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Account for Oil revenue periodically … Anglican Bishop tells GNPC

Yinka –Sarfo, has called for proper, systematic and transparent accounts of oil revenue by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) at least every three months.

He noted that this  step would  ensure  the  proper  management  of petroleum  revenue  and  make the  commodity more  beneficial  to the people , instead  of waiting  for a whole  year,  before  such  accounts  are made.

Bishop Yinka –Sarfo was reacting to reports by the committee that the  targeted revenue that  was made  by the  Finance  Minister in Parliament  was not  met, due  to lack  of proper  accounting from the  GNPC, which  he said , affected the economy and the  Heritage  Fund which  is to be  preserved for generations unborn.

The report emphasized that some of the money or the revenue goes out secretly, and was not serving the right purpose.

The PIAC was established to monitor  and evaluate compliance  with  the act  by the government  and other  relevant  institutions in the  management  and use  of petroleum revenues, and to provide a platform for public  debate on  spending prospect of petroleum revenues in line  with development  priorities , and also  provide  an independent  assessment  on the management  and  use of revenue, mandated by the law  to publish  a semi-annual  and annual  report  in compliance  with Act815.

But , Bishop Yinka-Sarfo, who  is also  the Chairman of the local  churches  in the Kumasi metropolis, in making the recommendation at the  2nd public meeting  of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC),said  the oil  find  was a spiritual revelation and a gift from God  to the nation, as all the religious bodies prayed and fasted before it was found, and must be properly managed.

He cautioned that if it is not properly accounted for and managed well. It could vanish, and pointed to why its quantity was reportedly reducing of late. The Anglican prelate further urged the government to resource the committee, and all the organizations involved to be up and doing in the management of the oil.

Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, said  the one major  challenge facing  most oil producing countries in Africa  has been  the inability of those  countries  to effectively harness oil and gas  revenues for  the country’s economic  growth , often  resulting in civil unrests, conflicts, poverty and unstable  political  conditions.

He said Ghana, as a new entrant in the  league of oil producing countries, is therefore , placed in a better position to learn  from the experiences and best  practices of other  countries.

The Minister further  noted  that the  discovery  of the oil and gas  in the country in commercial quantities  had brought  to the fore  some challenges, and mentioned  some  as  managing  oil and gas  revenue  judiciously for the overall  benefit  and welfare of  all Ghanaians , including future generations: Protection of the environment  in the  exploitation of the oil  resources  to ensure  sustainability: Strengthen the regulatory agencies  for the  regulation of all activities  related  to upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas industry:Ensuring  maximum participation of Ghanaians  in petroleum activities, and Ensuring security for oil and gas  installations and operations.

Dr. Agyeman-Mensah also said that the enactment of key legislations such as  the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 Act 815 to provide  defined guidelines for managing revenues emanating from the Oil and Gas sector, was vital to the actualization of national goals and aspirations regarding the use of the hydrocarbon resource.

He also indicated that as an oversight body, the committee complements  the work  of other  constitutionally mandated bodies  such as  Parliament, and  provides clearly  defined guidelines for managing revenues from the oil and gas sector.

The Regional Minister  further  indicated that PIAC had  the responsibility  to commit  the bulk of oil  revenues to a shared growth fund  to finance  investments in human  resource development  and other  productive  sectors  such as road , infrastructure, health, education and agriculture among others.

 

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Reporting Oil and Gas project was launched on 4th June 2009atTakoradi, Western Region, Ghana by Penplusbytes (PPB – www.penplusbytes.org) with the vision of providing a one stop online information and knowledge about Ghana’s oil and gas sector
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