Fresh information reaching Adom News indicates the Local Content Coordinator at the Ministry of Energy under the previous government, Afua Amissah asked two Tullow Oil officials to move items from Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) to the warehouse of Rigworld, a private company at Takoradi.
This runs contrary to what Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) said earlier, that they intended to move the items to “a GNPC-owned facility at Sekondi.”
It would be recalled that Adom News reported that GNPC and the then Ministry of Energy failed to mention the existence of EDC, a $5 million public-private partnership (PPP) project in Takoradi in their handing over notes to the Transition Team.
Subsequently, they attempted, on two occasions, to move valuable equipment from the EDC premises but the BNI and Police CID stopped them.
When Adom News asked GNPC why they failed to mention EDC in their handing over notes, and why they attempted to move the items, their response was that the Ministry asked them to take over EDC and they intended to move the items to a GNPC-owned facility at Sekondi to save cost.
But Adom News has a copy correspondence sent by the Local Content Coordinator at the Ministry, Afua Amissah, to officials of Tullow and the Ministry, asking them to move the items to Rigworld warehouse in Takoradi.
The letter, dated December 22, 2016, titled “EDC Asset Relocation” copied to at least seven persons at Tullow and the Ministry, stated that “Reference to TGL’s (Tullow Ghana Limited) request that the Ministry remove assets from the EDC by 31st December 2016 in order to refurbish the premises to handover to the landlord, you are hereby requested to liaise with Mr. Nuertey Adzeman, Executive Director of Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association to move the assets to Rigworld’s warehouse at Takoradi.”
This confirms what Transition Team representative in the Western Region, Kwesi Biney said that he got wind of earlier plans involving same Afua Amissah to move the items on December 26, 2016, which was a holiday.
When Adom News contacted Afua Amissah about the letter that she wrote asking that stuff should be moved from EDC to Rigworld warehouse, she said “our communications department is working on this issue so please contact Welington who is our Communications Director”.
EDC is a PPP project, between Tullow Oil and government (through GNPC), fitted with expensive state of the art equipment to train small scale enterprises to get contracts in the oil industry.
Tullow Oil operated it for four years and suspended operations in August, 2016, subsequent to which the Energy Ministry under the previous government asked GNPC to take over the centre just before change of government happened. But both the Energy Ministry and GNPC failed to mention it in their handing over notes even though the state already had a stake in the centre.
Meanwhile, on Friday, January 27, 2017, two workers of GNPC, named as Lawrence Kwao Sam and Paul Yeboah went to the EDC building allegedly to move out some valuable equipment but personnel from the BNI and Police CID prevented them.
The two GNPC staff were said to have claimed that they were under instructions to move the equipment to avoid accumulation of rent, since the building that house EDC belongs to one John Kwasi Donkor, and the rent was due to expire February 1, 2017.
But the landlord told Adom News that is a “mischievous lie” because he had written several emails to GNPC and to Tullow informing them that he was willing to let the equipment be in the building for free until the current government settles down and decides what to do with the centre.
Indeed, Adom News has cited several emails in which John Donkor told Tullow officials and the new Petroleum and Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, that he was willing to house the equipment for free for the next few months as his contribution to jobs EDC is creating for the people of Takoradi.
“I am also aware that they were moving the equipment including cars to the warehouse of Rigworld and not to any GNPC-owned building,” he said.
John Donkor also said the lease agreement between him and Tullow was for five years and is renewable for two years, ending 2020, so the claim that it expires on February 1, 2017 is untenable.
He expressed shocked at the refusal by GNPC and its collaborators at the Ministry to list EDC in the handing over notes and the subsequent attempt by some individuals to shut down the centre and move out equipment for their personal benefit, under the guise of avoiding rent accumulation.
The landlord said he suspects that the move by GNPC and their collaborators at the Ministry is yet one more attempt by some non-patriots to create, loot and share at the expense of the people of Takoradi.
By Samuel Dowuona