... Shocking and legendary legacy of cronyism, money and paper trail
The chickens are coming home to roost and the shape of their eggs isn’t pretty.
It is a story of deals and a modus operandi embedded in cronyism, paper and money trails as well as a series of puzzles that has dogged the shape of how several deals were sealed under Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor’s government. Don’t follow the paper and money trail alone. Just follow his cronies, who are everywhere, involved in deals, which required Presidential backing in the Oil, Aviation and Telecom sectors.
One day, two aficionados of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) walked to President Kufuor with a business plan. They were namely, George Owusu, an average Ghanaian, who lived in the United States of America and Bewuah Edusei, one of President Kufuor’s confidants, who was appointed by the President as Ghana’s Ambassador to Switzerland and later to the USA, a position which was hitherto held by another Kufuor confidant, Alan Kyeremanteng.
Tugged in their business plan was a United States company called Kosmos Energy, a young company established by a group, whose promoters were financial contributors to the Republican Party in the US, with direct links to George Bush’s White House.
For their move, the two confidants of the Ex-President walked away with a whopping 3.5% interest in Jubilee Oil Field valued at $300million. Their company EO Group became a partner to Kosmos Energy, whilst George Owusu, who had very close ties with political heavyweights in government and the oil sector like Kan Dapaah became the Country Representative of Kosmos Energy.
It has turned out from Emerging available documents that the petroleum agreement among Kosmos Energy, GNPC and the Government of Ghana, was the worst petroleum agreement ever signed by the GNPC and government.
By some absurd policy of the NPP government, which has now come to be known as the M-Plaza Declaration, government instructed GNPC, which had built up technical data over 20 years at high cost to the nation, to only play a facilitation role, a situation which experts say has weakened GNPC’s control over the countries oil resource.
After almost 20 years of assembling data, analyzing and promoting the petroleum potential of Ghana at various international fora, GNPC walked away with an infinitesimal 10% interest, whilst the President’s cronies alone walked away with 3.5%.
To make matters worse, the GNPC’s ability to acquire more shares under the agreement was again crippled, when it was pegged at a meager 2.5%, reducing GNPC and government’s capacity to increase its interest. Industry experts say the usual provision in previous contracts was pegged at between 10%-15%.
GNPC, under these terms, thus gained only an additional 2.5% when it exercised its right to acquire additional stakes under the agreement.
What this means is that if government had pushed for the “additional Interest” figure to the standard 10%-15%, GNPC and the people of Ghana would have been richer by 15% more in the Jubilee Field.
When it came to the agreement with Tullow Oil, a British oil company, GNPC realized that the Kosmos deal was so bad that it had to re-negotiate for a higher figure for the “additional carried interest” and succeeded in raising it from a hopeless 2.5% with Kosmos to an average 5%.
The question is how come that anytime a deal passes through Kufuor’s hands, it turns out to raise eyebrows?
AKER AND CHEMU POWER
Aker is a Norwegian oil company, which also has oil concessions in Ghana. The local partner of Aker is a company called Chemu Power. Does Chemu ring a bell? It’s the name of a lake somewhere in the boondocks of Tema. Chemu is owned by a Ghanaian duo but registered offshore somewhere in the Channel Island in the United Kingdom.
Guess who owns Chemu Power? It is owned by Nick Amerteifio and Dr. Charles Mensah.
Do you remember Nick Amartefio? He is another NPP kingpin and super confidant of former President Kufuor. Nick was also a board Member of Bank of Ghana as well as a board member of VALCO, a company in which the Kufuor Administration purchased controlling interest.
The other Shareholder of Chemu is Dr. Charles Mensah, Chief Executive of VALCO. Before his appointment as CEO of VALCO, Dr. Mensah was the Country Manager of Kaiser Aluminum from the USA, the original owners of VALCO.
It was after he led the sale of Kaiser’s interest in VALCO to the Kufuor administration that Kufuor appointed him as CEO of VALCO. Dr. Charles Mensah before then, as Chairman the University of Cape Coast Council was the guy who led the conferment of an honorary Law doctorate on President Kufuor at a time when the University did not have a law faculty.
Interestingly, whilst the Board of VALCO, including Nick Amarteifio gave Dr. Charles Mensah the green light to build power plants to power VALCO, the object of the offshore company, owned by Nick and Charles Mensah, included building power plants.
Dr. Charles Mensah and Nick Amarteifio also own another offshore company called Chemu Capital, with an office and a bank account in Switzerland, a safe haven for …
How come, Kufuor’s confidants are the only beneficiaries in almost all the oil deals? Your guess is as good as mine. This is for the record. Next Week: ExxonMobil - Herbert Osei Badu - Tullow Oil - Sabre Oil etc.: Also, the finale to deals between Charles and Nick. When I get to the telecom Sector Nick Amerteifio will come up again and more cronies.