A former Energy and Petroleum Minister, Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, has charged the government to accommodate more oil investors as part of activities to exploit the economic prospects of Ghana’s victory in the recent maritime dispute against Cote D’Ivoire.
He said the country has won for itself huge economic potentials which could be achieved through the involvement of giants in the oil industry.
“We [NDC] used the opportunity to pass very important laws such as the new Petroleum Exploration Law with a lot of characteristics and features that would attract investment. We now have to use the opportunity to basically drum home the point that Ghana’s oil spaces are now open for business. We now need big players to come in the oil industry. This opens the gate for Ghana’s oils industry to be the center piece of oil and gas region”, he said in an exclusive interview with Radio XYZ’s Eric Ahianyo.
According to Mr. Kofi Buah, the moratorium that was put on Ten oil fields as a result of the dispute compelled his outfit to turn down applications from several investors who showed interest in the area. He said the country risked paying a huge ransom with regards to the investments that had already gone into exploration.
He therefore appealed to the government to initiate incentive packages for existing companies who were forced to quit their activities as a result of the threats they received to motivate them to get back to work.
“Tullow oil for instance directly received warning letters after they had invested millions of dollars in that area. They were prevented from further explorations. If Cote d’Ivoire jeopardized these investments, Ghana would have paid the price because we supervised those investments. We must give incentives to all these companies who have stopped work to go back and basically begin exploration and production,” he stated.
Cote d’Ivoire accused Ghana of violating its maritime boundaries in the exploration of oil at the West of Cape Three Points.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on Saturday, September 23, 2017 unanimously ruled that there has not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Cote d’Ivoire’s maritime boundaries.
The event saw the adoption of the equidistant line method of delineation of the maritime boundary as argued by Ghana.
Mr. Kofi Buah further cautioned the government to expedite steps to safeguard the country’s borders to avert future disputes.
“The work of the Ghana Boundary Commission has just started. We have to deal with our other boundary issues and make sure we have amicably and legally dealt with all these issues so that we can together focus on our long term projects. We shouldn’t wait till huge discoveries are made,” he said.
He commended former President John Dramani Mahama for taking a bold step to initiate a legal action when all engagements to settle the misunderstanding friendly proved futile.
Expressing his gratitude to President Akufo Addo for pursuing the case, he said he feared a discontinuation of the case when his government lost the 2016 elections. He however, added that the involvement of the former Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong calmed his nerves.
Mr. Kofi Buah believes that a hand of appreciation should not only be extended to the known individuals who trumpeted the case. According to him, the real heroes worked behind the scenes.
“We saw a Ghanaian team working day and night with their international counterparts. We roamed around the globe to gather information. I saw a story of patriotism that has to be told. The gratitude goes to many Ghanaians who came on board without invitation. Some lawyers even worked on pro-bono basis”, he stated.