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Mahama Burning Your Oil Money - GNPC To Waste Ghc25m On Renting New Office   
 
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14-Jun-2016  
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The Daily Statesman can report that the board of directors of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation will in the next few weeks sign away a cheque for GHC24, 958,472.00 to share a rented office at the Emporium, Airport City, Accra.

The tenancy, which is for six years, will cost GNPC at least GHC80 million or US$20.8 million for a property that access to GNPC will be limited to its backdoor because a bank already has exclusive use of the foyer.

Even though GNPC has a long list of reasons why the Emporium is not suitable, the only legitimate official reason given for the move from Tema to the Airport City is that it offers an “opportunity to increase the GNPC brand, reputation and image.”

In the exact words of the state-owned oil & gas company, moving to Airport City will demonstrate that “We are also here.”

GNPC will share the building, managed by MMC Property Management Ltd, with current occupants, SSNIT, Universal Merchant Bank, Africa World Airlines and Total Clinic.

The cost of renting the shared premises is seen as extremely high and unwise. GNPC has been under a lot of fire for alleged reckless spending of Ghana’s oil revenues.

The annual rental cost to the Ghanaian taxpayer is GHC10 million, which translates into US$2.6 million, at the exchange rate being used for the tenancy agreement.

There is suspicion in Parliament that, apart from the rent not representing value for money, the deal is allegedly stuffed with juicy kickbacks. There is a 10% contingency fee of GHC2.3 million.

Apart from that, GHC7.8 million is earmarked for IT infrastructure and the partitioning of the office space. GNPC will also spend GHC1.6 million on furniture and curtains.

GNPC will be allocated parking space for 200 vehicles, which it considers to be “inadequate.” But it comes at a huge cost of GHC5 per parking slot per day.

Beyond paying $2.6 million for renting the 8,700 square metre floor space, GNPC will have to pay an additional $5 per square metre a month for common area maintenance.

GNPC will have to split its staff between the two buildings that make up the Emporium, the rotunda tower block (called the Shuttle) and the main block, called the Crescent.

GNPC admits, “The Shuttle has limited functionality” and the building does not even have alternative staircase for emergency evacuation in case of fire outbreak.

Parliament had over the last few years approved funds for the GNPC to renovate its current offices, which it owns outright, the Petroleum House in Tema. Parliament also approved funds for the corporation to build its own new headquarters in Accra, next to the Tullow Building, off the Tetteh Quarshie interchange.

However, the GNPC board, chaired by Felix Addo, has decided to cancel the new development option. Our sources say the push to spend $20 million over the next 6 years to rent the Emporium is led by the chief executive officer, Alex Mould.

Mr Mould’s leadership of the GNPC has been under severe scrutiny for what many believe has been characterized by “strange and reckless” use of petrodollar that could be used for more productive purposes for a country where the masses are struggling to make ends meet.
 
 
Source: Daily Statesman
 
 

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