The Herald’s painstaking investigations into the hurried takeover of the Ghana Gas by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), continue to fork out very interesting findings, especially how Finance Minister; Seth Terkper, has become a law onto himself, running things without recourse to the law, but his over bloated egos.
For instance, the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as Transaction advisors, to advice on the takeover by Mr. Terkper, was unilaterally taken without going through the required procurement laws, although they are said to be demanding hundreds of thousands of United States Dollars.
Indeed, the Finance Ministry, did not advertise the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers in the media, to enable government get value for money. The Ministry of Finance, appointed a private law firm as transaction’s legal advisors without recourse to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong.
On the advice of Seth Terkper, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is also said have appointed Ace Anan Ankomah’s law firm, Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah.
Another interesting information from The Herald’s parliamentary sources are that the takeover of Ghana Gas by the GNPC, was smuggled into the 2015 Budget Statement by the Finance Minister as all discussions leading to the November 20, 2014 presentation did not capture a possible takeover of Ghana Gas; setup as an independent entity with the regulatory powers.
The Herald, further discovered that deeply rooted in the rushed takeover of Ghana Gas, is Seth Terkper’s attempt to embarrass Ghana’s longest serving Finance Minister, Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, for exposing his limitations in the management of the economy. Indeed, Prof. Botchwey and other officials of Ghana Gas, heard of the takeover for the first time during the reading of the 2015 Budget Statement.
President John Mahama, also chose Dr Botchwey over Seth Terkper to lead Ghana’s delegation to meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the bailout.
It is a known fact that Seth Terkper, does not like President Mahama’s constant consultations and reliance on Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, for a second opinion on the management of the economy.
Energy Minister, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah’s role in the transaction is that of a “Yes Yes Man”, pandering to the whims and caprices of the Finance Minister and his colleagues at the GNPC, who are interested in taking over the running of Ghana Gas.
He is said not to know the intricacies of the takeover, hence issuing press statement announcing the takeover of Ghana Gas, when the transaction advisor had not set foot in the Airport Residential Area offices of the Ghana Gas, to meet with its officials over the transaction, Ghana Gas’ books were not sighted and resolution was not passed, yet a takeover was announced by the Ministry of Energy, not Ministry of Finance, which has earlier announced the takeover.
Indeed, Ghana Gas, has a lawyer in the person of one Agbesi, Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, is also a lawyer and a renowned economist, with another member of the Ghana Gas Board, Dr. Valarie Sawyerr, and questions being asked are, why aren’t any of them being used to work on the share transfer, especially when the takeover is by a government institution.
The GNPC group, has been angling for the Ghana Gas since the days of the late President John Mills, and said to have met some deep pocket investors at Trinidad and Tobago, who were interested in Ghana’s gas resources.
The same Seth Terkper, had earlier given some legal component of the first One Billion Dollar Eurobond cash and the second One Billion
Dollar Eurobond cash to the same law firm, Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah.
He had drawn suspicion from government insiders by giving Data Bank in May this year to work on the transaction that brought the second US$1 billion Eurobond.
Back to the takeover of Ghana Gas, insiders told The Herald that Seth Terkper, did not seek the input of the Chief of Staff, Prosper Douglas Bani, again showing disdain to the Office of the President.
Meanwhile, Ghana Gas, has announced that it was currently supplying the Volta River Authority (VRA) with gas at 50-53 million standard cubic feet per day (50-53MMSCFD), which is generating between 150-200 MW of power at Aboadze.
“Aboadze is, therefore currently relying solely on gas from Atuabo to power the various plants in the enclave, and we are looking to ramp up flow from the current average of 50MMSCFD to the design flow of 150MMSCFD by end of this month (December 2014). Our current permits from the Energy Commission and Petroleum Commissions allow us to flow up to 150MMSCFD”, it said.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Board Chairman, Prof. Kwesi Botchey.
He said “… The absence of enough functioning generating units at the VRA enclave in Aboadze and compressor trippings on the offshore facility, FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, are two key issues Ghana Gas has been concerned about. We are accordingly in discussions with VRA and Tullow Oil respectively to address these challenges. Indeed, since the commencement of commissioning on November 10, 2014, supply of raw gas from Tullow Oil has been sporadic”.
He noted that “most of the upstream flow curtailment incidents have resulted from unplanned outages or trips of the FPSO gas export compressor. The outage periods have ranged from 30 minutes to as long as 7 hours. These have gravely affected our commissioning schedule”.
Additionally, the statement also disclosed the production of 3,000 tons of LPG, out of which 2,100 tons from the Atuabo Plant, which have been delivered to the market for use, adding “the plant has also produced over 500 tons of condensate out of which about 300tons has been transported to the market”.
“These levels would increase significantly as we near completion of the commissioning process and as we increase raw gas intake at the Atuabo Plant. The Board is generally pleased with the overall commissioning processes and looks forward to a successful completion and commencement of full operations”, the statement concluded.