Parliament has approved a request by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to secure a loan facility of US$500million to facilitate its operational activities.
Part of the loan facility will also be used to procure vessels to undertake fishing activities and also for the construction of an office complex in Takoradi, Western Region for the company.
Additionally, a portion of the loan facility will also be invested in the building of a guest house to provide accommodation for investors in the oil and gas industry in the Western Region.
Energy Minister, Mr. Boakye Agyarko, justified why Parliament should approve the loan facility for GNPC. “The importance of this request rest largely on the fact that Ghana is now emerging oil producing country and we must pay particular attention to the development and growth of our national company,” he said.
He refuted claims that the GNPC is deviating from its core mandate by planning to invest in the mining sector.
“They are not going into the mining sector,” he said, adding that the GNPC is focusing on its core mandate.
Minority ranking member on Finance Committee in Parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson, raised an objection to the reasons for which the loan facility had been applied for.
He argues that the GNPC is deviating from its core mandate and cautioned them against undertaken ventures that will lead to waste of state resources.
“They are telling us that they are going for a loan of US$500million. Is this the Ghana Beyond Aid they are trumpeting? They’re telling us that they will use US$13.4million to renovate their office in Tema, they are also saying that they will use US$20million to put up their operational head office and US$10million for operational office in Takoradi.
I was born and bred in Takoradi and wonder why operational office will cost that much. Again, GNPC is also saying that they want to spend US$2million to construct transit quarters for their workers in Takoradi.”
He added that: “As if that is not enough they are going to spend $24million to undertake gold prospecting. What is more intriguing is that a whopping US$45million will be used to procure vessels for fishing. They are engaging in excessive wastage of our money and I think we should be worried because we’re the ones going to pay.”