Policy think tank, African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has raised alarm over intentions of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to spend more money on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) than on its operations expenditure beyond the traditional cash call on the producing fields for 2019.
In a document by ACEP analyzing GNPC’S work program for the 2019 financial year, the Centre says it is “a cause for concern” for the Corporation to spend US$ 43.05 million on CSR, compared to $20.3 million expenditure on its operations in the Voltaian Basin and its subsidiaries in the sector.
While ACEP believes GNPC should engage in CSR activities just like other organisations, it is bemoaning such proposed spending by GNPC which is currently awaiting parliamentary approval, nothing “this is less than 50% of what GNPC wants to spend on CSR”.
ACEP has in its report that, “in recent times, the Corporation has become more popular in delivering development projects rather than its core mandate. While GNPC, like any corporate entity, has a responsibility towards society, it is unusual for sound corporate organisations to spend more than 10% of its cash flow (not profit) on corporate social responsibility”.
In its recommendations, the policy think tank has urged Parliament not approve any CSR budget for the Corporation until the end of the 15 year financing window provided in the 2011 amended Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) – Act 815, has elapsed.
ACEP has also called on Parliament not to approve GNPC’s advancement of $250 million to the Ministry of Energy to finance the Ministry’s operations and the energy sector challenges, in addition to directing the Corporation focus on optimising local gas source to encourage investment in Ghana’s basins.
This is another recommendation by ACEP concerning GNPC’s 2019 expenditure, “Parliament should demand that the GNPC provides details of each expenditure item, alongside justifications, to allow for careful and informed study ahead of the Mines and Energy Committee’s sitting and subsequent approval of the Corporation’s programme”.
Making remarks on the Corporation’s SCR spending issue on PM Express on Joy News on Tuesday, Technical Advisor to the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, Kwame Jantuah, explained that, it is not the responsibility of GNPC to be building hospitals and schools in all the Regions, which he says, are responsibilities of government.
On the issue of the recent turf war between Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GNPC over the appointment of a Procurement Manager for the Corporation, Technical Advisor to the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, Kwame Jantuah, has explained that, technical persons should be made to manage the Corporation rather than politicians. Kwame Jantuah has since, encouraged president Akufo Addo to “call both of them and try and sort the situation out” maintaining that, “GNPC is a strategic institution in the economy of this country.”
GNPC is Ghana’s national oil company established in 1983 to support the government’s objective of providing an adequate and reliable supply of petroleum products and reducing the country’s dependence on crude oil imports, through the development of the country’s own petroleum resources.