Transparency is expensive but it pays – GNPC
Mr Dennis Baidoo, the Marketing Manager of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), a strategic commercial vehicle marketing the nation’s oil, said transparency, although expensive, had made the Corporation vibrant in its operations.
“The biggest lesson learnt over the years by the GNPC in marketing the nation’s crude oil is that transparency is very expensive but it really pays,’’ he said.
“You have to spend a lot of time and do a lot of work to be transparent, but it really pays. Why? When you are transparent it improves your credibility.”
Mr Baidoo said this in a presentation at a Stakeholders Forum on Crude Oil and Natural Gas Marketing in Accra, organised by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) with support from the GNPC.
It was to develop the capacity of stakeholders and afford them the opportunity to discuss the extent to which crude oil and gas marketing strategy, both locally and internationally, affects realised prices and accrued revenues.
The Forum aided key government agencies to acquire better understanding of the process of crude oil and natural gas marketing by both the GNPC and the international oil companies to boost their regulatory and revenue administration functions.
Speaking on the topic: “Crude Oil and Gas Marketing – GNPC’s Roles and Experiences,” Mr Baidoo said the Corporation needed to collaborate more with its stakeholders to build their operational confidence and reduce the negative press.
He said most often, due to lack of knowledge, some of their stakeholders made unpalatable statements about their activities.
He called for more latitude for national oil companies across the value chain for an efficient paying/disbursement arrangement.
On challenges facing the Corporation, Mr Baidoo said: “In line with the Government’s policy of local content (participation), we wished we would have as many local buyers as possible. But unfortunately, it has always been a challenge. The local buyers don’t have the full capacity to stand alone to buy our barrels.”
“There were instances that they partnered with some foreign partners, and when it came to payment, they couldn’t really maintain the forefront, they have to relegate their positions to the international oil trading company to handle that.”
“So, we feel really very bad about it. We want our local buyers to really get the forefront in line with our local content policy.”
Unfortunately the delays in getting their share of the petroleum revenues were impacting on their credibility because they needed the funds to pay for their equity financing, he said.
“Also we have lifting or operation challenges, the weather is not always our friend. Sometimes the weather is bad that we have to suspend berthing vessels or loading vessels.”
“And occasionally we have some buyers falsifying some documents for the vessel…. A couple of weeks ago, a buyer falsified the vessel documents and it resulted in delaying the loading for three good days,” he said.
He said the world was fast changing, hence, the need to amend the crude oil agreement from time to time.
Dr Steve Manteaw, the Chairman of the PIAC, appealed to the Government to desist from using the nation’s petroleum resources as collateral for loans.