“In Ghana, government has a vibrant media, strong Civil Society Organizations, and is also a signatory to the Extractive Industries, Transparency Initiative (EITI) that will ensure that money accrued from the industry would be properly accounted”, the President stated in a discussion during the plenary of the G8 summit on Open for Growth in Lancaster House, London.
President Mahama said government has also set up an accountability measure that ensures that the Ministry of Finance every year comes out with a report to Parliament explaining how much has been generated from the sector and how it was utilized.
Ghana, Guinea, Tanzania and Senegal were the four countries that were invited by Prime Minister David Cameron to attend this year’s summit on account of the good governance, democracy and adequate measures those countries have implemented to ensure transparency in the extractive industry.
The theme for the Forum was “Trade, Tax and Transparency.”
President Mahama said Ghana’s transparency is evidenced by the fact that all financial reports are published for public consumption, and budgets are presented to explain their achievements and failures, and promised to leverage the rate of transparency that serve as an impetus and springboard for government to perform better in subsequent years.
On tax holidays for new multi-national companies in the country, President Mahama said the previous practice, where companies are given tax holidays was injurious to the state coffers as they kept changing hands every five years to evade tax.
He said government will soon come out with a workable strategy that would plug all the financial leakages that came from the ‘tricks’ of these foreign companies and seek lasting solutions that would bring financial dividends.
President Mahama called for the deregulation of investments in energy agriculture and roads that would help speed up the infrastructural development of the country.
He said Ghana deregulated investments in the telecommunication industry, which he said has yielded adequate benefits in the spread of technology and gave the assurance that liberalization in other sectors could yield similar benefits in various African countries.
President Mahama said it was necessary for other African leaders to open up their economies to intra-African trade that would harness the comparative advantage of various countries and promote the movement of goods and services in the continent.
Mr Kofi Annan, a former Secretary General of the United Nations, called on Britain and other developed countries to back their promises to support developing countries to enhance the development process.
Get the latest news and updates on Ghana’s oil and gas value chain by following us Reporting Oil and Gas on twitter @oilgasghana and like our facebook page and get at us on Google+. Subscribe to our group to get updates.