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Pay back diverted $100m oil revenue into petroleum fund –Mahama to Ofori -Atta

Former President John Dramani Mahama has called on Finance Minister, Ken Ofori to as a matter of urgency pay back the $100m oil revenue wrongfully lodged into a company established in a safe haven (outside Ghana) without Parliamentary approval.

The former President in a brief statement said there can be no justification for diverting revenues accruing from the nation’s share of petroleum resources into any other account aside the, Petroleum Holding Fund, PHF.

Mr Mahama’s reaction follows an explanation by MP for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea that the said amount was used to settle settle upfront, a loan taken from the Ministry of Finance by GNPC Subsidiaries to purchase shares in the TEN and Jubilee oil fields on behalf of the state.

Mr Atta Akyea who is also Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament however said it there might have been an administrative error in not placing the money in the fund before being used.

But quoting Section 3 of the PRMA (Act 815) and Section (15) of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act (Act 919) the former President reminded government that the law is explicit that all Petroleum revenue due the Republic derived from whatever source shall be assessed, collected and accounted for by the Ghana Revenue Authority.

“ Section (15) of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act (Act 919), is also clear that “Any borrowing exceeding the cedi equivalent of thirty million United States Dollars for the purpose of exploration, development and production shall be approved by Parliament and shall be in consonance with the Petroleum Revenue Management Act.”” .. …he added.

The former President noted with concern that…” there is no record to confirm parliamentary approval on any such loans acquired by GNPC in thier work programme” and said there can be no justification for diverting revenues accruing from the nation’s share of petroleum resources into any other account aside the PHF.

MINORITY CLAIM

Last week, the Minority in Parliament issued a statement that it has incontrovertible evidence about the illegal payment.

The statement issued by Ranking Member, Mines and Energy Committee, John Abdulai Jinapor, revenues accruing from about 944,164bbls of crude lifted in the Jubilee and TEN fields to a company established in a safe haven (outside Ghana) without Parliamentary approval.

John Jinapor, a former deputy Energy Minister, accuses Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta and his cohorts of gross violation of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815) and Public Financial Management Act (Act 921).

“We have become aware that following the acquisition of a Seven percent (7%) interest in the Occidental (Oxy) transaction in respect of the Jubilee and TEN Fields by the Government ostensibly for GNPC in 2021, the Minister of Finance has clandestinely ceded the shares to an offshore company known as JOHL (a company set-up in the Cayman Islands) in a very surreptitious and opaque manner.” …he emphasized….

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