Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Omanhene of the Esikado Traditional Area, says rabid partisanship has driven members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to choose only their cronies to man the country’s oil and gas resources.
The traditional ruler, who was moderating a panel discussion on Tuesday at the 2015 African Oil Governance Summit in Accra, condemned the monopoly in the management of the country’s oil and gas resources by the NDC, saying it was detrimental to the economic aspirations of the country and complete bias.
“Who are the people in charge of our oil resources? It’s NDC and not Ghanaians. When you look at the rabid partisanship that we have, you ask yourself: who are the people in charge of this? Who are the people who appoint people into places?
“You give oil blocs out, and you don’t know whom you gave it to. Were those people registered in Cayman Islands? We should know there is a problem.”
Touching on why PIAC has not been resourced up to date, he said: “Is it deliberate? Five years! Is it possible for us to keep our oil revenues in an account until we have articulated what we really want to do with our oil revenues?
If we haven’t, we don’t spend it. If these things are not coming up, forget it. Let’s stop the oil.”
He however commended Tullow Ghana for its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) prior to commercial production in Ghana.
“What stops a community like Atuabo from being given equity in the gas investment?
Such developments have led to a situation whereby there is no emotional integration between the people, government and other facilitators. They are just there.”
Nana Nketsia could not fathom why Theo Ahwireng has been in an acting capacity at Petroleum Commission for five years.
“Theo, are you here? How can you be in an acting capacity for five years? Of course he has come to sit here not to offend his bosses. But he is one of the finest technocrats we have got. So he wasn’t himself. Why hasn’t he been confirmed? Is it deliberate It could be deliberate to make sure that he can’t do anything but obey his masters’ voice.”
Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of the African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), in a speech, said that the future of Ghana’s oil sector was “very gloomy because of the award of oil contracts to inexperienced, incapacitated and incompetent oil companies.”
According to him, “It is gloomy, and I am very certain about this because I know the caliber of the 11 companies Ghana has signed contracts with. They do not have the capacity as far as technical, and financial abilities are concerned. I have been investigating their capacities, and unless we have companies that have the muscles to find new reserves, we are seriously heading for doom.”
Dr Amin said since oil reserves deplete, the country has to invest to make more discoveries to replace those that were depleting.
“If you sign contracts with companies that do not have the capacities to explore, let alone make new discoveries. We have signed contracts with companies that are weaker than those who came in first to do the Jubilee discovery.”