Two years after the Government of Ghana’s plans to have the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to entirely takeover the management and operations of the Ghana Gas Company Limited (Ghana Gas), the process still lingers on.

Though the GNPC insist that the Corporation has signed an agreement with government on the takeover long ago, there are still administrative and legal issues that needed to be addressed before the takeover materialize.

Perhaps the closest attempt by government to bring this plan to fruition was the dissolution of the old board and the appointment of a new board of directors.

Checks by Orient Energy Review on the ongoing process indicates that the new board is yet to pass a resolution that would address the necessary legal and administrative changes at the Registrar General’s Department to enable the process to be completed.

Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, former Board Chairman Ghana Gas
Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, former Board Chairman Ghana Gas

The decision to cede the management and operations of Ghana Gas to the GNPC attracted a lot of controversy with the old board of Ghana Gas, led by Dr Kwesi Botchwey challenging that decision.

“While the board has become aware of government intention, through its announcement in the Budget and Financial Estimates of 2015, to transfer its ownership of Ghana Gas to the GNPC, as a limited liability company, the board of Ghana Gas has as of today not passed any resolution nor has the board filed the necessary papers to effect the change in ownership.

Statements that the takeover has been concluded are therefore surprising and premature. The board and management of Ghana Gas have not held any meeting with the Transaction Advisor (who a statement from the Minister of Finance said has been appointed), neither has the Transactional Advisor requested the company to provide it with any information. It cannot therefore be said that the process has been undertaken and concluded.

We are yet to receive any written indications from either the Minister of Finance or the Minister of Energy on the takeover decision and the way forward as the company prepares to meet the Transactional Advisor,” a press release signed by Dr Kwesi Botchwey lamented.

But the GNPC has argued that the takeover makes sense because Ghana Gas was originally part of the GNPC.

The Kwesi Botchwey led Ghana Gas Board

At a meeting on January 13, 2016, the Dr Kwesi Botchwey led board by resolution, announced the retirement of the non executive directors of the Ghana Gas Company from its role as the policy making and policy direction arm of the Company effective February 4, 2016.

The non executive directors are Dr Kwesi Botcway, Dr Valerie Esther Sawyerr, Mr. Eric Nathaniel Yankah and Mr. Patrick Tawiah.

Many believed that the decision of the board was tied to their strong opposition of the intended takeover of the Ghana Gas by the GNPC.

The Dr Kwesi Botchway led board, which assumed office on July 2011, is accredited for successfully establishing the administrative and operational structures of the company from scratch, and superintending on the recruitment of key staff.

The old board following the review of the Gas Task Force Report and the options for the development of gas infrastructure, decisively choose a configuration of having an onshore gas processing facility to process raw natural gas and produce various products including liquefied petroleum gas and other natural gas liquids for domestic and industrial use.

The board implemented the Western Gas Infrastructure Project and successfully brought the Gas Processing Plant, associated pipelines and auxiliary equipments into operations.

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