A former Minister for Petroleum in the Republic of Ghana, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah has questioned the seeming silence of the country’s Ministry of Energy over Tullow Oil Plc’s plan to lay off about 25 percent of its Ghanaian workforce.
According to him, it still baffles him why the ministry is quiet over the issue.
“I asked myself who is fighting for these workers,” he said.
The Africa focused oil and gas giant, Tullow Oil plans to cut back its employees globally by 35 percent.
In Ghana, where Tullow Oil operates the country’s Jubilee and TEN fields, the firm plans to cut back 25 percent of the employees.
The top management level is expected to see a 35 percent reduction.
Tullow’s plan to lay off some of its staff is based on a restructuring exercise the company is undertaking to realign its business due to some challenges that affected its revenue portfolio.
The company’s value dropped by 30 percent in 2019, hence the need to downsize the workforce in order to remain in business competitively and be able to execute what it has planned to do this year and beyond.
However, the former Minister for Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah is objecting to Tullow’s intended action.
Emmanuel Armah Buah, who is the Member of Parliament for Ellembelle constituency, told energynewsafrica.com that Tullow tried to lay off some Ghanaian workforce during his tenure but said he intervened and as a result they rescinded their decision.
“The last time they tried I stopped them as a minister. My argument was that there is no justification in cutting jobs in Ghana,” he said.
He argued that if there should be any job cuts, it should rather be those who are in the company’s corporate office in London who receive fat salaries and not those who are in the resource countries.
“The cut must not be in the resource location. It must be at the corporate headquarters. They sit in the London office and they receive fat salaries and when there is a problem they resort to cutting jobs,” he stated.
Hon. Amarh Buah accused Tullow of failing to make the needed investments in Ghana.
In December last year, Tullow’s shares fell by 60 percent following announcement by Tullow’s CEO, Mr Paul McDade and Angus McCoss, Exploration Director that they had quit the firm.
More than £1.05bn was wiped off Tullow’s market value, leaving the company reeling valued at £801.7m.
The company is yet to announce a new CEO after the resignation of Mr Paul McDade.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s upstream regulator Petroleum Commission is expected to meet with management of Tullow next week.