Parliament has ordered the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to stop spending resources on non-core activities, including sponsoring the Ghana Black Stars.
GNPC pays $3 million annually to the national team as part of its sponsorship package, however, Parliament on Thursday approved a report by Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) which recommended that the state corporation re-focuses its resources on core duties only.
The Black Stars of Ghana landed a sponsorship deal with GNPC in 2013 for the country’s crude oil resource managers to sponsor the senior national football team $3 million annually for five years.
Chairman of the Finance Committee Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah, who read the Finance Committee’s recommendation on the PIAC report, said PIAC noted that contrary to its core mandate, GNPC also extended financial assistance to Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) as well as Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) -- expenditure that the report found inappropriate.
“The Committee holds the view that GNPC should stick its core mandate. It, therefore, recommends that GNPC should stay away from all activities that do not come under its core function,” Dr. Assibey said on the floor of Parliament.
Parliament has for some time now found GNPC's non-core expenditure troubling.
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy in April this year told GNPC to cancel the Black Stars annual sponsorship since it was not worth it.
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told Kumasi-based radio station Nhyira FM at the time that the Mines and Energy Committee was not ready to approve the amount in their (GNPC) budget slated for the Black Stars.
He said Ghana Football Association (GFA) should make a case at the Presidency if the Association wants the government to sponsor the team.
Joy Sport's George Addo Jnr, has lauded the directive by the Finance Committee of Parliament on grounds that the GNPC has for many years performed poorly in accounting for some its expenditure.
He said there have been very rife suspicions that some officials at the GNPC have siphoned state funds under the pretext of sponsoring the Black Stars.
"The directive is very good. The senior national team has come of age and should be able to make use of the many sponsorship deals it already has. Losing the GNPC deal should not be a problem," he surmises.