The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has clarified the application of the Companies Act 2019 (Act 992) in addressing the non-payment of revenues from the Jubilee Oil Holdings Limited (JOHL) liftings into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF).
According to the Corporation, the notion that funds from JOHL should be directed into the PHF stems from the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC)’s stance that “proceeds from liftings of JOHL and any other subsidiary of GNPC constitute petroleum revenue and therefore must be paid into the PHF”.
However, citing the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2015 (Act 815, as amended by Act 893), the GNPC argued that not all petroleum revenue generated in the country qualifies to be paid into the PHF.
“GNPC purchased JOHL from Anardarko Limited with a loan facility, which GNPC has fully repaid back to its creditor. JOHL is therefore a wholly owned subsidiary of GNPC and a separate legal entity distinct from GNPC. Section 29 of the GNPC Act (PNDCL 64) stipulates that subsidiaries of GNPC must be established under the Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179), which is now the Companies Act 2019 (Act 992). JOHL’s governance and operational structure complies with Act 992.”
“The revenues of a subsidiary of a company established under Act 992 are neither due its shareholder i.e. the parent company, nor the shareholder of the parent company. The parent company is due dividends from the subsidiary, when appropriate.”
That said, the Corporation indicated that the PHF is entitled to taxes and royalties from JOHL; however, JOHL’s revenues are not automatically considered as revenues due to the State simply because GNPC is fully owned by the State.
This clarification comes in response to media reports suggesting that an amount totaling US$343 million, meant for the PHF, had not been paid by GNPC.
In their statement, the Corporation emphasized that it has neither misappropriated nor attempted to misappropriate US$343 million intended for the PHF, as portrayed in media reports, and they denounced these reports as false and misleading.
It added, “The proceeds from the sale of JOHL’s crude oil cargoes are paid into JOHL accounts, and as a sign of transparency, GNPC continues to provide information on the utilisation of these monies by JOHL to PIAC upon request.”
Additionally, it said, liftings of the JOHL are subjected to audit each year and then submitted to Parliament.