Think tank Imani Africa has rendered an apology to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr K. K. Sarpong, for “injurious statements” they made against him.
The policy think tank accused Dr Sarpong of engaging in a conflict of interest situation in a $4.4 billion petroleum agreement between the government of Ghana and Aker Energy Ghana Limited.
At a press conference in Accra on Thursday, 25 April 2019, the Vice-President of Imani Africa, Mr Kofi Bentil, alleged that Dr Sarpong “and his family own Fueltrade,” one of the local partners of the Deepwater Tano/ Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) Petroleum Agreement, with a two per cent stake.
Dr Sarpong, however, denied the claim and asked Imani to apologise and retract the falsehood.
He said: “I wish to state emphatically that neither I nor my family own Fueltrade as claimed by IMANI Ghana.”
“Consequently, I, Dr K.K. Sarpong, Chief Executive of GNPC cannot be accused of conflict of interest in dealing with Aker Energy as stated by IMANI Ghana. Indeed, Fuel Trade's 2% stake in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points Block was acquired in 2014 long before my appointment in 2017 as Chief Executive of GNPC.
“No doubt, I have incurred immense economic, political and social cost by IMANI Ghana's unjustifiable claim. This, I find unacceptable and hereby demand a retraction of the said claim and an unreserved apology from IMANI Ghana and its Deputy Director, Mr Kofi Bentil within two weeks. The retraction should be given as much prominence as the press conference."
Accordingly, Imani, in a statement titled ‘Retraction and Apology to Dr K.K. Sarpong and Fueltrade Limited,’ and signed by Mr Bentil, said they retract the statements made against Dr Sarpong and Fueltrade at their press conference on the petroleum sector last month.
“Kofi Bentil and IMANI Africa issue this statement and unreservedly retract and apologise to Dr K.K. Sarpong and Fueltrade Limited for injurious statements made at IMANI Africa’s April 25 forum.
“In the said forum, as we laid out issues over a 21-slide presentation aimed at bringing focus to some pertinent issues in Ghana’s young oil industry, one of the slides mentioned Dr K. K. Sarpong and Fueltrade in ways they disapproved of, for which Dr Sarpong and Fueltrade have demanded a retraction and apology.
“We, therefore, apologise unreservedly and retract same.”