Senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana, Professor Raymond Akongburo Atuguba has urged the Ghanaian government to hire the services of the very best negotiators to lead the country during negotiations and signing of agreements in the extractive sector.

The failure of the state to hire good negotiators in mining, oil and gas negotiations he emphasized, has prevented the country from getting good deals out of such agreements signed with multinational companies.

Speaking to journalists recently at a workshop organized by the Institute of Financial Journalists (IFEJ) in collaboration with the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ) at Akosombo in the Eastern Region to discuss the Ghana-ExxonMobil Agreement, he disclosed multinational companies go to hire very good negotiators to lead them whenever they were going to negotiate deals with countries and organizations.

His comment comes on the back of the petroleum agreement signed between the Ghana government and United States (US) oil giants, ExxonMobil recently.
Professor Atuguba, who used to be an Executive Secretary to former President, John Dramani Mahama urged the need to strengthen the negotiating skills of the country.
“Ghana does not have negotiators and it is time we take our negotiations seriously as a country. It is time to go into the international market to hire the best to lead us in our negotiations.

Other countries and multinational companies always go to the market to hire the best negotiators when they are going into such negotiations,” he said.

Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko described the deal as the best for the country while some Ghanaians, including Dr. Steve Manteaw, Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) have questioned whether that has indeed been the best deal for the country.

Under the Ghana-ExxonMobil Agreement, ExxonMobil has an 80 percent interest holding; Government of Ghana (GOG), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) referred to as the Ghana Group has 15 percent carried interest and upon oil discovery has an option of taking up to 3 percent paid interest as stipulated in Article 2.5 of Agreement.

It states, “In addition to the Initial Interest provided for in Article 2.4, GNPC shall have the option, in respect of each Development and Production Area, to acquire an Additional Interest of up to three percent (3%) in the Petroleum Operations in such Development and Production Area, by contributing the corresponding proportionate share to all Petroleum Costs incurred after the Date of Commercial Discovery, in respect of such Development and Production Area. With respect to all Development Operations and Production Operations, the Additional Interest shall be a Paying Interest. GNPC shall notify the Contractor of its intention to acquire the Additional Interest within ninety (90) days of the Date of Commercial Discovery.”
A yet to be identified Indigenous Ghanaian Company (IGC) to partner the US oil giants as part of the Local Content provision would be entitled to 5 percent.

In spite of the Energy Minister’s assertion, many Ghanaians have criticized successive governments for their failure to get very good deals out of mining and oil and gas agreements signed with various companies in the country.

Many have therefore called on the government and subsequent ones to ensure the country gets the best from future deals that it would sign with multinational companies in the extractive sector.

The table below show oil contracts signed between Ghana and some oil companies at the country’s oil fields.

Source: Francis Tandoh


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