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'Journalists Must Expose Corruption in Oil Sector'

An Accra-based oil and gas Consultant, Prof. Kwaku Appiah-Adu, has charged journalists in Ghana to carry in-depth investigative stories on the oil and gas sector.

According to him, if journalists are involved and showed more interest in uncovering the unreported stories in the sector, the issues of perceived corruption, lack of transparency, and accountability on the part of key players in the oil sector would be minimised. Prof. Appiah-Adu, who is also a Vice Dean of the Central Business School at Central University College, was addressing some selected senior journalists at the ongoing one-week capacity building workshop being organised in Accra by PENPLUSBYTES.

The training seeks to equip the journalists to be able to educate the populace, play their watchdog role, and be able to ask the right questions from duty bearers, as well as ensuring transparency and accountability in the sector. The workshop, which is being sponsored by Star Ghana, is one of the series of capacity building workshops being organised for journalists across the 10 regions of Ghana by Penplusbytes, which is one of the leading non-governmental organisations (NGOs) complementing the government's efforts at ensuring the oil industry in Ghana becomes a blessing, rather than a curse.

Prof Appiah-Adu charged the journalists to be at the forefront of reporting the facts, managing the high expectations of the masses, and help society to understand the benefits and potential dangers that come with the oil resource. The oil and gas Consultant also cautioned that there could be a serious uprising, unrest, and a feeling of neglect by communities, if the revenue ended up in the pockets of a few politicians and other influential persons, leaving the ordinary citizens to wallow in abject poverty and hunger.

Prof Appiah-Adu called for the review of some of the laws and regulations governing the oil sector to reflect the current and future dispensations, and ensure their effective implementation. "Those who are managing our oil resources must be people who are capable, committed, patriotic, knowledgeable, and are prepared to sacrifice their lives to take Ghana to the next level."

Mr. Fred Avornyor, a Media Consultant and one of the key facilitators, commended the Ghanaian media for the diverse roles they are playing in ensuring national development. He, however, pointed out some of the inefficiencies among some journalists in ensuring fairness, accuracy, balance, and most especially, in upholding the ethics of the profession.

source : Ghanaian Chronicle

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