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CSPOG bemoans governance gaps in Ghana’s oil sector

Dr ManteawThe Chairperson of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas (CSPOG), Dr Steve Manteaw says the platform is unhappy with the findings of a governance analysis it conducted on Ghana’s oil and gas sector.
The platform’s research revealed poor sequencing and incomplete governance framework in the sector, lack of integration of the sector into the rest of the economy , weak regulation and poor spending of oil revenues.
Dr Manteaw is on record to have recently faulted successive governments for not putting in place proper governance system to tap the benefits from the country’s oil and gas sector, thus repeating the same pitfalls found in the mining sector.

Thus, he said, government must enacts laws and regulations to effectively manage the country’s oil and gas resources saying “we do not have the full complement of the laws and regulations we need to manage this resource –called Oil and Gas.”
According to him, the finding of the analysis provide clear indications of what “we need to do to return greater dividend from the sector to the good people of Ghana and to tackle some of the key governance challenges that in our view thwart our efforts as a country, to fully harness the socio-economic potential of the oil and gas industry in Ghana.”
Regrettably, our analysis found that almost a decade after the Jubilee discovery we still do not have the full complement of the governance instruments required to efficiently manage the resource.
Outstanding instruments include: Regulations to the E&P Act 2016 (Act 919); Completion of work on digital cadastral system by the Petroleum Commission, Finalisation of metering regulations and placement before Parliament to go through the process of passage, and Completion of work on the Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment for the Voltaian basin.
Though not covered in our report on the sector, we found, in the course of our analysis that, one of several factors impeding the growth and efficiency of our national oil company, the GNPC, has been excessive political interference and control of the entity. Recent example can be found in the manner in which the former government arm-twisted the corporation to provide guarantees for two floating power plants supplied by Karpower to augment national electricity generation capacity. The business case which is today cited in support of the deal was in fact, only an afterthought.
Another example is found in the lending of some US$50 million to the Ministry of Finance; an amount which was expected to be repaid in three months but has not been paid as of today, and which was not backed with appropriate documentation in spite of concerns raised by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI).

By Isaac Aidoo

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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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