Demand accountability on usage of extractive revenues – Media urged

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ACEP workshop for Media
ACEP workshop for Media

The Africa Centre for Energy (ACEP) has called on the media to critically demand accountability to industry players on usage of extractive, oil revenue in the country.

That it said would strengthen accountability in resource governance through active citizenship to ensure transparency and consistency in the disbursement of the funds.

At a day’s journalist training in Cape Coast, Mr Kodzo Yaotse, the Policy Lead, Petroleum and Conventional Energy at ACEP said there was the need to get the media informed to help create a generational equity in the oil revenue funds.

He said the move by ACEP was to equip the media with the knowledge to use their platforms to ensure oil revenues were utilized to tackle poverty, social vices, and other relevant areas that needed improvement to promote economic transformation

He urged the media to use the data and information gathered to educate, inform and advice the public to get interested in use of oil funds and demand accountability from leaders to ensure the funds were not misused.

Cumulatively he noted that total petroleum revenue accrued from 2011 to 2020 amount to US$6.55 billion and about US$2.57 billion has been used to support the government budget through the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).

Additionally he revealed that the mining sector in the country contribute 43 percent of Ghana’s gross merchandise export receipts in 2019.

Mr Yaotse said the Government receives about GHC 270 billion yearly from oil revenue to support the budget to accelerate development of the country.

In 2011 to 2016, he said extractive revenue were prioritized on some aspect to assist the improvement of developmental agendas by the country since there was no structure on imbursement of oil revenues .

Some prioritized areas he listed were; agricultural modernization, capacity building, roads and infrastructure which needed to be tracked to ensure the allocated funds were used efficiently to that effect.

On pitfalls in resource governance in Africa, the Policy Lead, Petroleum and Conventional Energy said the abundant endowments of natural resources were not translated to equivalent levels of prosperity, broad development and resource based industrialization.

He stated that key obstacles preventing Africa countries from the potential of natural resources were poor governance, lack of strong institutions, persistent problems of excessive expenditure revenues.

On education boost , Mr Yaotse said that there had been a huge chunk of oil revenue pushed into the education sector from 2017 to 2019

He said about GHC 1.18 billion of the oil revenue was disbursed to the sector to support the Government Free Senior High School (SHS) project rolled out in the country.

Mr Nana Boadu , the Regional Correspondent of the Ghana Broadcasting Company (GBC) on his part urged industry players to make the media known on relevant information to get them track important sectors especially the extractive revenue in the country .

About 30 journalist drawn for various media houses across the Central Region were trained on the Tracking and Reporting on Resource Management in Ghana workshop organized by ACEP.

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