Professor Kwaku Appiah-Adu, Vice Dean at the Central University College, on Tuesday urged government to pump more funds into petroleum regulatory bodies for direct capital expenditure.
He reiterated that seed money ought to be allocated to the newly-established Petroleum Commission (PC), to enhance capacity-building.
Prof Appiah-Adu was speaking on the topic “Fiscal Regime in Oil and Gas development in Ghana,” at the on-going media training on oil and gas in Accra.
The seven-day intensive training programme is being organized by Penplusbytes, an International ICT Journalism, with support from Star Ghana, a non-governmental organization and attended by 10 selected journalists.
Prof Appiah-Adu,,a consultant in the oil and gas sector, emphasized that the PC ought to be supported in a transparent manner to build its capacity in the oil business, to enable it compete nationally and internationally.
Similarly, the watchdog, Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) should be funded to fulfill its monitoring and evaluation mandate effectively, he added.
Prof Appiah-Adu observed that though Ghana had enacted a Petroleum Revenue Management Act (815), effective implementation of the provisions of the Act is critical, if the nation is to reap optimum benefits from it.
The Petroleum Revenue Management Act (815), among others, regulates the collection, allocation and management by government of petroleum revenues derived from upstream petroleum activities.
Prof Appiah-Adu expressed concerned about the absence of long-term development plan to guide the nation to best utilize its oil and gas resources, and emphasized the importance to estimate petroleum income taxes accurately .
If petroleum income taxes and other components of the petroleum revenue are not estimated accurately, this could lead to a distortion in the determination of the benchmark revenue, and thus affect its distribution, he added.
Mr J Ato Kobbie, Senior Media Relation Officer at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, ruled out the wrong perception in the minds of a section of the public that the corporation is a regulatory body, explaining that the Petroleum (exploration and production) Law, 1984, PNDCL 84, gives the GNPC the right of entry to any open acreage to undertake exploration activities.
He said GNPC is poised to become leading global oil and gas company, whose operations has a profound impact on the quality of life of Ghanaians.
Mr Kobbie said the Corporation is working to reach this vision by ensuring that Ghana obtains the greatest possible benefits from the development of its petroleum resources, and to also ensure that petroleum operations are conducted in such a manner as to prevent adverse effects on the environment, resources and the people.
He explained that Ghana’s petroleum sector continued to progress and yield significant results, saying beside the jubilee, there had been 23 new discoveries by foreign oil companies.
Mr Theodore Adimazoya, legal practitioner and consultant in the oil and gas sector, emphasized that legislation on funding for the Petroleum Commission and Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), ought to be included in Act 815 to enable these entities to carry out their respective mandates effectively.
He observed that certain portions of the GNPC Law 1983, PNDCL 64 which established the GNPC to undertake exploration, development, production and disposal of petroleum was very weak.
Mr Adimozoya noted that the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 815, which among others regulates the collection, allocation and management by government, of petroleum revenues derived from upstream petroleum activities, is in the right direction.