The Member of Parliament for the Adansi Asokwa Constituency, Kwabena Tahir Hammond wants government to take back blocks from companies who have so far not been able to undertake any major development on the blocks.
KT Hammond who is a Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, has urged the Minister of Energy to abrogate the contracts of some of these companies because they have shown over the past six to eight years they have no technical and financial wherewithal.
“The contract is quite clear. You have six years to do abcd, and since you haven’t done that we take our block back,” he stated.
He said this on Newsnight on Joy FM on Monday in an interview with Evans Mensah.
According to him, the country at this moment needs companies with money and the technical know-how to find oil within the shortest possible time and not companies who will sit on the oil blocks for all these while we gain nothing as a nation.
He claims that he has the backing of the Chief Executive of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Fable to take back the blocks from some of these ‘sleeping’ companies which could have been relinquished to those with the capacity.
“I have spoken to the Chief Executive of Petroleum Commission, Egbert a few days ago and he was on top of the subject and in the fullness of time, we are going to take the blocks away from these guys,” he said.
He alleges that some of the companies were taking advantage of the country by speculating which he says, should be of great economic concern to the country.
According to Mr Hammond, he was misled as the then Ranking Member on the Energy Committee into thinking that they had the financial wherewithal and the technical knowhow to accomplish the task, only to find out many years later that they weren’t what they said they were.
“I bare a major responsibility because, as I said as the Ranking Member who in almost all the cases, stood up in Parliament and said I agree. I supported them on the bases of their strength and technical knowhow. With the document that was produced in Parliament, you can’t but to be convinced that these guys can do it. But eight years down the lane, nothing, showed up,” he observed.
However, the Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Ben Boakye, backed calls for non-performing oil blocks to be relinquished and proffer sanctions where necessary.
He said this is as a result of the fact that Parliament always in rash to approve these contracts without due diligence.