NDC bloated cost of gas infrastructure by $600m – K. T. Hammond reveals

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K.T_HammondThe Minority spokesperson on Energy, KT Hammond has alleged that the cost of the  Ghana Gas project was bloated by some $600 million.

He is also alleging that a group of five people on the board of Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) inflated the cost of the gas infrastructure project at Atuabo.

“That project is absolutely bloated and as at yesterday, the document I saw, supplied by Ghana Gas suggest that they have expended as much as $1.3 billion on this project. I am talking about the group of five who are in charge. Five members of the board, there is the Chief Executive who is also a member of the board,” KT Hammond alleged.

The cost of gas infrastructure project has been questioned with some suggesting that there was evidence of massive cost overrun.The project which was awarded to Sinopec International Petroleum Service Corporation was expected to be completed in December 2012 but after about years of delay, Ghana Gas is now commissioning the project in phases.

Speaking on the Point Blank segment on Eyewitness News, the former Deputy Energy Minister stressed that renowned experts in gas infrastructure can attest to the fact that the cost of the project is “absurd.”

“Those experts, engineers, technicians who know about gas infrastructure can swear that the project we have at Atuabo shouldn’t cost this country anything more than GHC 700 million,” he said.

He was however quick to clarify that the blame should not be laid at the door step of the government because “sometimes, it’s not exactly the government; it is the people in charge. It is the people in charge who should then account to the government and to all of us.”

Regarding the takeover of Ghana Gas by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), KT Hammond said the media war between the board chairman of Ghana Gas, and the Energy Minister seems to suggest that “there is a big interest and for that reason people don’t want to let go.”

He claimed that the gas infrastructure project was initially being undertaken by the GNPC but “some people lobbied; they lobbied so hard to take this project away…and they got the NDC phase two [Mills administration] to create this thing for them and so five people or so were put in charge.”

According to KT Hammond, through his dealings with the GNPC, he was privileged to know that the shares in Ghana Gas “were held 100% on behalf of government but one NDC senior member told me that I may be mistaken because he knew otherwise and that the shares were in the names of a few individuals.”

He therefore recommended that during the takeover, “when the transaction advisors go in there, first, they should look at the shareholdership so that they clarify if it is 100% for government.”

KT Hammond stressed that he was not making mere allegations because “when I deal with these matters, I bring my reputation to bare on this so I’m not that flippant about matters as fundamental as this which touches on some individuals and some government officials and the government as a whole.”

 

 

By: Efua Idan Osam

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

[email protected]

A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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