August 14, 2023

An Open Letter to the President by the Alliance of CSOs Working on Extractives, Anti- Corruption and Good Governance on Urgent Petroleum Sector Issues

We, the undersigned members of the Alliance of CSOs working on extractives, anti-corruption, and good governance (the CSO Alliance), write to express our disappointment at the silence of respective petroleum sector agencies against whom some urgent issues have been raised in our recent press statement.

The Coalition outlined the under-listed demands which we believe are not only critical to the tenets of good governance (transparency and accountability) but also to safeguard the interest of the Ghanaian people.

JOHL and Matters Arising

  • We noted in the statement that the use of an offshore registered company, Jubilee Oil Holding Limited (JOHL) in Cayman Islands to hold the 7% commercial interest in Jubilee and TEN is a needless creation that complicates the national interest holdings in Ghana’s oil fields, injects risks of revenue leakages and blights the transparency and accountability mechanisms established in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act. We struggle to find any justifiable reason that makes Jubilee Oil Holding a better holder of the 7% interest than GNPC or its local subsidiary.
  • We also note that the specific tax revenues used to grant the loan to JOHL was Petroleum Revenue (capital gains tax), which is in complete violation of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA), Act 815 as Amended.
  • GNPC subsequently initiated steps to sell 50 per cent of JOHL,the national asset held in the Cayman Islands to PetroSA under suspicious circumstances two years after Anadarko sold the asset to GNPC.

Aker Energy (now Pecan Energies)

  • We demanded full disclosure of information on the Aker/Africa Finance Corporation transaction and the actual amount that would constitute petroleum cost.
  • We also demanded answers as to how Aker spent $200 million that was borrowed from AFC.
  • We still wondered why GNPC refused to pre-empt the transaction of an asset which was being offered for $1 in 2023 but was willing to pay $1.65 billion for the same asset in 2021.
  • We urgently request of the government to disclose the justification behind the decision to utilize a 14-year-old FPSO in a field with a minimum production period of 25 years. Given the concerns raised by technical experts regarding the FPSO’s age and potential risks, it is imperative that the government provides a clear explanation for this choice.

Mr. President, we are very certain that silence of the agencies concerned over the issues raised above is deliberate. We are at liberty to assume their complicity makes it difficult for them to respond. We also do not believe they are under strict instructions from your office to ignore us.

However, given your avowed dream to run an incorruptible and transparent government, we believe you would be closer to attaining the dream, however modest in the petroleum sector if you respond to the issues.

Please remember you are the ultimate trustor mandated by the constitution in Article 257 to hold mineral and petroleum resources on behalf of Ghanaians.

We are hopeful for a forward-looking response soon.

Yours sincerely,

Signatory Members:

  • Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP)
  • Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)
  • Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC)
  • iWatch Africa
  • Economic Governance Platform (EGP)
  • Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas
  • Publish What You Pay (PWYP)
  • Revenue Mobilization Africa (RMA)
  • Third World Network (TWN)
  • Integrated Social Development Centre
  • IMANI Centre for Policy and Education
  • OXFAM in Ghana
  • Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA)
  • TAMA Foundation Universal

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