All US$100 million diverted from petroleum fund must be refunded – Minority

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John Abdulai Jinapor Denies Herald Publication

The Minority Caucus in Parliament Tuesday requested an immediate refund of about $100 million allegedly diverted from the Petroleum Fund by the government.

The caucus had earlier alleged that Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, had ceded shares from the 2021 Occidental (OXY) transaction in respect of the Jubilee and TEN Fields to an offshore company known as Jubilee Holdings.

Debating a report on the floor of Parliament by the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises on the audited financial statement of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for the 2019 and 2020 financial years, Mr. John Abdulai Jinapor, Ranking Member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament said the move commenced without parliamentary approval.

“Mr. Speaker, if you go to page 2, subsidiaries of GNPC…nowhere is Jubilee Holdings mentioned here. The Minority, therefore, demands that the $100 million that has been transferred by the Finance Minister to Jubilee Holdings as captured in the PIAC Report, that money must, with immediate effect, be paid back into the Petroleum Holding Fund as envisaged in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act,” he said.

Mr. Jinapor also alleged that “there is a certain explanation that GNPC borrowed money.”

That, he claimed, was in contravention of “Act 919 of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act which states categorically in Section 15 and Section 32 that before GNPC could borrow such an amount they need Parliamentary approval, and they don’t have the approval.”

“Mr. Speaker, through our leader, Haruna Iddrisu, we intend to elevate this particular issue to its highest level. We cannot allow the nation’s resources to be dissipated in such a manner,” Mr. Jinapor said.

Corroborating with the Minority’s allegations, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, called on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament to probe the alleged diversion of the Fund.

“Mr. Speaker, we are requesting the Committee on Mines and Energy and Committee on Employment to probe further because the PIAC Report 2022 recommends that the proceeds of liftings by Jubilee Oil should be paid into the Petroleum Holding Fund as the Committee is convinced that the proceeds form part of Ghana’s petroleum revenue,” he said.

“Significantly, Jubilee Holding is not listed as a subsidiary, so how come they will be holding up to $100 million of state resources?” Mr. Iddrisu asked.

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