.
Mismanagement and huge financial malfeasance on the part of the immediate past-board of directors of PSGL, according to sources, has seriously affected the company.