The Minority in parliament has hinted that it would summon the Minister for Energy, Hon Dr Mathew Opoku Prempreh to Parliament to give further clarification on the scandalous activities happening the Ghana National Petroleum Cooperation (GNPC).

According to the Minority, allegation against the Board Chairman, Mr Fredy Blay, of his attempt to sell out Ghana’s interest in JOHL to a South Africa Company demands further details and probe.

A statement signed by Minority Leader, Hon Dr Ato Forson also want the sector Minister to explain to parliament how Oil revenue from the JOHL has been paid and utilised.

The Energy Minister would be drag to parliament when the House resumed on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

Full Statement Below


The issue of the divestment of part of Ghana’s stake in the Jubilee Oil Holdings Limited (JOHL)
has been a matter of intense discussions in the media these past few days. The Minority in
Parliament has observed various exchanges among key government functionaries, notably the
Energy Minister, and Board Chairman of the GNPC and hereby wish to make clear our position
on this important subject.
It has been alleged by the Minister of Energy, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh that GNPC
under the Chairmanship of Mr. Freddie Blay is working on a transaction to relinquish about 50%
of the shares of JOHL to PetroSA, the state-owned oil company of South Africa.

This action sounds at odds with the value of the JOHL assets to the State and does not advance the interest of the Ghanaian people. We therefore call on the GNPC to give a clear and urgent explanation of the situation and what the thinking behind the happenings is. As a matter of fact, the Minority will upon the resumption of Parliament file an urgent question for a clarification of
this whole saga.

Hon Dr Ato Forson

However, of far more greater concern to us in the Minority is the manner in which the JOHL assets are held and managed. The JOHL assets were acquired by the Republic of Ghana and thus belong to the people of Ghana. The late President John Evans Atta Mills, may he rest in peace, enacted the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815) which provided regulation over how revenue from Ghana’s oil and gas resources are to be managed.

As required by the Act, Revenues from the assets are accrued to or disbursed from the Petroleum Holding Fund. It is therefore concerning to note that the JOHL assets are not currently subject to PRMA provisions nor are JOHL revenues remitted to the Petroleum Holding Fund.

The question then arises, if the JOHL asset is as valuable as reported and revenues from it are not
remitted to the Petroleum Fund, where are the revenues lodged, how are they used and under which governance structure are they managed? Does the Auditor-General get to see accounts?

It is our contention that the JOHL revenues are currently being used as a “slush fund” to pursue
all manner of business that has not been approved by Parliament under the usual GNPC budget approval process. The recent lodgment of $100 million of oil revenues in the accounts of JOHL which sparked concerns about the state being deprived of taxes accruing from those revenues lends credence to our concern.
But even more troubling is the fact that the Minister references, in his letter to the Executive
Secretary to the President, an attempt to try to refinance GNPC’s current debts by using JOHL’s assets to do so with LITASCO. We can only presume that the intent here is to forward sell JOHL’s production share to raise this money.

One of the key tenets of the PRMA is to limit the government of the day on how much “forward
selling” of its oil and gas assets, it can do, so as not to mortgage off Ghana’s future. Such an act would lack transparency, add debt to an already debt distressed country that is under an IMF program and may indeed be unconstitutional.

By this statement, the Minority calls on the Akuffo-Addo/Bawumia NPP government to transfer the shares held by JOHL to GNPC without delay, in order that Ghanaians can be assured that appropriate oversight is being exercised on these assets by Parliament and other stakeholders.

This will only go a long way to ensure proper accountability and effective monitoring of the revenues accruing from our petroleum resources.



About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *