I just read, with utter dismay, a piece from the cousin of the President, Mr. Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, making very wild and flippant allegations against the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in respect of the Petroleum Sector.
This can only be unmistakable signs of desperation and hopelessness emanating from a clueless government that is, day-in and day-out, proving to Ghanaians that even though they campaigned vociferously for the mandate of the people to rule this country, do not have a clue on how to steer affairs of this country.
The NDC government under President Mahama, in its efforts to ensure transparency and attract more investments into the country, passed the Petroleum Exploration Production Law (Act 919) in August 2016. Section 10(3) of the law states emphatically that: “A petroleum agreement shall only be entered into after an open, transparent and competitive public tender process”. It is only under exceptional circumstances that the Minister can derogate from this provision and, even so, subject to parliamentary scrutiny and approval.
It has taken the NPP government almost two years to implement this legal requirement yet Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko wants his Government to be commended after delaying in the implementation of a law passed by the Mahama Administration.
It is patently and demonstrably false for Gabby to claim that Ghana’s Oil and Gas sector stagnated under the 8-year rule of the NDC.
This claim can only come from someone motivated by partisan considerations and consumed by mischief, who has very little or no knowledge of happenings in the Petroleum sector.
It is public knowledge that the NDC government worked tirelessly to ensure the production and delivery of Jubilee Oil in 2011, abridging the time normally taken in the upstream sector for setting up infrastructure for oil production after discovery.
There is clear and unmistakable evidence for all who followed developments in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the oil sector value chain to know that the sector recorded appreciable growth under the Mills/Mahama administration.
It therefore beats my imagination and the imagination of all Ghanaians for someone like Gabby Otchere-Darko to accuse the NDC of stagnating the Oil and Gas Sector.
For the record, it is the NDC Government that initiated, implemented and successfully commissioned the state of the art Gas Processing Plant located at Atuabo, in the Western Region of Ghana, which has the potential of contributing 500 megawatts (MW) to the national energy mix through the use of processed gas for power generation.
Additionally, the Atuabo Gas plant is positioned to process more than 180,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for domestic use and the delivery of 46,000 tonnes of gas condensate and about 15,000 tonnes of isopentane for both fertilizer and aluminium industries.
It is instructive to note that President Nana Akufo-Addo could not gloss over the huge potential of the Atuabo Gas Plant, as a strategic and important asset of this country, on his visit to the plant on Tuesday, 8th August, 2017.
It came as no surprise to most Ghanaians, and particularly the NDC, when the President described the Atuabo Gas Plant as a critical piece of infrastructure that will aid in the transformation of the Ghanaian economy.
The facts stated above are incontrovertible and clearly point to the enormous contribution by the Mills/Mahama government to that sector of the economy. Mr. Asare Otchere-Darko comments are shocking, unsupported, wild, contrived and baseless.
Gabby should also note that the NDC Government oversaw the construction of three FPSOs for the Jubilee, TEN and Sankofa-Gye Nyame fields. For a robust Oil and Gas sector regime, the NDC government passed the following pieces of legislation, among others – the Local Content Law, the Petroleum Commission Law and the Petroleum Revenue Management Law. How could anyone come to the farfetched, preposterous and unreasonable conclusion that the NDC pursued policies that stagnated the Petroleum sector?
May I offer my friend Gabby advice, to crosscheck his facts in future before seeking to deceive the citizenry with concocted and fabricated stories. Ghanaians are suffering under the abysmal performance of the Nana/Bawumia government and the least they can expect from this non-performing government is for them to be truthful and honest with facts.
John Abdulai Jinapor
Former Deputy Minister of Energy and Petroleum
October 15, 2018