The Issues With Vivo Energy Ghana
a matter for government and the regulator

Vivo Energy
Vivo Energy

1. In 2011, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the regulator of fuel
retailing in Ghana, in accordance with section 14 of the National Petroleum Authority Act issued a requirement through public notice “NPA.N.002” that all retailers (or oil marketing companies) in Ghana, both existing and prospective, should have 50% indigenous Ghanaian ownership.

2. On 21st May 2013, in a letter signed by the then chief executive Mr Alex
Mould, the NPA approved the take-over of Shell Petroleum Ghana (a fuel retailer) by Vivo Energy Ghana subject to the following condition:
“Shell Ghana shall within 60 days of the issue of this approval, ensure that
8% additional shares to be allocated to Ghanaian entities are made available
for bids to be taken by pre-qualified Ghanaian firms to acquire the shares.”
The allocation of the 8% shares to Ghanaians would have brought the total Ghanaian ownership in Vivo Ghana to 25% only.

3. It is evident that, by this letter, the NPA unlawfully and discriminatorily relaxed the
requirements for Shell Ghana (now Vivo Energy).

4. And yet, Vivo Energy still failed to comply with the relaxed requirement within the
60 days. But strangely, the NPA went ahead and, as we now know, renewed the license for Vivo Energy six months later. This renewal was also unlawful.

5. On 3rd November 2014, the NPA in a letter signed by the present Chief Executive,
Mr Moses Asaga, refused to grant the application for a renewal of Vivo Energy’s fuel retail license.

6. However, it would appear that once again, the NPA has changed its mind (I hope I
am wrong) and has now agreed unlawfully to renew the fuel retail license for Vivo

Parliament House, Accra, Ghana. +233 244 838 735 or +233 204 838 735 [email protected]

Energy, though the company has failed to comply with even the relaxed requirement for indigenous Ghanaian participation.

7. The purpose of the parliamentary urgent question I have filed is to get the Minister
for Petroleum to respond to the discriminatory and unlawful conduct of both the NPA and Vivo Energy.

8. To be fair to Vivo Energy, their motive for coming to Ghana is to make business
profit. If the government or the regulator allows them illegal space, they would operate in it and maximise their profit; and that is what they are doing.

9. Court Action: The matter I have filed in court, to which Vivo Energy makes
references, is not against Vivo Energy per say. It is a broader case to get government and the National Petroleum Authority to enforce the requirement of 50% indigenous Ghanaian ownership in petroleum retailing on all fuel retailers in Ghana, not just Vivo Energy.
With the change in the leadership of the NPA in early 2014, I have sought to work (out of court) with the NPA to find ways of enforcing the 50% requirement on all fuel retailers in order to advance and protect the participation of indigenous Ghanaians in fuel retailing.
We the plaintiffs have now come to the conclusion that the NPA is unwilling, perhaps for illegitimate reasons, to enforce its own requirements on some fuel retailers in Ghana. Accordingly, in January 2015, we will go back to court and seek judicial pronouncement on this matter.

Kwaku Kwarteng
(MP, Obuasi West Constituency)

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