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Parliament approves GNPC’s GHc2.6bn budget …but demands more disclosure

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Parliament, on Tuesday, approved GNPC’s 2016 budget of Ghc2.6billion but demanded that the state-owned oil company submits its work programme for scrutiny before the house approves future budgets.

The second deputy speaker of parliament, Joe Ghartey explained that “A notice is hereby served on GNPC that henceforth the House will demand and approve their programme of activities before their budget for the ensuing year is approved.”

The Legislature also charged the corporation to submit details of the Karpower ship guarantee and the construction of the new head office building and its location by next week June 17.

According to a report of the select committee on mines and energy- on the 2016 programme of activities of the GNPC, officials of the corporation informed the Committee that architectural designs for the new head office complex (PFI Building) had been completed.

They however stated that further work on the project has been stalled because the Board of GNPC had begun preliminary discussions with a developer for the acquisition of an office building complex at the Energy City, within the Airport redevelopment area.

The officials further indicated that the Corporation had not taken decision on the matter as of the time of considering the 2016 programme of activities and that a request will be brought to the House for its consideration when a decision is so made.

On the Karpower ship guarantee, the committee said it found that “an amount of US$100,000,000.00 has been budgeted by GNPC to provide guarantee for the Karpower Ship which has been contracted by the Electricity Company of Ghana. Officials of the Corporation explained that the guarantee meant that the funds when so committed to the project will reduce the cash balance of the Corporation.

The approval of GNPC’s budget has been a long drawn tussle between the minority and majority in Parliament in the past week. Some minority MP’s had vehemently opposed the approval with the explanation that the GNPC was veering from its core mandate of exploring for petroleum.

Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Kofi Armah-Buah who was visibly excited about the approval of the budget indicated that GNPC will ensure it complies with the two directives issued by Parliament.

The GNPC has said it wants to become a global player able to take on projects on its own; not just in Ghana but also in other parts of the world.

It therefore sees construction of the GHc115million head office complex as part of the grand scheme to improve its image and earn it greater respect at home and abroad.

Source: http://thebftonline.com/business/economy/19410/parliament-approves-gnpcs-ghc26bn-budget-but-demands-more-disclosure-.html#sthash.eJfWvXK7.dpuf

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