The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has maintained that its sponsorship of socio-cultural, environmental and poverty-alleviating activities across the country are firmly and conveniently within the Corporation’s vision and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda.
The National Oil Company (NOC) says its expenditure on a tree-planting project initiated by the Okyehene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin and projects being undertaken by the Rebecca Foundation among others is worth the investment.
They fall under the three pillars of its CSR arm- Economic Empowerment, Environment and Social Amenities and Education and Training.
General Manager of Sustainability Division at GNPC, Dr Kwame Baah-Nuakoh said “every penny being spent on CSR programmes is worth it.”
According to him, “management and board of GNPC are not dumb. It is within their rights as a board to consider all proposals that come before them, weigh the options in terms of viability and approve what they deem is worth supporting or sponsoring.”
Some reports had indicated erroneously, that money was approved for the 20th anniversary of the paramount chief of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, fueling concerns that the GNPC was expending oil funds on other things but its core mandate.
25million trees project worth sponsoring
Dr Baah-Nuakoh, explained that the GH¢1.5 million for the tree planting project will be disbursed to the Okyehene over a three-year period.
“The tree-planting for Okyehene is a project to plant 25 million trees in three years. This request was received over four months ago and it has gone through a lot of discussions to determine the viability of such a project.
“GNPC believes in environmental sustainability…and we thought that this is a very important project that we support. And the Board in its wisdom felt that if the country, through the Okyehene, can plant 25 million trees in three years then it is a step in the right direction,” Dr Baah-Nuakoh stated.
GNPC, under its CSR drive, has donated $30,000 to the Ghana Boxing Association. The Rebecca Foundation has also received an amount of GH¢120, 000 from the GNPC. The Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) also got a donation of GH¢550, 000.
Dr Kwame Baah-Nuakoh said every request for donation was scrutinised before being approved.
PIAC praises GNPC’s CSR activities
It will be recalled that the NOC in June this year earned glowing commendation from the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) for its CSR activities.
This was contained in the 2018 PIAC annual report which said “expenditure analysis of the GNPC Foundation’s programmes reveals a carefully thought through strategy, aimed at complementing government’s development efforts, and at improving the socio-economic wellbeing of beneficiary communities.”
According to PIAC, while most of the projects were concentrated in the frontline oil and gas communities, the Foundation had continued to make attempts to spread its activities to other parts of the country, “especially in areas likely to be impacted by its onshore exploration activities.”
“This makes the Foundation’s CSI strategy assume a forward-looking character,” the report said.
The GNPC Foundation, its CSR arm has supported several deprived communities and made essential healthcare services available to needy patients. The Foundation has made multiple investments in health to boost the capacity of specialized facilities to reduce the burden imposed on them.