Energy Ministry & NPA Smash KT Hammond’s Mouth

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..Denies His $1 Billion Oil Cash Misappropriation Claim

The Energy Ministry has described as unfortunate, accusations that the country’s energy sector is in crisis and is being destroyed by the Mahama led administration.

The Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) at a press conference on Monday, accused the current administration of poorly handling the affairs of the energy sector.

The press conference which was addressed by the Minority Spokesperson on Energy, K.T. Hammond stated that “the energy sector is so riddled with corruption, inefficiency, indecision, self-interest, misguided and inappropriate policies that it has become a drain on the economic transformation of the country”.

According to the opposition NPP, it is obvious that the NDC government has no clue in managing the energy sector, leading to various energy crises.

“It is obvious that under the NDC Government, the Energy sector of Ghana has clearly become unfit for purpose and in need of a massive outbreak of sanity,” they indicated.

However, in a quick rebuttal, John Jinapor, Deputy Minister in charge of Energy and Petroleum, said it was regrettable that K.T. Hammond “will descend so low…”

According to him, most of the issues raised at the press conference is riddled with ‘untruth and inaccuracies’, because there has been an improvement in the energy situation in Ghana.

“We are dealing with issues that all of us must discuss as a country and find appropriate answers and responses to; using words to distract government is political. It cannot be the case that the energy sector is collapsing. There’s been an improvement but to engage in petty attacks here and there, trying to label the government is unfortunate. I just don’t want to engage in unnecessary political discourse and partisan politics…” he told Citi Eye witness news.

He rather advised the minority to focus on the substantive issues of finding lasting solution to the few challenges the energy sector is facing, instead of engaging in ‘unnecessary politicking’

“Let’s rather look at issues of substance and deal with it; there may be challenges and we will not shy away from it. As a former minister, Hon. K.T. Hammond should give a little credit to the technical team at Aboadze. What he is doing is against the interest of the nation and I am surprised he’s taken politics to this level…it’s unfortunate that he will descend so low…I think we can ignore this kind of politicking…” he added.

Head of Communications at the Energy Ministry, Edward Bawa, has also has disputed claims by the minority in Parliament that one billion dollars of oil revenue has not been properly accounted for saying, every single penny has been accounted for under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act.

He said, among other things that the over $1 billion dollars raised through Ghana’s exploration of oil has not been properly accounted for.

He was emphatic, however, that much of government resources have gone into corruption, citing the recent rot at GYEEDA, as well as judgement debts paid to Woyome and others.

But Edward Bawa told Joy News’ Evans Mensah, part of the oil revenue went into capacity building. He added that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) also holds a stake in how the oil revenue is disbursed and has invested in many cash call projects.

He stated emphatically that the GNPC would submit to Parliament, audited accounts of monies used in its cash call projects.

According to him, the Finance Minister has provided to Parliament details on how the oil revenue had been disbursed.

But the NPP is not impressed. Obuasi MP, Kweku Kwarteng said, the explanation by Bawa has exposed the weakness in government’s handling of the oil revenue.

He said, the Petroleum Revenue Act is clear on what government can spend the oil revenue on and on the basis of what they have seen government do, they are not convinced government is putting the oil revenue to proper use.

Contrary to claims by Mr Bawa, Kwarteng said government is yet to bring to Parliament details of the 2012 report on how the oil revenue was used.

According to him, the capacity building, which Bawa so eloquently spoke about, was expenditure for 2011 and not 2012.

He said government’s failure to present a report only “reflects the manner in which the government used oil resources.”
Meanwhile, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has stressed that the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) eight years in office is responsible for the current challenges the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BOST) face today.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPA, Alex Mould, the previous administration left BOST with a debt of about $54million which has crippled their operations.

He was also reacting to a news conference organised by the Minority NPP that claimed government was poorly handling the energy sector.

Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Mould said: “There were no stocks at the end of 2008. Rather, there was a debt that was left that government owed, because the strategic stock had been used over the period especially from 2007 to 2008.”

According to him, “the strategic stock was used in a manner which was not approved by the Act on how it should be used.”

He revealed that, “it was used in trading which caused financial loss of about $54m which BOST is still claiming from the government to pay for under recovery due to the fact that they (NPP) bought petroleum products at a high prize and they sold it for a low price.”

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