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Debt burden of SOEs…GNPC most indebted

Adnan Adams Mohammed

A former Chief Executive Officer of a State Owned Enterprise, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, has painstakingly shown keen interest in the SIGA 2020 Report focusing on the liabilities of the SOEs. 

The finance and energy expert, Alex Mould, has, thus, summarised the liabilities of the major SOEs in the country to help in critical scrutiny of the performance of the SOEs. In the summary, it was clear that, most of the SOEs more than doubled their arrears payments or liabilities. 

The heavily indebted were GNPC, Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). These companies have their liabilities exceeding GHC10.0 billion within a period of four years from 2016 to 2020. Consequently, some critics of the performance of GNPC are surprised why the corporation recorded a net loss of GHC1.6 billion in 2020 after recording a net profit of GHC204 million in 2019. Also, its direct cost, which was GHC2.4 billion in 2019 surged to GHC4.3 billion in 2020, a whopping 78% increase. 

“GNPC must explain this financial performance at a time when it also spent GH₵200 million on ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’”, Bright Kwashie Dzokoto, a tax expert and a member of Tx Justice Coalition demanded. “This accountability-free regime must end.

Mr Dzokoto demanded for convincing explanation from GNPC on its performance over the years.

Below are the highlights of the liabilities as prepared by Mr Mould: 

1. ECG

Moved from GHC6.0 billion to GHC15.0 billion in 2016 to 2020. ECG’s liabilities are mainly trade creditors payable to Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

2.  GACL 

Moved from GHC740 million to GHC2.0 billion in 2016 to2020. These arrears are mainly to banks. 

3.  COCOBOD 

Here, the liabilities which are mainly bank loans, moved from GHC295 million to GHC10 billion within same period (2016-2020).

4. GRIDCO

Liabilities mainly owed to VRA/IPPs and PURC, moved from GHC485 million to GHC1.33 billion.

5. Ghana Gas

These liabilities mainly trade payables owed to GNPC, moved from GHC4.8 billion to GHC9.7 billion in 2016 to 2020.

6.  GNPC

Their liabilities were mainly in three folds; moved from GHC3.5 billion to GHC11.4 billion. The folds were: mainly trade creditors which moved from GHC237 million to GHC5.5 billion; loans of  GHC1.3 billion to GHC3.0 billion; and advance payment by GoG to Eni for unpaid gas amounting to GHC2.3 billion.

7. Ghana Water 

The liabilities mainly made up of trade creditors and loans of GHC4.2 billion; jumped from GHC745 million to GHC6.2 billion.

8.  TOR

The arrears of TOR increased from GHC3.7 billion to GHC4.6 billion. These was made of mainly Trade Creditors of GHC3.0 billion and loans plus ESLA amounted to GHC1.6 billion.

9. VRA

The total liabilities moved from GHC7.5 billion to GHC9.7 billion. These were mainly trade payables which grew from GHC4.2 billion to GHC6.8 billion while its borrowings dropped from GHC3.1 billion to GHC1.0 billion.

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