The attention of NPP-USA has been drawn to a statement by some chiefs of the Nzema area kicking against the appointment of Dr. Ben K .D Asante as Acting Chief Executive of Ghana Gas. You may recall that acting on his constitutionally mandated prerogative of appointing heads of government agencies, His Excellency, President Nana Akufo-Addo, after careful consultation with various stakeholders, selected Dr. Asante to head the vital Ghana Gas Company. Since the appointment, it has been noted that most of the instances of opposing positions have emanated from some few members of one particular ethnic area.
It is also noteworthy that since the inception of the oil and gas industry in Ghana, those few members of that same ethnic area have made it clear to every administration beginning with those of Presidents Mills and Mahama that indigenes must occupy certain leadership positions in that industry, or else. In both instances those presidents have succumbed to the blackmail. This is very dangerous and no president henceforth must countenance this illogical position. The overriding deciding factor must always be on competence, and from that standpoint, not too many come close to Dr. Asante.
Dr. Ben Asante has over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He was the technical Director of Ghana’s first Gas Infrastructure project and also developed the gas infrastructure master plan for Ghana in 2008. He has also served as a consultant to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and provided engineering services, project management and technical support for various projects across the world including UAE, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico, Russia, Thailand and USA. He has worked for major companies including Nova/TransCanada and Enron and Jacobs Engineering. Dr. Ben Asante is a product of Mfantsipim school and holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering (KNUST, Ghana), and an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary, Canada. He also has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, London /University of Calgary and has taught gas processing and pipeline engineering at Imperial College, UK and KNUST, Ghana.
Notice also that never in these instances of opposition to Dr. Asante’s appointment has there ever been a questioning of his academic and professional qualification; just his ethnicity. In fact, NPP-USA’s imprint on the discovery of commercial quantity petroleum that ushered in a bona-fide oil and gas industry in Ghana cannot be denied. Of the two members of the EO Group, the company that recruited Kosmos Energy to Ghana to successfully prospect for oil, one is a stalwart of NPP-USA. We believe Ghana as a beacon of democracy in Africa has reached a point in her development where competence is preferable to ethnicity in the selection of those who manage key aspects of our economy.
It is funny how the very same people who, due to their numerical minority love to preach a One-Ghana sermon to us all, are the ones quick to make certain ethnicity based claims when it suits them. Given that some of the chiefs of Nzema characterized their statement as a warning to the president, NPP-USA has no choice than to counter with our own warning that on the basis of our own direct stake in this matter, Dr. Ben Asante be left alone to manage the affairs of Ghana Gas as he is without question the most qualified.
NPP-USA – Public Relations Committee