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Govt charged to refund over $3m spent on maritime dispute to GNPC

Dr. Steve Manteaw is a member of PIAC
Dr. Steve Manteaw is also a member of PIAC

The decade-long maritime dispute between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire which was finally settled on September 23, 2017 cost the country (Ghana) in excess of 3 million dollars.

The amount which included the legal services was bore by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr. Manteaw who is the Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas has revealed.

Dr. Manteaw, who is also a member of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), was contributing to a Media General News Lecture on Monday.

The lecture presented by Dr. Kofi Mbiah, the immediate Past Chairman of the International Maritime Organization’s Legal Committee, was on theme “Making Sense of the ITLOS Judgement on Ghana-Ivory Coast Maritime Boundary Dispute.”

The lecture was to break down the ruling of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire which largely went in favour of Ghana on Saturday.

The Public Interest and Accountability Committee Annual Report for 2016, released in June this year, said there was a 56% increase in the amount of money spent contesting the Maritime Boundary Dispute with Ivory Coast at the ITLOS.

A participant at the lecture therefore wanted to know how much the dispute cost the Ghanaian tax payer.

“I’m really sure we will be counting the cost. As at 2016 we have spent something close to 3 million dollars on this litigation and this money has come from the GNPC’s allocation for exploratory activities.” Dr. Manteaw answered, “something I found problematic”.

He explained, “it means monies that could have gone into exploration have been spent on litigation.

“In my view, to the extent that this is litigation between two states the financing should have come from the government’s own resources.”

Dr. Manteaw therefore charged the government to refund the money spent on the litigation.

“Indeed, even if GNPC was advancing money, it should have been on the basis of an agreement to refund the money to GNPC so they can use the money for purpose to which it was approved by Parliament and was allocated to it.”

He later told TV3 Midday Live that government should have taken the money from it shares of the oil revenue instead of falling on GNPC.

Read: [Full Judgement] ITLOS ruling on Ghana-Ivory Coast maritime dispute

By Isaac Essel | 3news.com| Ghana

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