GNPC-Aker deal: CSOs, Minority engaged in mere talk on valuation – Afenyo-Markin

Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin has dismissed claims by civil society organizations(CSOs) that the cost involved in the deal between the Ghana National Petroleum Authority (GNPC) and Aker Energy is too high.

He asked the CSOs including the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) making that claim to bring contrary figures if they have done any technical assessment of the deal.

Some CSOs have argued that the valuation used a higher value of about 65 dpb. They said the country is not likely to achieve that price in the medium to long term and therefore, it makes the transaction disadvantageous to Ghana.

The Minority in Parliament has also called for an independent audit of the deal to ensure value for money.

A statement by the minority observed that the hyper-inflated purchase price of the blocks leaves much to be desired.

“NDC Minority is not against the policy or decision for GNPC to acquire higher stakes in the said oil blocks per se.

“However, it must be made clear that we have serious concerns about the proposed hyper-inflated purchase price of the blocks and demand that all the necessary due diligence, independent audits, valuation and appraisals must be conducted by GNPC to ensure value for money for the country before the deal is approved by Parliament.”

Bribery allegations were also made against Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu and MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam  Casiel Ato Forson over the deal, an allegation they have flatly denied.

But speaking in an interview with TV3’s Dzifa Bampoh, Mr Afenyo-Markin who is also a lawmaker for Effutu, said “What is it all about? This matter came to the floor, the government needed the mandate of parliament to go and negotiate and they brought every document.

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“I am surprised that leading figures in the minority who as part of the due diligence are being given the necessary information, CSOs that had issues with it are being educated, or being informed would jump the gun and create the impression that engaging the other side to ensure that your concerns are well registered, amount to having been bribed. That is unfortunate.

“So must we not build consensus to move the nation forward? Is it the case that when there is a deadlock then there is nation-building?

“If they have documents, any research findings to support their claim, any technical report to support their claim I will be happy to interrogate, for now, they are merely talking.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana