The Minority in Parliament have hinted they may compel Energy Minister, Dr. Joe Oteng-Adjei to restore a petroleum agreement he reportedly abrogated.

The house ratified the agreement between the Government of Ghana on one hand and AKER ASA or Norway and their local partners, Chemu Power Company Limited for the exploration of crude oil in the South Deep Water Tano Contract Area in the Western Region in November 2008.

The issue of the purported abrogation of the deal recently sparked an exchange of words between K.T. Hammond and the Minister on the floor of Parliament.

The MPs insist the Minister will have to return to the house because he has more questions to answer.

Joy News Correspondent, Benjamin Tetteh reported that Dr Oteng-Adjei after reportedly abrogating the contract, instructed the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), to pay off AKER ASA, whatever money they have so far spent on oil exploration in Ghana.

The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Dr Osei Akoto, said the Energy Minister erred.

He said if Dr Oteng-Adjei discovered any problems with the contract, what he needed to do was draw the attention of the Attorney-General who would come to Parliament and advise the House to review its decision.

In his opinion, Dr Oteng-Adjei had no authority to abrogate a contract ratified by Parliament. The minister’s action therefore, “is unconstitutional. He may force the MPs to take very extreme measures.”

The Majority Leader, Mr Cletus Avoka agreed.

“Procedurally, if Parliament takes a decision on a matter, particularly ratifying an agreement, and later on there are lapses in that agreement, the minister cannot arbitrarily arrogate to himself the authority to abrogate the agreement.”

“The minister will have to come to Parliament, draw our attention to the challenges that he is encountering and then Parliament can revisit the agreement, make the necessary changes and then ratify it for the minister to work with,” Mr Avoka explained.

Source: Joy News/Ghana

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