The multi-stakeholder accountability committee of Ghana’s oil sector is worried about the level of corruption in the use of Ghana’s oil revenue, Steve Manteaw Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) disclosed here on Tuesday.
In an interview with Xinhua, after the launch of the 2016 report of the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) on the oil gas and mining sectors, Manteaw described as a paradox the situation where the West African country was experiencing massive misuse of its oil revenue at a time there were many transparency initiatives in the country.
According to Manteaw, who is also co-chair of GHEITI governing council whiles the price at which the crude oil from the Tweneboa-Enyinra-Ntomme(TEN) field was sold in 2016 was almost consistent with the price for the Jubilee field oil, “ but in 2017 we see wide variations between the Jubilee price and the TEN project price.”
“And Ghanaians know and can recall that in recent times it has been a subject of controversy between the Ministry of Finance and GNPC into which PIAC has also waded,” the chairman stated.
He lamented; “Unfortunately in this period that Ghana has seen a lot of transparency on how its natural resources are managed and used to the benefits of the people this is the time that Ghana can report a lot of abuses in the management and use of petroleum revenue.”
“The point I make in respect of this is that we have achieved transparency but we have not quite managed to make that critical transition from transparency to accountability,” Manteaw added.
He wandered why people cited in various reports for misusing petroleum revenue have not been investigated by state accountability institutions in order to bring them to book.
“If we are not able to make this critical transition from transparency into accountability then I will say producing these reports amounts to a wasteful use of public resources because they cost money to produce,” the chairman cautioned.
In his brief remarks, Deputy Minister for Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng pledged government’s commitment to ensuring that revenue from the extractive resources were prudently managed and used for the benefit of the people.
Kwarteng said that the launching of the Beneficial Ownership Register by government had the potential to reduce the level of illegal activities such as under-invoicing and transfer pricing manipulations by companies. Enditem