Senior officials from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum said the government is terminating an agreement with a US-based energy firm after an investigation showed that the company possessed no petroleum industry experience or technical certifications.
Dr. Koang Tutlam, Ethiopia’s state minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas said the government in the process of discontinuing their contract with the company.
The US-based company was set to oversee a construction worth $3.6billion
GreenComm Technologies, a Virginia-based firm allegedly run by an Ethiopian-American former car dealership employee-Nebiyu Getachew- was contracted to oversee the building of an oil refinery in the Somali region that is worth $3.6 billion.
The corporation entered the agreement with the Ethiopian government on April 28. The deal is allegedly the result of at least two years of conversations between the company and the Ethiopian government.
The conversations were supposed to include the analysis of the company’s profile by leading members of the ministry and an Ethiopian state-run oil firm, but recent investigations indicate the company made deceptive statements about its capabilities and its connections as part of a detailed fraudulent scheme.
Greencomm technologies not listed on the Virginia state-corporate database
Investigations showed that the company was removed from the Virginia state-corporate database at the time the deal was signed on April 28. The company, despite its previous claims, has never completed an oil-related project anywhere.
When questioned about the agreement, Ethiopia’s minister of Mines Takele Uma said he was not aware of GreenComm’s existence, adding that he had no idea when the deal took place.
Dr. Koang Tutlam, whose office is under minister Takele Uma, said there had been opposition from within the ministry towards the deal with GreenComm technologies before the results of the investigation.
He added that the GreenComm Technologies project was agreed on before the current administration took power. He also claimed that most of the new members at the ministry were skeptical and detected foul play.
According to him, it led most of them to prevent the [government] from continuing the multi-dollar deal which would have wrecked the country's economy.