NRGI Urges Journalists to Scrutinize GNPC and Its Operations

Magnificent building of GNPC

Accra, Ghana, November 8, 2019//-The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has urged to journalists to scrutinize the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), a state-owned oil firm, and its operations in the country.

This will enable them to dig deeper into its operations than settling for the easy and low hanging fruits. This follows the recent unhealthy happenings at the company which call for further investigations of GNPC’s operations, with respect to investments and expenditure, and corporate governance.

NRGI while engaging editors and senior journalists at a workshop in Accra, emphasised on the need for the media to dive deeply into these issues properly.

The workshop under the theme: “Strengthening media capacity to play an effective oversight role in promoting good governance of State-Owned Enterprises and State Participation in the extractive sector”, is running for three days  on resource governance.

Nafi Chinery, head of NRG Ghana in her opening remarks stated that the workshop was so timely and appropriate that the GNPC had come under public scrutiny due to leaked memo that has shocked the entire nation with the huge funds involved.

Therefore, it has become necessary for the NRGI, a non-profitable organization with invested interest in the extractive industry, to build capacity of Ghanaian journalists to better understand what the oil and gas industry encompasses, she said.

Generally, SOEs and National Oil Companies (NOCs) played important roles in the country’s natural resource sector, hence the need for the media to play its watchdog role to ensure that they serve the purpose as catalyse of economic growth and development, GNPC is no exemption, Madam Chinery said.

“As part of its ambiguous business strategy, Ghana’s national oil company, GNPC aims at being a stand-alone operator by 2019 and a world-class operator by 2027.

However GNPC has in recent times experienced political interference cited for limited public disclosure despite its reporting obligations, and corporation’s operations and corporate governance issues as they ad fact transparency and activities of GNPC.

Since under scurtized company may lead poor performance or a vessel of corruption,  the media capacity to investigate issues of SOEs and NOCs must be strengthened for the good of the public, she stressed.

The NRGI not leaving the investigation to the media alone, would self initiates research into the sector and contextualize these findings based on Ghana’s experience.

“We will also hear from the editors’ perspectives on what issues are mostly relevant and their expectations for the training of their journalists, she added.

Emmanuel Kuyole, the Executive Director of Centre for Extractives and Development Africa (CEDA), and Gideon Ofosu-Peasah, economist and consultant, took the editors through an SOE framework and governance,  NOC database, data source among others.

By Akutu Cede Adimer, African Eye Report



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