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PIAC questions GNPC’s use of over $15m budget on maritime boundary activites

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The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has raised concerns over the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s (GNPC) continued expenditure on the maritime boundary dispute and its related activities, even though the Ghana Boundary Commission is mandated to deal with the issue.

GNPC spent $1.13 million in 2023 on the Maritime Boundary Special Project while it also spent a total of $14 million on Maritime Boundary-related activities

In its 2017 annual report, PIAC highlighted that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) spent $3.8 million towards the secretariat activities of the Ghana-La Cote d’Ivoire Maritime Boundary Dispute.

PIAC demanded a refund of this amount, emphasising that the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) dispute was a matter between two sovereign states and not between a sovereign state and a National Oil Company (NOC).

PIAC argued that it was inappropriate to utilise GNPC’s resources to cover the litigation costs.

Despite PIAC’s demand, the 2023 annual report revealed that the US$3.8 million expenditure incurred by GNPC in 2017 had not been refunded. GNPC justified its spending, stating that it manages oil on behalf of the state, and therefore, the expenditure on the dispute did not adversely impact the corporation.

Further scrutiny by PIAC in its 2023 annual report revealed that GNPC spent US$1.13 million on the Maritime Boundary Special Project (MBSP), bringing the total expenditure on maritime boundary-related activities to $14 million.

PIAC observed that despite the Ghana Boundary Commission’s mandate to handle such matters and manage its own budget, GNPC continued to allocate funds to the Maritime Boundary Dispute and its related activities.

PIAC acknowledged GNPC’s argument that these payments were part of its annual work programme approved by Parliament but disagreed with GNPC’s stance.

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