A former Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority, Alex Mould, authorised the controversial deal that has committed Ghana’s public purse to paying 63,000 dollars a month for the Authority’s rented offices at East Legon, it has emerged.
Citi News investigations have revealed that the NPA signed the deal after the Authority’s Board, chaired at the time by Kojo Fynn, gave the clearance to Mr. Mould to enter into the transaction.
In all, the NPA paid a year’s advance to the owner of the building as part of the transaction.
NPA sources have told Citi News that the deal was signed sometime before September 2013, despite concerns from some senior management staff that the cost of the four storey building was “profligate and extravagant” for a public institution.
Under Ghanaian law, it is unlawful for tenants to pay more than six months advance for rented spaces. But, Citi News sources say the NPA, in defiance of the nation’s rent laws, paid more than 700,000 dollars to the owner of the building as part of the transaction.
“I am aware that Moses Asaga was not happy about the cost of the rent when he took over as CEO, but there was nothing he could do since the previous management had already signed the agreement and made advance payment for up to a year,” a source said.
“Also, at least one department of the NPA had already moved into the building at the time Mr. Asaga took over sometime in October last year,” the source added.
“Many people had raised serious concerns that it would not make sense for the NPA to be Housed in such a plush area far away from the Energy Ministry, but the management and board at that time had their own ideas,” another source said.
The revelations are coming at a time when the Ministry of Energy has issued a statement in which it slammed the cost of the rent and announced it will investigate the transaction.
“The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has agreed with the public concerns on the high cost of the premises recently rented by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) as offices,” a statement signed by a deputy Director of Communications at the Energy Ministry said.
“If the NPA ‘s office was rented at $63,000 per month as has been reported, then that hardly represents prudent use of state resources no matter how conducive, or appropriate the facility is for their operations,” the statement added.
As at the time of publishing the story, Mr. Mould and Mr. Fynn were not available for comments.
Mr. Mould’s successor, Moses Asaga, could not be reached either. He is presently out of the country and is expected back home early next week.