Ghana needs a visionary and courageous leader like Ivor Greenstreet, Presidential Candidate of Convention Peoples Party (CPP) to apply the laws on environment to safeguard our society, Mr James Kwabena Bomfeh, CPP’s Director of Elections, has said.
He said a CPP government would ensure sure that the environmental laws are strengthened and the regulatory bodies like Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are empowered to work.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on how his government would manage the oil and gas waste in the county if elected into office, Mr Bomfeh who is also a Campaign Strategist of his Party, said CPP would ensure that statutory bodies are performing their management of all waste, “to ensure that water bodies, lands, and properties are protected from pollution and degradation.
“We believe the state has failed in its duty to make the laws stronger, we will make sure that regulatory bodies are working”, he said.
Mr Bomfeh said the CPP believes Ghana’s natural resource endowment must be to the benefit of all Ghanaians, and not of their destruction.
He said a CPP government would ensure that oil and gas contractual agreements are beneficial to both Ghana and investors alike just as countries like Libya and Angola are doing.
Mr Bomfeh said his Party would also make sure that revenue generated is not wasted but put into proper use, safeguarding the stabilization and heritage funds so that we can bequeath to generations something to live on”.
“Ghana’s natural resources are for now and generations unborn and these resources are non replaceable so we will ensure that we manage them well”, he said.
Mr Bomfeh said the CPP has outlined various plans in its manifesto, which include tackling corruption, by exposing all corrupt practices and punishing wrong doers to serve as a deterrent to others, strengthening institutions like EOCO, Immigration, Ghana Revenue Authority while inculcating into the school curriculum, civic education on the need to avoid corrupt practices among students.
Meanwhile, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in its Policy Paper on oil and gas management, indicates that the Party would promote the highest environmental, social and human rights standards that enhance sustainable development; and develop strategies that would ensure the accrual of the greatest benefits to citizens of Ghana from the management of oil and gas resources while promoting accountability and transparency in resource governance.
In its 2016 manifesto, although the NDC has not stated specific programmes on the management of oil and gas waste, it said it would promote environmental, social and human rights to a standard that underpins sustainable development.
In the Manifesto, the NDC said it would work to ensure that the institutions are competent, professional and accountable, and follow rules that regulate activities in the sector.
The NDC manifesto states that Ghana’s oil and gas sector has been significantly transformed under the NDC Government with relevant laws having been promulgated to promote and regulate activities in the industry. These laws have created a transparent oil and gas production and management regime.
It said aside the enactment of various laws including the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815), the Petroleum Commission Act, 2011 (Act 821) and the Petroleum Local Content and Local Participation Regulations 2013 (L.I.2204); the Party also encourage more investment in exploration and production of oil and gas; and support the private sector to establish petrochemical plants but no specific law on the proper management of oil and gas waste has yet been established.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the other hand, whose 2016 Manifesto focused on reviving Ghana’s economy through the implementation of several social and economic interventions, stated in its manifesto highlights that the Party would make sure that mining communities receive a higher share of mineral royalties, leaving the management of oil and gas waste in limbo.
The NPP manifesto indicates that the Party would commit to a transparent, accountable and efficient management of the country’s petroleum resources for the benefit of all Ghanaians and in pursuant of that, the Party would improve transparency in the management of our oil and gas resources and create an enabling environment through fiscal and non-fiscal measures to attract domestic and foreign investments in oil and gas exploration.
It said in collaboration with the private sector, NPP would accelerate oil exploration in the Voltarian Basin as well as in the Keta and Accra Basins to enhance Ghana’s potential for increasing oil and gas production and to build these areas into industrial growth poles.
It would develop, in collaboration with the private sector, the Western Region into a regional oil services hub with a first class port facility, while positioning it as an efficient centre for back-office support for the oil industry in the West African region, including the relocation of the headquarters of Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) to the region to ensure that energy is produced and used in an environmentally sound manner.
The manifesto reveals that the NPP would work to improve on the quality of fuel produced in Ghana or imported by reviewing the standards for sulphur content in the fuels to ensure that low sulphur fuel is sold to consumers to reduce the risks of poor quality fuels to the environment, health and durability of motor vehicles, and facilitate, in collaboration with the private sector, the establishment of an oil refinery in Sekondi-Takoradi.
“The NPP’s vision for the energy sector is to develop a modern, diversified, efficient, and financially sustainable “Energy Economy” that will ensure that all Ghanaian homes and industries have access to an adequate, reliable, affordable and environmentally-sustainable supply of energy to meet their needs and to support the accelerated growth and development agenda we envisage for the country.
Among some of the waste product that accrue from oil and gas onshore and offshore drilling activities include drill cuttings, oil based mud, contaminated hydrocarbons and water, gas condensate, hazardous materials, oil spill, oily and other hydrocarbons mixed with water recycling.
Although drilling wastes from many onshore wells are managed at the well site, some wastes are either injected underground at the platform or are hauled back to shore for disposal.