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Opinions Thu, 18 Feb 2016

How NPP MPs could expose corruption in GNPC's agreement with Vitol & ENI

The controversy surrounding the agreement between the Ghana National

Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), and the Ghanaian subsidiaries of the

partially state-owned Italian energy company, ENI S.p.A., and Vitol,

for the Offshore Cape Three Points Integrated Oil and Gas Project, can

easily be brought to an end - if the opposition New Patriotic Party

(NPP) MPs criticising it, do some lateral thinking.

There are a number of steps that they can take, to help them expose

any corruption that might have enabled ENI and Vitol to secure the

agreement with the GNPC, which they and many other well-meaning

Ghanaians believe to be tainted - if indeed such corruption did

actually occur.

To begin with, since there is a Global Organisation of

Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), why don't the NPP MPs use

that forum to invite the head of Italy's National Anti-Corruption

Agency, Rafaele Cantone, to Ghana, to meet with them as soon as

practicable, to discuss that controversial agreement?

And since the Italian state has a 30.303% golden share in Eni S.p.A.,

why don't the NPP MPs also write directly to Italy's President, Sergio

Mattarella, and point out to him, their suspicions that the agreement

was secured through corruption - and provide him with a copy of the

agreement, if possible?

If they also copy the letter to Ezio Mauro, the editor of the

centre-left newspaper, La Republica, and give him a copy of the

ENI-Vitol GNPC agreement, too, he will assign some of his best

investigative reporters to establish the veracity or otherwise, of

allegations that corruption may have secured for ENI and Vitol, an

agreement detrimental to Ghana.

Above all, they must point out to all the people mentioned above, the

fact that Enrico Mattei, who was the chairperson of ENI, who signed

the agreement that made it possible for the Tema oil refinery to be

built, and officially opened in 1963, by President Nkrumah, negotiated

a win-win deal for that project - which utilised ENI's "Mattei

formula."

They can then make the point that in light of that past record of

ethical conduct on the part of Enrico Mattei, patriotic Ghanaians

insist that the present chairperson of ENI, Emma Marcegaglia, and its

CEO, Claudio Descalzi, ought to ensure that a new win-win agreement is

signed, to replace the present agreement between EBI-Vitol and the

GNPC - if it is proven that it was actually secured through

corruption.

If the NPP MPs take all the steps mentioned above, it might possibly

enable them to expose any acts of corruption, which secured for ENI

and Vitol, an agreement that in their view isn't in Ghana's interest -

and demand that the Italian Establishment should therefor force ENI

to renegotiate a win-win agreement that does not disadvantage any of

the Offshore Cape Three Points Integrated Oil and Gas project

partners.

By copying the editor of the La Republica newspaper, they will also

ensure that their demand is taken seriously by the chairperson and CEO

of ENI. And by copying the head of Italy's main anti-corruption

investigative body, they will ensure that any acts of corruption

associated with the agreement, which took place prior to its being

signed, can, and will be investigated, and exposed.

Good luck to them. Naturally, if the NPP MPs win their fight to get a

better agreement for the GNPC, all of Ghana wins too.

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi