Alex Mould& Okudzeto Ablakwa Hits NPP MPs

Alex-Mould-Okudzeto-Ablakwa-Hit-NPP-MPs.jpg

 

For Dashing Away Ghana’s Crude Oil

Former GNPC Boss, Alex Mould, has described as shameful, Parliament’s approval of the amendment to the AGM petroleum agreement, despite all the questions surrounding it.

According to him, AGM’s push for the agreement, which was first signed in 2013 to be amended even without any substantial work on the block, was against international standards in the industry.

Commenting on the same subject, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the North Tongu y, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, accused majority members in Parliament of allowing themselves to be ‘whipped’ by their leaders into blindly taking decisions and voting on key issues in parliament without recourse to the general impact it will have on the country.

“I can confirm to you that this agreement came to the house and you’ll be shocked to hear from me that they didn’t even print 275 copies for all 275 members of Parliament to have copies to peruse so we can consult experts, use our research stuff etc., you’ll be shocked that many MPs have not even seen the agreement and yet voted in line, they were three line whipped because this is what the Boss wants, this is what the President wants”, he said.

Parliament last Friday, approved the amendment to the AGM petroleum agreement with a condition that the state’s additional carried interest to be increased from 3percent to 10percent in addition to 15percent participating interest and 10percent royalties.

The Energy Minister, has six months to report back to Parliament.

Speaking at a forum organized by the Caucus for democratic governance, Ghana, Alex Mould said AGM’s request should not have been considered.

“It seems that AGM has been given a new lease of land through a sole retender and Government has reduced its stake from 49% to 18%. Be mindful that AGM was originally given this block from a competitive tender and 3 other companies that are changing the terms before they start work is akin to our controversial road contractors who bid slowly only to come back before the work starts and add to the variation.

“Even in road contracting, this is not allowed. Also, it is our understanding that the original local content partner is being replaced by a new local content partner called Board Energy. This company was set up months ago before Parliament brought this ridiculous amendment to Parliament who shamefully approved given the questions and issues raised.”

Parliament on Friday  May 3, decided to approve amendment No 1 to the Petroleum Agreement among parties including the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), and AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited, in respect of the South Deepwater Tano Area located within the Gulf of Guinea.

By the dictates of Article 268 (1) of Ghana’s constitution, any rights or concession for the exploitation of any mineral, water or natural resources of Ghana is subject to ratification by the legislative assembly known as Parliament.

Pursuant to the law, the Minister for Energy laid before the House for the consideration and approval of the amendment to the said Petroleum Agreement.

The House returned a verdict of conditional approval by resolution, whereby it directed the Minister to incorporate two stated recommendations within six months in order to validate the approval.

The recommendations are

a. That the Ministry of Energy renegotiates the additional interest from 3percent up to 10percent.

b. That the Ministry together with Petrica Holding AS should facilitate the resolution of issues surrounding the 2.5percent shareholding interest of MED Songhai in AGM Gibraltar and its consequential interest.

c. That the Minister briefs the house on steps taken to implement the committee recommendations within 6 months of this approval.

By this, the Minister of Energy, has a busy schedule within the next six months, as he must return to Parliament with the new additions to secure the approval for the Agreement.

Mr Okudzeto, who also spoke on the back of the Aker/AMG deal and issues regarding its renegotiation, suggested that most majority members, who voted in favor of the renegotiation did so without having read through copies of the agreement and carefully perused it before taking their decisions.

“I can confirm to you that this agreement came to the house and you’ll be shocked to hear from me that they didn’t even print 275 copies for all 275 members of Parliament to have copies to peruse so we can consult experts, use our research stuff etc., you’ll be shocked that many MPs have not even seen the agreement and yet voted in line, they were three line whipped because this is what the Boss wants, this is what the President wants”, he said.

The legislator attributed this to the voting pattern of constituents across the country. According to him, parliamentarians feel the least bit obligated to vote the right laws and approve beneficial deals for the country because they have nothing to lose or have no risks of being humiliated if they take “loose” decisions to the detriment of citizens.

“Elsewhere, members of parliament voting record is published and MPs are questioned, ‘why did you vote in a particular way’? and it follows them for the rest of their lives. Even at parliament, we have the vote and proceedings which is produced every day, how many of you come to take the vote and proceedings and check how your member of parliament is voting?”, he quizzed.

In his view, legislators would be more responsible and meticulous with their decisions if they were actually accessed based on their debate and voting records in parliament and were either retained or voted out of parliament resultantly after every election period.

“Take the vote and proceedings, primaries are coming up within the constituencies, every Member of Parliament must account for their stewardship,” he argues.

“That is what democracy is about, how did you vote on key issues, the discussions must not end in this room, activism must not end here, we must take it to the constituencies. Next year we’ll be voting, MPs will be seeking re-election, how did you account for the first four years? What was your voting record? How did you vote on these key issues that Ghanaians are passionate about? Were you just whipped in line? Go and tell your people that ‘I had no choice, I had to vote, I was whipped in line’ and see if you’ll be re-elected.”

Mr Ablakwa, urged Ghanaians to take keen interest in ‘monitoring’ the parliamentary behavior of their representatives in parliament to ensure that they are working for the general good of the constituency and the country and take the necessary action to ‘kick them out’ where they notice negligence and or inaction on the parts of their respective MPs.

He says: “Let’s look at the vote and proceedings, lets track members of parliament debating and voting record and let it reflect in the decisions we take whether they get re-elected in their positions at the primary levels or at the main elections, whether they deserve to be brought back into parliament”.

“When we do that, it will not be an incentive to say that we were whipped into line, it will even strengthen all of us as MPs to tell the President and the Chief Whip and the other powers that be that now, our voting powers are being tracked, this matter is against my conscience, I don’t want to vote this way, I’ll be embarrassed if I leave the chamber, go to the constituency and I’m confronted that this is how I voted, explain, that is what is missing and we have to hold our members of parliament accountable”.

He was speaking at the Public Forum on the $30 billion State capture in Ghana’s Oil industry organised by the Caucus for Democratic Governance, Ghana (CDG-GH) in Accra.

Themed: “Aker Energy/AGM Deal: Ghana being sold off”, the program saw key experts in the oil and gas industry speak on pertinent issues regarding the deal and its implication for the country’s oil and gas sector.

Former Health Minister, Alan Bagbin, Policy Analyst, Dr. Steve Manteaw, Former NPA Boss, Moses Asaga among others were all present at the forum to deliberate on issues.

Share News

submit to reddit