Skip to main content

CSO fingers Sipa-Yankey in a $40 million scandal

According to the group, Sinopec International Petroleum Services Corporation (SIPSC); a subsidiary of the Sinopec Group, which is constructing the gas processing plant at Atuabo in the Western region, has overpriced the project while GNGC remains indifferent. 

"The SIPSC is delivering a processing plant that is costing $40 million more than another plant which is considered superior by virtue of having five additional features including specifications that are favourable to the Volta River Authority (VRA)," Dr. Steve Manteaw, chairman of the group, stated at a press conference in Accra. 

He said "SIPSC has overpriced the materials for both the power plant and pipes by building hidden costs purportedly occasioned by an arrangement with SIPSC's special purpose subsidiary offshore firm called SAF Petroleum Investments (FZE), registered in Dubai. 

"Under the arrangement, SAF will make the initial procurement and resell the items to SIPSC. Meanwhile, the same person - Ms Yang Hua serves as Project Director for both SIPSC and SAF." 

The gas project would cover the processing of gas from the Jubilee Oilfield into clean fuels and feedstock for the domestic and export markets while promoting the development of the country's petrochemical industries to eliminate the flaring of gas. 

A visit by CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE to Atuabo recently showed that pipes were being laid from the processing plant to the Takoradi Thermal Plant at Aboadze to meet the December deadline for the commencement of the first phase of the project. 

Dr. Manteaw stated that attempts by the Petroleum Commission and the Ministry of Energy to obtain details of the transactions entered into by GNGC and Sinopec were thwarted by its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Sipa- Yankey. 

He said his outfit called tor investigations "because of the huge costs being recorded relative to the gas project and their ramifications for gas pricing when the project is completed. 

"We believe that by the singular act of investigating these allegations of fraud and impropriety at Ghana Gas, the President will be sending a strong signal to the skeptics that his government serious about fighting corruption," Dr. Manteaw emphasised. 

The group is also calling on Parliament to take immediate steps to call for the GNGC-SINOPEC deal to be laid before it for debate and possible ratification in order to streamline GNGC's activities. 

It appealed to authorities to restructure GNGC as a subsidiary of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) under the Ministry of Energy's oversight. 

"This is important not only for tapping into GNPC's technical expertise and years of experience but also for enhancing the corporate profile and industry leverage of GNPC. Again, even though the GNGC has been incorporated, its mandate is not clear as the GNPC by law and by the Jubilee contractual arrangements owns the gas reserves with the international partners, and is expected to develop and transport gas to onshore facilities." 

Reacting to the statement, Kwesi Botchwey, Board Chairman of GNGC, said every act of procurement by the GNGC had been done in strict accordance with the country's procurement laws and in compliance with the company's own internal regulations regarding the thresholds for board approval, as it pertains in all companies in both the public and private sector. 

"The allegations of impropriety in procurement practices, and the talk of so-called "transfer pricing" by the project contractor Sinopec are allegations that the board of Ghana Gas has thoroughly dis¬cussed and found to be without merit or substance." 

Dr Botchwey continued: "I am aware that there are some who would have preferred to have one company exercise dominion over the entire oil and gas industry from upstream, midstream and down-stream and preferably be responsible also for regulating the entire industry." 

According to him, "Dr. Manteaw of the Civil Society Platform sounds very much like the hireling and advocate of these vested interests. But if per chance I am wrong and Dr. Manteaw's group is truly interested in constructive debate, Ghana Gas will be more than happy to debate them publicly." 

He indicated that Ghana Gas was studying the group's statement and would issue a more detailed response if need be. Daily Guide


Popular posts from this blog

PFM Act to guide local government authority borrowing

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The bill, Public Financial Management (PFM) Act 921 which has been passed into law by Parliament is to guide public institutions especially the local government authority borrowing. The law was pass on 3rdAugust, 2016
According to the law, local government authority, a public corporation or state-owned enterprise is liable for the debt and other obligations without recourse to Government, unless otherwise explicitly guaranteed by Government in accordance with this Act.
Madam Eva Esselba Mends, the Chief Economic Officer and Group Head of PFM at the Ministry of Finance told the Daily Express that the law involves a lot but it also give instruction to how state institutions can borrow especially with the  local government authority.
She mentioned that there is no specific law in place that gives direction as to what local authority can do when it comes to borrowing by the authority. Other public corporations sometimes borrow with huge amount for their operation but loca…

Vodafone fined a record £4.6 million for IT blunder

A top-up error left pay-as-you-go customers out of pocket and complaints were mishandled
Vodafone has been fined a record £4.6 million by the telecoms watchdog forleaving thousands of customers out of pocket in a disastrous IT blunder.
Ofcom found that the operator mishandled complaints and failed to pay into the accounts of more than 10,000 pay-as-you-go customers when they topped up their credit.
The top-up error, which cost customers £150,000 over 17 months in 2014 and 2015, stemmed from the moving of 28.5 million accounts to a new billing system.Errors in billing data and price plans caused so much protest that it made Vodafone the most complained-about mobile network in Britain.The technical issues were resolved by April 2015 and all accounts are now on the new system, Vodafone said.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said:“Vodafone’s failings were serious and unacceptable, and these fines send a clear warning to all telecoms companies.”
The company says that it has ref…

Enterprise Life inaugurates social centre for Kumasi SOS village

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Enterprise Life and Sanlam South Africa together with SOS Children’s Villages Ghana have jointly inaugurated a newly constructed social centre at the SOS Children’s Village, Kumasi in the Ashanti region.
The project, valued at GHc485,000.00 forms part of Enterprise Life and Sanlam-South Africa’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) to promote quality education and health for vulnerable children in Ghana.
The newly established social centre provides a suitable multi-purpose facility with a spacious auditorium among others to host different social activities related to child growth and development and will cater for both SOS children and students of the Hermann Gmeiner School.
The centre also offers the beneficiaries the opportunity to freely socialize and participate actively in educational oriented activities such as school concerts, art exhibitions and workshops.
The Executive Director of Enterprise Life, Mrs. Jacqueline Benyi expressed satisfaction that her outf…