Manasseh Azure Awuni
Manasseh Azure Awuni

The Founding Editor-In-Chief of the Fourth Estate, Manasseh Azure Awuni has questioned the value additions of Strategic Mobilization Ghana Limited (SML) to the upstream petroleum and gold production sectors.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Wednesday, December 20, he said “If you ever get to interview any GRA official or any Ministry of Finance official who is defending this answer, just ask the simple question – What value additions is SML bringing to the upstream petroleum sector? What value addition is SML bringing to the gold production sector?”

The GRA in a statement said the consolidated contract gives SML more than $100 million a year noting that “By implication, if there is no value addition, SML is not paid.”

But responding to this, Mr Azure said the claim is false.

According to him, per the contract extended by the Finance Ministry, “SML is not going to be paid based on value addition.”

He stated that SML is not expected to add value to the petroleum upstream and gold sectors, adding that it will be paid as long as production takes place.

“The contract says they are going to be paid $0.75 per barrel of the 160,000 barrels of oil Ghana produced, so as long as there is production and as long as SML claims to be monitoring, they are going to take money,” he stated.

“The 160,000 to 170,000 barrels of fuel that is produced every day, SML if they start this project are going to make $120,000 – that is the $0.75 per barrel. If you go to the gold sector, they are going to make 0.75% of gold production that they will claim to monitor. It has nothing to do with value addition,” he added.

He added that the only time SML will not make money is when Ghana stops the production of oil or gold.