The minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament has been vindicated by Aker Energy’s decision to relinquish its interest in the AGM South Deep Water Tano Cape Three Points (SDWT/CTP) block, deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah has stated.
According to him, the minority during a debate on the floor of the House on the deal in 2021 vehemently opposed the proposed sale of the block to government at the cost of Ghc 1.65billion, arguing that it was not in the interest of the nation.
Addressing a press conference in response to a news publication that suggests that, the minority has been silent on the decision by AGM, a subsidiary of AKER Energy, to pull out of the US$1.65 billion transaction with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), the former Energy minister showed videos of himself debating against the proposed sale on the floor as a vindication of his side.
Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh told parliament that government fully backed GNPC’s decision to acquire stakes in the $1.6bn Aker-AGM deal to acquire 70% stake in the South Deep Water Tano (SDWT/CTP) and another 37% stake in the Deep Water Tano/Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP).
Until the recent announcement, the SDWT/CTP was operated by AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited while the DWT/CTP is operated by Aker Energy Ghana Limited.
Apart from the NDC minority, some civil society organisations have raised issues about the acquisition describing it as threatening the country’s economic and fiscal outlook.
The CSOs who raise red flags about the valuation includes IMANI Africa, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) and other petroleum among other energy experts.
According to the Ellembele MP, the minority stood up for Ghanaians when AKER tried to sell the AGM block emphasizing that, that it was not of value and was risky but the NPP Government nearly paid over $1 billion for it.
“The minority in parliament stood up when Aker tried to sell the AGM south deep water Tano block, we stood up and spoke and we will never betray the people of Ghana.
“…we want to basically let the people of Ghana know that we stood up. We continue to stand up, when it came to the issue of Aker basically coming to parliament to water down our take as a country and to reduce the power of the regulator the Petroleum commission, we spoke about it. We insisted it was wrong and today we know it; AKER has basically been dilly dallying the people of Ghana and has not developed our fields. Sadly, we have three development fields,” Mr. Armah-Kofi Buah stated.
Ghana would have lost over $ 1 billion had GNPC acquire the blocks but for the minority’s opposition to the deal.
The caucus said the recent announcement by AGM of relinquishing the block vindicates its position against the propose sale to GNPC.
According to the news publication, the NDC have some competent materials who have, at various times, worked in the Energy Ministry and understand the fallout of the botched transaction, but observers have been worried at the deafening silence of the minority, especially those on the Mines and Energy Committee.
Amongst these are; Edward Bawa, Member of Parliament Bongo in the Upper East Region and the Ranking Member, John Jinapor, MP for Yapei-Kusawgu in the Savanna Region, Kwabena Donkor, MP for Pru East in Bono East Region and Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, the MP for Ellembele in the Western Region.
They have either been spokespersons, deputy ministers, or substantive ministers at the Energy Ministry; interestingly, they have kept total silence on the matter since news broke that the transaction had collapsed because AGM had pulled out, technically, handing over the oil some state officials were willing to sink over US$1.65 billion for free.
The NDC minority addressed the media to discredit the claim by the new report.