Touching on the topic, transparency around the use of petroleum revenues and Ghana’s budget strategy for managing petroleum revenues, at a three day news and editorial workshop, organized by Penplusbytes in partnership with NGRI on oil and gas in Koforidua, the NRGI Policy Expert argued that directing money to key areas is not enough, but rather ensuring that, the money is effectively spent.
He continued that, spreading the public finances to support economic stability and Ghana’s broader outlook must be the most important issue to address. Even though he admitted that the media cannot monitor all the spending of government, asking pertinent questions to probe the country’s system and process of spending the money, would go a long way to put government on its toes.
The symposium also discussed “elections, the national extractive agenda, and how to hold political parties accountable”, as well as the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill (PEPB) and reporting projects on oil and gas. On his part, the Co-Chair of the multi-stakeholder Committee of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), Dr. Steve Manteaw, added that transparency becomes important, since it uncovers corrupt practices and reduces the incentive to be corrupt.
He continued that transparency eliminates waste and inefficiencies that thwart genuine efforts to progress, as well as ensure most prudent use of resources. To him, the country has treated its mineral revenues as income for consumption rather than income for investment, a situation that pulled the country into HIPC in 2000.