Accra, Aug. 5, GNA – The Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) is calling on the government to reject the reparation being offered by the EO group in lieu of prosecution, saying the deal smacks of political shielding.
“It is becoming clear that the government’s sudden change of mind on the prosecution of EO Group has everything to do with political shielding, which runs contrary to the spirit of transparency and angelic honesty which have become the mantra of the Mills administration,” Dr Steve Manteaw, Coordinator of Economic Justice Thematic Group of ISODEC told reporters at a news conference in Accra on Friday.
The press conference was to enable ISODEC to share its concerns on some developments in the emerging oil and gas industry especially issues relating to what it said were shady deals and carving of interests in oil acreages for party cronies in the name of local content.
EO Group recently sold its 1.75 per cent stake in jubilee to Tullow oil PLC for about 5 million and it is being alleged that the group was considering payment of between million and million.
Dr Manteaw said assurance from the Energy Minister that the ratification of the sale would not indemnify the group was not true, adding that the reparation deal lacked transparency and truthfulness.
He said ISODEC held the view that any act that did not consider adequate steps to ensure that the state did not lose money was tantamount to “causing financial loss” to the state.
Dr Manteaw said the deal would have many impacts on the governance of the petroleum resources as it provided a test case for entrenching political cronyism and lack of transparency in the oil and gas industry.
“Allowed to stand, the reparation deal will encourage impunity in the country’s body politic,” he said.
While admitting that the government should support local companies irrespective of their political affiliation, Dr Manteaw, however, said this should not be done in a manner that ran contrary to international established norms and best practices.
He therefore called for a national consensus on how Ghanaian businesses or individuals irrespective of their political creed could be afforded the opportunity to acquire stakes in oil acreages in the country.
Source: Ghana News Agency