The Head of Communications at the Ministry of Energy, Nana Damoah, has dared Members of the Minority side in Parliament to sue the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for allegedly condoning illegality by procuring loans without parliamentary approval.
Mr. Damoah threw the challenge in response to former deputy Minister of Power, John Jinapor’s claim that the GNPC between 2017 and 2019 procured loans amounting to US$1 billion without Parliament’s approval.
“It is sad to note that the GNPC which was well-positioned and better resourced to serve the national interest before we left office has been saddled with huge debts due to mismanagement and high levels of opacity that has characterized the corporation. Available records prove that total guarantees and loans procured by GNPC between 2017 and 2019 have risen sharply to about US$1 billion. Even more worrying is the fact that these gargantuan loans have been contracted without the requisite parliamentary approval in contravention of the PFMA 921,” Mr. Jinapor said when he addressed a forum organised by the National Democratic Congress on Wednesday.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, however, Mr. Damoah asked the Minority to sue the GNPC if it was indeed convinced that the Corporation by-passed Parliament in procuring these loans.
“This is entirely absurd and again let me put out these facts. In this country, as we stand, if indeed GNPC has been allowed to borrow $1 billion without parliamentary approval then as parliamentarians they sit down and let this go on then it tells you the kind of parliamentarians that we have.”
“The fact that they are Members of Parliament, they make a claim that these loans did not even come to Parliament as they should have. Nothing stops them from going to court and asking the Supreme Court to declare that GNPC has condoned an illegality. If you haven’t done this and you mount political platforms to make allegations then it is needless.”
Mr. Jinapor also alleged that Ghana’s energy sector is struggling due to a GH¢15 billion debt.
He blamed the prevailing situation on the mismanagement of the sector by the current administration.
“There are two kinds of leaders today; a visionary one, a quiet one who thinks of Ghana’s tomorrow, and a very loud, robust one who makes a lot of noise but does very little for us. That is what we face as a country. And like I said, the investments we [the NDC] made, if the current administration had sustained that path and continued on those programs and projects, Ghana would have been moving forward than we are today,” he said.
“The Ghana Gas Company built at a cost of over US$1 billion despite all these savings, today is indebted to the tune of about US$1billion. If you add what ECG is adding to it and you do the analysis within three years in the energy sector alone, you’re talking of a debt of about GH¢15 billion and that is not part of the national debt. There’s been a deliberate, consistent approach to take all these figures off the national accounting system and so they present to you a certain figure as our national debt but when you look at the contingent liabilities, they are very serious.”
Mr. Damoh in a rebuttal, however, indicated that the Energy Sector is doing well despite the gloomy picture painted by the National Democratic Congress about the Sector.
“They have been saying these things since 2017. I remember that in 2018, they gave an exact date that the entire Energy Sector of this country was going to collapse by that specific date.
“Someway, somehow, despite all the debt singing that the people of Ghana have to endure, we are here and the Energy Sector has not collapsed. Despite the gloom that has been painted about the Energy Sector, someway, somehow, the country’s energy sector is functioning and we are doing well.