sharing in governance of extractive industries
From R-L, The reps from GNPC, NaNa Aba BoG, Owuso Addo PIAC, Min. of Fin rep, and Dr. Adam ACEP .
Key stakeholders in Ghana’s oil and gas sector say their actions and inaction in the sector has profound consequences on the people of Ghana that they are committed to supporting an accountability and transparency mechanism initiated by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP). They made the stated the above commitment at a Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Accountability Reports per the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 815” when they collectively helped launched the www.ouroilmoney.org online platform in Accra.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF), Bank of Ghana (BoG), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), and the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) are the key bodies that deal with the finances and governance issues of the oil and gas sector.
www.ouroilmoney.org is a site that captures timely data on all aspect of the sector from various stakeholders. It will also be a platform for citizens’ interaction and feedback collection point. It is important to state that all the data on the site comes from government sources.
It is instructive to know that all these organizations were grateful to be associated with the initiative and pledged to support the site with the necessary reports and data to assist achieve the intended desire for which it was created.
Contributing, PIAC representative, Yaw Owusu Addo noted with pleasure how the site will enhance the job of timely reporting and disclosure of the various data from the relevant organizations it is mandated to work on. PIAC is mandated to report exactly how oil revenue is disbursed and ensure that the projects that the oil revenue is said to be used for, particularly the social sectors of the economy such as water, schools, and agriculture. PIAC then makes reports to the President and Parliament of Ghana of its findings.
Doing a short presentation, the Ministry revealed that PIAC which has suffered from funding since its creation will soon be a thing of the past as the amended Petroleum Revenue Management Act 815 ensures the regular funding will be given by the MoF for PIAC's work as mandated by the law. Adding his voice, Yaw Owusu Addo, noted that the deliberate and disgraceful starving of the PIAC as if it was somebody’s personal institution and not a creation of the laws of Ghana seeking the interest of all Ghanaians including all those at the MoF is welcome. In its “stillborn” years it was foreign donors (Giz, NRGI) until these revelations. For two years PIAC had great difficulties in carrying out any of its mandated activities. It had no office to operate from, no paper, let alone salaries. He continues “this is a body that is supposed to superintend on oil revenue and yet lack revenue itself”.
Nana Aba of the BoG took participants through the various law’s requirement and how revenue from sector was disbursed and its utilization, their various funds and requirements.
Leading the discussing, a former leader of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament and chairman of the occasion, Kan Dapaah, explained that accountability and transparency was nothing more than the availability of information and the necessary data from all stakeholders charged with handling public funds and so is why this launch was more than necessary to the enhancement of accountability. And urged on all bodies to be forth-coming with information for the site for all those need them to access. He superficially urged BoG to do more in that direction adding that the presentation was no more than a re-harsh of the norm, no details. He was worried that inspite of the availability of this site and its contents another disturbing factor is whether recommendations are implemented for meaningful effects.
Taking his turn, Emmanuel Kuyole of Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI) asked what the presentation by the two ministries can be used for. And that we as a people should move beyoung presentations to getting more. Citing the Agriculture sector to buttress his point, he stated that oil revenue allocations to the sector were nothing more than a waste as the needed effect of that allocation did not only achieve its desire outcomes but did not reach the sector as budgeted. And so all stakeholders must track the allocations from the MoF to see if indeed what the law requires of them is truly taken place.
In addition he cited, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture that it’s highest budgetary allocations was office building which was strange that revenue oil would be used for office building instead. And that tracking revenue was very important to achieve the needed development we all want for Ghana. Participants were unanimous that oil revenue allocations to state institutions should be given the needed tracking.
Ben Boakye of ACEP noted that the essence of the site was to deepen the accountability mechanism of the sector the good of Ghana. It will also make it easier for all to access data without having to hassle from a one-stop-shop platform from authentic source. With the support of IBIS, ACEP brought all the stakeholders to assist in making the vision of transparency to the people who need the information to make decisions as part of value for money. The site will afford an active participating of the citizenry. The site has enabled SMS, charts, downloadable reports and engagement for interactive purposes. It also displays statistics, timelines, projects, characteristics of areas.
Source: Seibik Bugri
Add a Comment