Ghana needs a comprehensive policy for the development of the necessary legal, institutional, and delegation frameworks for effective management of the emerging oil and gas industry before production begins this year.
This was contained in a communiqué issued and signed by Nana Yaw Asare, Organising Officer of the Parliamentary Press Corps, at the end of a two day workshop on Oil and Gas and Transparency in the extractive industry organized for civil society organizations and the media at Dodowa and Koforidua in November 2009 and April 2010 respectively.
It also called for the need to open up the process and present the various frameworks for broad national consultations devoid of political partisanship and involving all stakeholders including civil society, private communities and Parliament.
It called on civil society to build a united front to demand accountability from the state institute.
The communiqué noted that civil society should build capacity for effective engagement with the state agencies such as Parliament and the oil companies for the effective management of the industry.
Civil society should engage the local communities to share information and manage expectations, it noted.
The media should actively take up its watchdog role to ensure accountability and transparency of state institutions, oil companies and civil society in the governance of the oil industry.
The media, according to the communiqué, should be encouraged to form an oil and gas media corps to give special attention to the oil and gas industry.
It stressed that money from the extractive industry must translate into more schools, improved infrastructure, improved health care, more employment, less conflicts and reduced poverty rates.
Revenue sharing at the community level requires critical examination to ensure equity, especially with the recent oil discoveries, it added.