Kevin Taylor fingers Akufo-Addo, top govt officials in Aker Energy scandal
President Akufo-Addo and some ministers of state are neck-deep in the alleged Aker Energy corruption scandal, according to US-based journalist, Kevin Ekow Baidoo Taylor.
In a video monitored online by GhanaWeb, the journalist alleged that some bribes were paid to the president and his ministers to make sure that there has been some amendment to the Petroleum, Exploration and Production Act, 2016 (Act 919).
“Between September and October 2019, Aker Energy held series of meetings with accomplices at the Jubilee House and a decision was taken that the Republic of Ghana should amend Act 919, as well as, Aker Energy Petroleum agreement to accommodate Aker Energy’s request not to release the adjoining oil fields…,” he stated.
The accomplice in the whole Aker Energy Scandal includes President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (Accomplice #1), Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the nephew of the president.
According to Kevin, the Majority in parliament used their numbers in parliament to approve the said amendment in December 2019, amidst suggestions by the Minority that they needed time to read through the amendment.
He noted that the implication of the amendment denies potential investors an opportunity to get oil blocs for exploration. It's also set a bad precedent for companies with oil blocs to follow.
Kevin Taylor indicated Aker Energy added a clause to the amendment which will make Ghana lose about $10 million.
He said that in the amendment to the petroleum agreement among the government of the Republic of Ghana, Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) and Aker Energy Ghana Limited which was signed on February 8, 2006, Aker Energy was given about $5 billion tax cut.
Quoting some relevant portions of the agreement Kevin Taylor stated allegedly from, Article 12 (2)(g), “Contractor, its subcontractors and Aker Ghana Companies shall not be subject to any payment of VAT, NHIL, GETFund Levy or similar imposts on works, service plant, equipment or materials supplied in Ghana to be used solely and exclusively in the conduct of Petroleum Operations, unless specifically provided for under this Article 12".
He added that article 12(3) stipulates that all subcontractors working for Aker Energy shall pay only 5% withholding tax and shall have no further tax obligations on their income in Ghana.
“Article 12(5): the contractor and its subcontractors shall not be subject to any payment of any import duties, import VAT, NHIL, GET Fund Levy, AU Levy, ECOWAS Levy, EXIM Levy, Special Import Levy or any other taxes, duties or levies on the import into Ghana of all plant, equipment or materials to be used solely and exclusively in the conduct of petroleum operations.”
Kevin Taylor is of the view that the handlers of the economy should have negotiated for better terms with all these oil companies.
He said under Article 20 (purchasing and procurement) of the amendment “The selection of suppliers and award of contracts by contractor with an approved work program and budget shall not be subject to approval by the Joint Management Committee (JMC) or governmental authorities.”
Kevin Taylor believes that Aker Energy was able to include all these clauses in the amendment(s) because a former employee at the Vice President's Office has been promoted to be the Country Director of Aker Energy. This is because Ken Ofori-Atta and Gabby Asare-Darko lobbied for Kadijah Amoah, the said former employee to become the Country Director so that she can protect their interests in Aker Energy because it is their ‘family company’.
He explained that the owner of Quad Energy Ghana Limited is David Adomako. A Director of Quad Energy, Joseph Babatunde Ampah, is nephew to both David Adomako and Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, therefore there is no doubt that Akufo-Addo, apparently the one Taylor often referred to as Accomplice Number One and his cronies are involved in a fraud on the Republic of Ghana.
The simple question is "Why", Kevin Taylor asked several times.