Kwesi Botchwey Speaks: Ghana Gas Takeover Was ‘Crude’

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As the turf war between the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) and the Energy Ministry continues, Board Chairman of the GNGC has told Citi FM that the failure of authorities to notify the company over the takeover smacks of disrespect and dishonesty.

“The fact is incontrovertible and I’m making a point that such a fundamental decision was taken with such crudity and haste to say nothing of the discourtesy and disrespect to the board, management and staff was regrettable.”

There is a growing tension between the gas company and the Energy ministry over the takeover.

The Energy Ministry in a press statement on Thursday announced complete takeover of Ghana Gas by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, but Board Chairman of the company, Dr Kwesi Botchwey, issued a counter statement hours after the Ministry’s announcement, challenging the take-over claims.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Citi Breakfast Show host, Bernard Avle on the matter, Dr Kwesi Botchwey denied reports that the company was notified over its takeover by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.

“The decision was not taken with any consultation with Ghana Gas or even prior notification to Ghana Gas, i heard the decision on radio, just like every other citizen did, such a fundamental decision was taken without any reference to us.”

Dr Kwesi Botchwey also added that the takeover was “crude and the right thing must be done.”

“We issued a statement saying that the takeover of an entity like GNGC by GNPC could not be simply done by some share transfer notification and that it is a long process that requires the valuation of shares, the payment of liabilities and so on, that process as far as we are concerned was not completed, we have not even had any meeting with the transaction advisor,” he added.

According to him “nobody is saying anything about the merits of the decision all we are saying as a matter of fact is that we were not consulted and secondly the process as far as we were consulted between the two entities had not even begun”

A letter however from the Energy ministry showed there was a meeting between the ministry and GNGC on the 9th November informing the company on the matter.

Dr Botchwey reacting to that statement said “yes there was a meeting on the 9th but mind you the meeting was three clear weeks after budget statement was announced.”

“At the meeting we were simply informed that the transfer had been done and i made it clear there that there should be a formal letter to us on the matter so we can meet and act appropriately, ” he added.

The Ghana gas takeover, according to government is expected to make GNPC a stronger company with enough muscles to compete on the global stage.

According to Finance Minister Seth Tekper ‘the consolidation of GNPC and GNGC will make it possible to enhance a more integrated management and continue financing of projects in the oil and gas enclave immediately’.

By: citifmonline.com

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