The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), the body mandated with ensuring the efficient management of petroleum revenues, says Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) should be listed on the stock exchange (GSE) to cede control and ownership of the national oil company to Ghanaians.
The move, according to PIAC, will stop government interference in the affairs of the state-owned GNPC.
“The government’s consistent control of the corporation and, for that matter, its use of the corporation to finance quasi-fiscal expenditures is a worry,” the Technical Manager of the committee, Mark Agyemang, told the Business24 in an exclusive interview.
The interview, which covered a wide range of questions about oil revenue management and the work of PIAC since its establishment in 2011, included questions about the role of GNPC in helping the country maximise the benefits of its hydrocarbon resources.
Mr. Agyemang said one concern about GNPC is that some of its actions and dealings with the government do not follow sound business principles.
He said, for instance, that government borrowed US$50m from the GNPC a few years ago, but the transaction was not documented.
“So if GNPC is listed on the stock exchange and the government wants to borrow from it, it would be documented,” he said.
He added that “GNPC should operate on sound commercial lines, but the interference of the central government stops the corporation from having a strategic plan of becoming a standalone and world-class operator.”
He said the national oil company should be seen to be pursuing the public interest instead of the agenda of a particular government or group of people.
According to the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), GNPC, which holds and manages the state’s interests in the petroleum sector, sold 73 cargos of oil, made up of 71.1 million barrels valued at US$5.2bn, between 2011 and April 2020.