As the various political parties prepare for the up-coming elections, they hold different policy positions on the oil and gas been explored in the country.
Each political party has various policy options on the oil and gas exploration in Ghana. The main contenders in the up-coming December Elections have clearly spelt out their positions on the making transactions in the oil and gas industry transparent as possible.
The People’s National Convention (PNC) holds the view that, it generally will make public office holders and politically exposed persons (PEPs) declare fully and publish their assets; in particular with this application to directors, ministers and members of the mines and energy committee.
Information and public documents, including those related to contracting processes from the oil and gas sector, shall be made accessible while others, like bidding documents and geologic data, will require a minimal fee to access them. The party further holds that, oil and gas contracts shall be subjected to the Public Procurement Act (PPA). The PNC holds the view that, all contracts in the sector will go through the Public Procurement Act (PPA) process to ensure that the best bids are eventually selected.
The Convention People’s Party has the position to be transparent and accountable in the management of the extractive sector revenue. As part of making the oil and gas sector more transparent, the CPP will ensure the passage to the right to information Bill. It also seeks to increase public education and awareness of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) reports and publication.
The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) supports and encourages transparency and accountability within the operations of the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). The NDC holds the positon that, the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) will continue to be solely responsible for upstream activities, whereas the Ghana Gas Company shall continue to be responsible for the mid-stream activities of the gas processing for supply and distribution to other sectors of the economy. Specifically, the party’s positon hinges on the allocation of oil blocks in a competitive bidding manner to enhance transparency and allocate efficiency. The party also hold the view that, petroleum agreements will be done following parliamentary approval and this will be published on the websites of the Ministry of Petroleum and the SOEs concerned.
In conclusion, transparency and accountability are key principles that must be adhered to in every sector of the Ghanaian economy. The upstream sector which looks young and yet flourishing must be transparent to ensure that, Ghanaians know very well all the deals in the oil and gas sector. Revenue monitoring from the sector must also be enhanced to ensure Ghanaians get what is due them through economic growth and development.
By: David Aduhene Tanoh–www.reportingoilandgas.com