A group calling itself the Strategic Energy Forum is unenthused about things they claim are happening at the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) which the Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu has failed to address despite calling his attention to them.
In a statement released on Thursday and signed by Senior Research Fellow, Kojo Dankwah, the forum alleged that the Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, Dr. Kofi Kodua Sarpong has for some time now employed people without any consultations.
“Dr. Kofi Kodua Sarpong has employed a gentleman with the staff description as Driver/Security unliterary without going through due process with a basic salary of GHC 8,800 whiles the Chief Driver at the corporation with 23 years’ experience is paid 4,000,” the statement said.
“It must also be stated that the GNPC foundation in Takoradi was rented for 1.2 million USD per year from Royal Bank. In the period under review where Dr. Sarkong has been CEO, 46 workers have been employed directly into GNPC with Dr. Kwame Baah Nuako as the most senior,” it added.
Strategic Energy Forum expressed astonishment over Dr. Sarpong’s stay in office despite engaging in transactions they claim led to the collapse of Royal Bank.
Some internal GNPC memos signed by Dr. K.K. Sarpong, authorized the transfer of $7.5 million to Global Haulage Company Limited, a company he once worked for in 2017, for residential facilities in Takoradi.
This stoked controversies as some people raised concerns of conflict of interest but GNPC insisted that the process was transparent.
“It must be re-emphasized that due processes were followed at all times during the purchase of the property. There was no conflict of interest as is being alleged,” a statement from GNPC said while indicating that property offered by Global Haulage Company Limited (GHCL) was “selected for purchase after reviewing other offers.”
“I had been connected with Global Haulage, but I must tell you that the transaction is above board, all valuation reports by relevant agencies went through the board of directors [and] the board of directors’ sub-committee on properties looked at it and recommended [its suitability] to the board,” Dr. Sarpong explained further in an interview on Joy FM.
Amid claims proceeds from the sale of the property were injected into the struggling Royal Bank before its collapse, Dr. Sarpong said “If they [Global Haulage] took the money and they were injecting it into Royal Bank then so be it, but there will be nothing wrong with it because they’ve sold their property properly to us [GNPC].”
But Strategic Energy Forum maintains the process was just a charade.
It says: “With the Economic and Organised Crime Office inviting directors of the defunct banks, it is with much worry why Dr. Sarpong is still at post. Dr. Sarpong is a director and shareholder of the defunct Royal Bank where he was part of a transaction that led to its collapse. It is on record how Dr. Sarpong transferred 7.2 million USD to Royal Bank in order to make their books look good under the disguise of a property purchased from Global Haulage, which in itself is a matter of conflict of interest which the Special Prosecutor must take serious.”
The forum is therefore calling President Akufo-Addo and the Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Petroleum to as a matter of urgency investigate the issues raised.
Below is the full statement