Three New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) have filed a motion at the Commercial Division of the Accra High Court seeking an order to restrain the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) from contracting a loan of $700 million from any financial institution within or outside Ghana.
They are also asking the court to issue a mandatory order directing the GNPC to pay any amount withdrawn as part of any loan facility in that regard into an escrow account at the Bank of Ghana pending the determination of the suit.
The MPs are Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, MP for Tafo Pankrono; Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, MP for Manhyia South, both in the Ashanti Region, and Mr Samuel Atta Kyea, MP for Abuakwa South in the Eastern Region.
In their statement of claim, the three said that they had each sworn to uphold the Constitution of Ghana, the rule of law, laws made by Parliament as well as the dignity and effectiveness of Parliament.
The statement said on November 10, 2014 the Statesman reported that the GNPC was set to contract a loan of $1.2 million to be repaid in five years.
The said loan, they said, was to be secured by oil belonging to the people of Ghana.
On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, they said, myjoyonline published a reaction from the GNPC in respect of the alleged speculated loan facility.
The reaction of the GNPC, the three claimed, confirmed that it was securing a $700 million facility at an interest rate calculated per three months at the Intercontinental Exchange London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus an additional 3.9 per cent for a five-year term.
They said the GNPC was to effect the agreement on or about November 20, 2014 and thereafter, make an initial withdrawal of $350 million from the facility on November 25, 2014.
Among other uses, they said, the GNPC had stated that the facility would be used to augment its working capital, including oil and gas trading capital needs, build up capital since the state capitalisation for its operations was supposed to end 15 years from the commencement of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act in 2011.
Purpose of facility
The GNPC, they said, also intended to use the facility to ensure lower gas price for Ghanaian consumers and for cheaper electricity.
It was also to secure a low interest facility at 4.43 per cent for a five-year period, which was better than the 22-per cent interest which the state would pay on the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) Project estimated at $493 million or the 15 per cent which the state would pay on the TEN Field Gas project estimated at $36 million if the investors were to pre-finance the projects.
They also mentioned five other projects that the facility was to be used for .
However, the three MPs contended that the projects had not been approved by Parliament, though it was a statutory requirement under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, ACT 815, and that the GNPC “cannot spend or borrow to spend on projects outside of its approved programme of works”.
GNPC’s action is unlawful
The GNPC’s action, they said, would constitute an illegality and unlawful conduct.
They, therefore, asked the court to declare the decision and action of the GNPC to contract a loan without the prior approval of Parliament as unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.
Source: Daily Graphic
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