President Nana Akufo-Addo has lauded the efforts of former President Jerry John Rawlings for the setup of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), whose work preceded oil find in the country.
“I pay tribute to the former President of the Republic, His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings, under whose far-sighted leadership the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) was established,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo also praised former GNPC CEO, Tsatsu Tsikata, for his role in earlier exploration activities under the then National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
“The corporation under the strong leadership of Tsatsu Tsikata played a pioneering role in gathering, analysing and interpretation data for oil and gas exploration and began to attract other companies for exploration,” he continued.
He did not leave out former President John Agyekum Kufuor, under whom he said “the GNPC was restructured” to ensure a refocus in core activities of exploration and the promotion of the oil and gas sector of the country.
For him, successive presidents and governments that preceded the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) “should not be overlooked, discounted or understated” and applauded his predecessors for the foundation laid in the oil sector that enabled the victory in the recent maritime boundary dispute that has ensured that the country enjoys the full benefits of its resources located on the western coast line.
He said the country expresses gratitude to the men and women who were entrusted with the responsibility of making sure that Ghana’s resources, especially oil fields, were preserved.
The three-year-long maritime dispute between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire was finally settled at the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), Germany.
ITLOS ruled in favour of Ghana in a unanimous decision on Saturday, September 23, 2017. The verdict was that, there had not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Côte d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary.
The Chamber rejected Côte d’Ivoire’s argument that Ghana’s coastal lines were unstable. Accordingly, the two countries have signed the agreements on the implementation of the ruling by the tribunal.
For Mr Akufo-Addo, it took the “commitment and hard work” of many to secure a favourable outcome in the court case.
He made the comments at a ceremony held at the Flagstaff House on Thursday, October 19, to honour all the members of the team, led by Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo.
“To each and every one of them, we say ‘ayekoo’; Ghana is indebted to you,” he stated.
The dispute began during the erstwhile President Mahama-led NDC administration and the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, who was also a partner of Ms Akuffo at the forefront of the legal battle which they eventually managed to secure victory for the country.
Mr Akufo-Addo emphasised in his speech that the victory could not have been achieved “through the actions of one person or one political party, but a collective effort”.