Information reaching The Chronicle newspaper indicates that President John Dramani Mahama has neither accepted nor rejected the resignation for Prof. Kwesi Botchwey as Board Chairman of the Ghana Gas Company.
The Chronicle can report on authority that the President has asked Professor Kwasi Botchwey to stay on until a further directive from him.
Mr. Mahama intends to change the membership of most of the boards, which would include the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Ghana Gas Company.
It is, however, not clear if the internet savvy President, who is also a journalist, would re-assign the Agona Asafo-born economist to another board.
A series of resignations have hit the Presidency in recent times, with the latest being that of Ben Dotse Malor, immediate past Head of Communication at the Flagstaff House, and Dr. Raymond Atuguba, former Secretary to the President.
The Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, who was also rumoured to have been sacked by the President, however, issued a statement on Wednesday night to clarify the situation. According to him, Malor had completed his one-year contract, while Dr. Atuguba has gone back to the lecture room at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Prosper Bani’s statement was, however, silent on the resignation of Professor Botchwey.
The Economist, Statistician and Lawyer went ‘haywire’ last year, following reports that Ghana Gas has become subservient to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
The Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, while presenting the 2015 Budget Statement to Parliament, announced the decision of the government to bring Ghana Gas under the control of the GNPC.
“The consolidation of GNPC and GNGC will make it possible to enhance a more integrated management, and continue financing of projects in the oil and gas enclave immediately. It will make it possible to ease the conditions that investor’s impose for the national gas aggregator, and start financing projects in the oil and gas enclave immediately,” Terkper told Parliament.
Following this announcement, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, on December 11, 2014, issued a statement to inform the public that GNPC had completed the takeover of Ghana Gas.
The statement, which was signed by Edward Bawa, Head of Communications at the Ministry, read,: “In its 2015 Budget and Financial Policy Statement, Government of Ghana (GoG) announced its policy commitment to consolidate the petroleum sector to reduce cost and transaction time, and to improve value, efficiency, and sustainability of outcomes for the Ghanaian public. Specifically, GoG announced the impending takeover of Ghana National Gas Company Limited (GNGC) by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
Pursuant to this Policy GoG on 3rd December, 2014 appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Ghana Limited as Transaction Advisor with respect to the GNGC takeover and has since commenced its work in earnest. PwC will also assist with the successful integration of GNGC into GNPC post-acquisition GoG has executed the legal instrument assigning its entire shareholding in GNGC to GNPC. GNPC is thus now the sole shareholder of GNGC and now has full control over GNGC.”
Professor Botchwey, who was mad at the purported takeover, issued a statement categorically denying claims by the Energy Ministry that the takeover of the company by GNPC had been concluded.
According to him, “There has never been a meeting between the Gas Company and the Ministry of Energy to concluded the deal.”
He then threatened to resign if the method for the takeover of the Ghana Gas was not rescinded.