11 June 2014

Ghana: Does Ghana Gas Have a Board? Is It Competent?

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This is the unkindest cut of it all. After almost a year of annoying delays in completion date due to multiplicity of factors - shortage of funding, loss of essential components on the high seas, strikes by technical personnel, etc. - we now have a 14-working day court injunction barring all but security from the Atuabo project site.

All because the board of directors mandated by government to oversee the operations of the Ghana Gas Company, it appears more interested in their sitting allowances than security of tenure for the national heirloom. Twenty-one more days of avoidable delay? Yes, three weeks of delay, because any 14-working days is tantamount to 21 days, more or less.

As it is often said, "these are days that try (test) the souls of men". In the midst of unrelenting schedule of load shedding that would most likely make millions of Ghanaians miss many of the Brazil 2014 World Cup matches, including those of the Black Stars, such news could be heart-stopping.

And what do we thank for this? The criminal negligence of people who are only interested in feeding fat on our tax money and not giving anything back. To such people, President John Kennedy's admonition of "asking only what one could do for one's nation" is a load of rubbish.

Securing the site of a project from all encumbrances is the first step, the first duty of even the most incompetent of builders, industrialists and what have you. And yet we have at Ghana Gas Company, an outfit on whose lean shoulders rest the power security of the nation, men and women who appear to have no inkling of what their first responsibility to Mother Ghana is. This is flabbergasting, to say the least! A novice board of directors who cannot see the woods for the forest? Is this what blind politics can reduce a proud nation to?

Of course, such cannot happen in the private sector. For there, competence is the watch word, as it is the fulcrum for profitability, out of which flows the cash that motivates most activities. Awulae Amihere Kpanyili III, Omanhene of the Eastern Nzema Traditional Council, did well in asking the Sekondi High Court to enforce his right to compensation, upon realization that he may be confronted with people who are intent on making him a Simpa Panyin, into whose beard they eat unabashedly.

The Sekondi High Court also deserves commendation for sort of tempering justice with mercy. Though Justice Kofi Akowuah had no doubt in his mind that Awulae Kpanyili III deserved the interlocutory injunction that he had asked for, he gave an interim injunction in the national interest. The Chronicle hopes that the great favour that the Sekondi High Court has done, the Ghana Gas Board is not lost on it.

If we must spell it out for its members, the Court expects them to move expeditiously within the 14-working days to assuage Awulae Kpanyili III's anger to the point that he would happily withdraw his motion for interlocutory injunction on the Ghana Gas project.

Ultimately, The Chronicle calls for the reconstitution of the Board. A clean sweep of it, actually. We do not think the current crop can be relied upon to safeguard the national interest. We do not need to wait until the heavens falls on our neck!

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