The citizens want petroleum revenue therefore invested in agriculture, education, energy and health.

revenueThese were contained in the Citizens Energy Manifesto launched here, late Monday by the energy think tank as part of activities to set the agenda for issue-based political campaigns ahead of the 2016 general election.

In gathering citizens’ expectations of what should be the agenda for discussion during the run-up to the 2016 election, ACEP with support from Development Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Oxfam, toured six out of the 10 regions of Ghana.

Overwhelmingly, the document said the majority would like their political leaders to discuss how best to manage petroleum resources to impact on poverty reduction and job creation.

“To ensure that petroleum revenue supports poverty reduction efforts, we demand that the revenue from petroleum is invested in the following order of priority: Agriculture sector , Education sector, Energy sector and the Health sector,” the citizens demanded in the 22-page report.

To achieve good governance in the petroleum sector the citizens surveyed also urged for the development and passage of a robust Petroleum Law which implements best governance and regulatory practices.

This kind of law, they believed is needed in order to create a level playing field for all investors, and help fight corruption and rent seeking behavior in the petroleum subsector.

The Petroleum Exploration and Production(E&P) Bill, which seeks to replace the previous Exploration and Production Law, PNDC Law 84 has been pending in parliament over the past three years.

Experts describe Ghana’s new Petroleum E& P Bill as containing some of the most progressive global best standards for the governance of petroleum resources, such as the use of open and competitive bidding processes for granting petroleum contracts and mandatory requirements for the disclosure of contracts.

The bill, if passed into law is expected to define Ghana’s new exploration environment.

Another issue that engaged the attention of citizens was how to address fiscal indiscipline and ensure efficient public spending.

“Our focus on the energy sector is not by accident. It is borne out of our belief that energy; either petroleum or power is the fuel for the engine of economic growth and accelerated development,” Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of ACEP said during the launch. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/News Ghana

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