The national Multi-stakeholder Steering Committee of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) has described aspects of media reportage on its 2014 reconciliation report for the petroleum sector as inaccurate.
In a statement signed by its Co-Chairman, Dr Steve Manteaw, and released to the media on Tuesday, the GHEITI oversight body cited in particular, a TV3 news item on the report in question, titled: ‘$84m Missing from Ghana’s 2014 Oil Revenue’.
The story, according to GHEITI suggested that, an amount of $84,382,088 of total oil receipts for 2014 could not be accounted for, as government could not verify receiving such revenue from the oil and gas companies. The TV3 story then went on to claim that, the GHEITI report “blamed Anadarko WCTP Limited for failing to make the payments of the oil and gas revenue to the state”.
Setting the records straight, the GHEITI statement said, nowhere in the 2014 Ghana EITI reconciliation report on the petroleum sector did they suggest that Anardako failed to pay taxes and royalties due the state, adding that, “GHEITI has no reason to doubt that those payments were made”.
The statement went on to explain that, the problem encountered while reconciling the payments made by the upstream oil and gas companies with those received and accounted for by the state, was that, Anardako did not complete, and/or return the questionnaire on its income and payments to the government of Ghana in respect of its stake in Ghana’s oil and gas sector.
This according to GHEITI partly accounted for discrepancies noticeable in the reconciliation report.
The statement conveyed GHEITI’s regrets for any inconvenience caused by the misrepresentation of the facts in its 2014 reconciliation report to Anardako and its shareholders, but also took the opportunity to encourage the company “to show itself more responsive to the transparency and accountability tenets to which both its host country (Ghana) and its country of origin (USA) are committed”.
The statement said, GHEITI’s advice is motivated by the fact that, “openness in transactions in which the public has a legitimate interest helps to remove mistrust arising sometimes out of speculations, and bolsters the social license on which business thrives.”
Source: PA News Desk