Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has revisited debate on Ghana’s oil find, and has singled out Tullow Oil plc and his leadership role for praise in the discovery.
Speaking on “Time with MO” on MNET on Tuesday, former President Kufuor said it took a genius and the kind of leadership he provided for oil to be found after failed attempts by successive governments since the 1890s.
He noted that he personally brought a “smart company” Tullow from Houston in the USA and having done some seismic studies, and by dint of hard work, they struck oil.
But Inusah Fuseini Deputy Minister for Energy strongly disagreed with the position of Mr. Kufuor.
He told host of Joy FM’s Top Story Benard Saibu that the former president was only interested in “engaging in self-glorification”.
He said it was public knowledge that Ghana has oil deposit at it coastlines, noting that it was based on that, that former President Jerry Rawlings set up the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for the purpose of discovering oil in Ghana.
“All the seismic data that was gathered in the exploratory activities of oil prospecting companies shows clearly that Ghana had the potential to produce oil in large quantities.
“And I am just saying that thanks to technology and the high price on world market for oil that led Tullow to invest more into discovering the oil and there was no extra ordinary [discovery].
“There was a build up and if there was a build up, at what point do you claim credit for a genius to discover people who could find the oil.”
Alhaji Fuseini admitted that in the eras of Dr Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. K. A. Busia, both governments discovered oil but were not in commercial quantity.
Mr Frank Agyekum, Spokesperson for former President Kufuor said the impression being created that Mr Kufuor had sought to claim credit as the first president to discover oil in Ghana was misplaced.
He explained that the former president only made reference to the fact that his administration discovered oil in commercial quantity, a fact he said cannot be debated.
“Yes some studies have been done, and with oil exploration everywhere in this world, you do your bit, somebody comes and when they site it, they claim it as their own.”