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Parliament fails to grant Western region’s request for 10 per cent of oil revenue

Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, First Deputy Speaker, on Wednesday ruled to strike off the amendment to clause 23 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill 2010 which sought to allocate ten per cent of oil revenue to Western region.

He said the amendment emanated from the wrong source thus the ruling also smashed the replication of the same principle to other regions where oil will be discovered in the future.

Quoting article 108 of the 1992 Constitution, Mr Doe Adjaho, said the House could not debate the amendment proposal because it was only the President or a Minister who could introduce an amendment or modification to a bill when it imposes charges on the consolidated fund or other public funds of Ghana.

"It must be introduced by a minister of state or a member on behalf of the President", he said.

He further quoted Parliamentary Standing Order 122 which indicated that: "The House shall not, unless the Bill is introduced by a Minister or a member on behalf of the President, proceed upon any bill including any amendment to a bill that in the opinion of the person presiding makes provision for any of the following;

(i)Impose taxation or the alteration of taxation other wise than by reduction or (ii) the imposition of a charge on the Consolidated fund or other public funds of Ghana or the alteration of any such charge otherwise than by reduction.

However, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s proposal which read: "Outside the allocations of the Petroleum Holding Fund extra budgetary activities based on or statutory earmarking or petroleum revenue for any consideration is prohibited", was carried.

The controversial amendment proposal was jointly sponsored by Mr Darko-Mensah Kwabena – Okyere NPP member for Takoradi, Mr Dominc Nitiwul, NPP member for Bimbilla, Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi, Deputy Minority Chief Whip and NPP member for Tarkwa Nsuaem and the Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, NPP member for Manhyia.

Mr Kwabena-Okyere who during the ruling stood up in vain to catch the eye of the Speaker later told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an exclusive interview that he would seek the true interpretation of the article 122 at the Supreme Court.

"The ruling is wrong, I will be in court tomorrow", he said.

He said there was predetermined agenda on the part of the Speaker to throw off his amendment.

Mr Kwabena-Okyere said government kept doing the wrong things most of the time adding that it was time to rebalance it.

He argued that the Western Region produced about 62 per cent of Ghana’s cocoa but there was no demand for any amount set aside for the development of the region adding that the amendment proposal was not sinister or parochial or dangerous to the progress of the country because it would not be limited to Western region.

Clause 23 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill states: Out side of the national budget allocations, extra budgetary activities and statutory earmarking of the petroleum revenues for any special consideration is prohibited.

Petroleum Revenue Management Bill 2010 is still at its consideration stage as drilling of crude oil at the Jubilee field is on course without the frame work to regulate it.
http://www.ghananewsagency.org/s_economics/r_25804/

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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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