General News of 2014-06-29

Chief of Staff halts $63,000 NPA monthly rent

The Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, has directed the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to dissolve the committee investigating the National Petroleum Authority's (NPA) $63,000 a month office building located at Cantonments in Accra.

Mr. Bani also asked the Energy Ministry to direct the NPA not to renew the rent agreement at the end of the current tenure, adding "the Presidency is reviewing the approval processes that went into the decision to commit state funds to rent an office when the upfront payment involved could have completed a permanent office building for the NPA."

A statement released on Sunday from the Flagstaff House said, "the Chief of Staff has also cautioned other state-owned entities and their boards against decisions and actions that are not in the national interest and at variance with the principles and vision of His Excellency the President."

A technical committee was set up by the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Kofi-Armah Buah, to investigate the alleged monthly payment of $63,000 for office space by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).

The Minister had described the $63,000 a month office space for the Authority as not representing "prudent use of state resources".

The 5-member Committee was tasked with investigating among others the circumstances that led to the renting of the new offices and whether the cost per month was appropriate.??Mr Richard Nii Lante Blankson, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), is the Chairman of the committee, with Alhaji Yahaya Yakubu of the Ministry of Works and Housing and Mrs Anita Kokko, Senior Legal Officer of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MoEP), were members.??Other members were Mr Asare Gyamera, Estate Manager of MoEP, and Mr William Anthony, Assistant Engineer of MoEP, who is the secretary to the committee.