The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) is urging the government and all reporting agencies responsible for the management of the country’s petroleum revenues to clearly tell Ghanaians how the oil revenue is being used.
The center explained that, three years after drilling oil, these agencies have failed to clearly pinpoint specific projects that had been funded with petroleum revenues for citizens to assess how efficient the government was utilizing its oil resources.
The Executive Director of the ACEP, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on August 21 that the government had, to a large extent, complied with the transparency provision of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) 2011 but had not been open about how the revenues were spent.
“The situation we have today is the issue of transparency without accountability; up till now the Auditor General has not issued a report and that is where accountability is,” he said.
He also explained that “when we got oil, Ghanaians were demanding transparency and accountability in the management of oil revenues. The government, to a large extent, has complied with the transparency provision in the law.”
He also added that the other agencies tasked with reporting on the petroleum revenues such as the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and the Bank of Ghana were also doing well in their reports.
That notwithstanding, he said transparency alone was not enough to meet the expectations of citizens.
“We think that merely publishing reports and providing transparency doesn’t satisfy the aspirations of citizens because transparency is not an end in itself; it is a means to accountability. So if we are not getting accountability, which is the other side of the equation, then the value of transparency is challenged,” he explained.
This gap, he said, necessitated the need for the multi-stakeholder forum on accountability reports on the petroleum management revenues.