Policy Analyst Dr. Steve Manteaw has reiterated that the ExxonMobil Agreement signed between the government of Ghana and Exxon Mobil is not the best deal as claimed by Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko.
Base on his assessment of the contract agreement yet to be approved by the country’s legislative body, he is also urging members of the august house of parliament to carefully scrutinize the agreement before finally endorsing it.
It could be recalled that following the signing of the Agreement on the 18th of January, 2018 in Accra, the minister of energy Boakye Agyarko came out publicly to announce that the ExxonMobil Agreement is the best deal ever to happen to Ghana since the commencement of oil and gas exploration in Ghana.
Per the agreement the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) taking 15% of total proceeds accrued whiles ExxonMobil takes 80% of the proceeds with the remaining 5% going to a yet-to-be-named indigenous company.
But speaking at a workshop organized by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) in partnership with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) at Akosombo in the Eastern Region, Dr. Manteaw who is also the Co-Chair of the Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative described the government deal with ExxonMobil as very worrying and stress the need for it to be relooked at again since most of the clauses captured in the Agreement offends Ghana’s exploration and production laws.
The newly elected Public Interest Account Committee (PIAC) Chairman who was assessing the strength and weakness of the Exxon Mobil Agreement revealed further that juxtaposing the Agreement with previous agreements signed with other international oil companies, the ExxonMobil is not the best.
He mentioned some component or aspect of the agreement which were poorly negotiated and cited Capital Allowance, Royalty, Surface Rentals, Export and Import Duty as ones that makes the whole deal the worst agreement so far.
After a careful observation of the previous contract agreements signed by the Ghanaian government it would be noted that while the likes of Jubilee Partners, TEN, ENI and Springfield are made to have a five (5) years straight deductions on capital allowance, ExxonMobil in the agreement is given ten (10) years of straight line deduction of capital allowance.
This development according to Dr. Manteaw appears to over ride the provision of Section 67 (6) of the Petroleum Income Tax Law and its rationale. He reiterated that an agreement that has most of its tax liabilities waived on all imports and exports can never be a good deal for Ghana.
“On the basis of the foregoing analysis one can conveniently, and without hesitation conclude that the Energy Minister’s suggestion that the ExxonMobil Agreement is Ghana’s best is highly contestable – the fiscals speak for themselves,” he stated.
By: Nana Appiah Acquaye/ therepublicnewsonline.com