The Executive Director of African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), Dr Mohammed Amin Anta has called on government and other allied state institutions in the oil and gas industry to use more dialogue to resolve issues relating to communities on whose land the gas infrastructure passes through than compulsorily?acquisition?or the use of security to protect the infrastructure. Since available experience has shown?that neither of the above has really not worked for oil producing countries that used them.
This follows the heels of Ghanagas that called the bluff of the chiefs and people of Atuabo who went to court to seek redress of how their land was acquired for the Ghanagas project without compensation. He therefore advised government to learn from the experiences of other oil producing countries such as Nigeria which used the option of security that has led o vandalism of its pipes, community revolt and outright sabotage of companies.
He made these observations during a training workshop being organized as part of a STAR-Ghana sponsored project titled ?Evidence-Based Advocacy on Implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) in the Oil and Gas Sector?. Under the?
Dr Mohammed Amin Adam stating his at the meeting
theme ?Combatting Corruption in the O
il and Gas Sector in Ghana?, the objective of the workshop is to support capacity development in anti-corruption agencies and empower them to identify and check abuses in the oil and gas industry. It is also in response to the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan which recommends capacity building in State agencies responsible for checking corruption.
It was also for relevant government and other public agencies on analysing petroleum contracts as a catalyst to combating corruption. ?Drawn from anti-corrupt agencies as the Ghana Police Service, the Judiciary, the Economic and Organize Crime Office (EOCO) and the media. ?Others were from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Auditor-General department, the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the Ghana Anti-corruption Coalition, and Centre for Democratic Development.
ACEP has a highly trained team of Energy Experts and Lawyers offering innovative and pragmatic solutions to the challenges posed by the Energy Sector in Africa and with particular reference to Ghana. ACEP is a leading international and pan-African energy policy think-and-do-tank based in Accra Ghana.
The training will cover fundamentals of the oil and gas industry, processes for awarding Petroleum Contracts and analysis of contractual obligations. They were also taking through ?Mastering the Contracting Processes, and Combating the Corruption in the Oil Contracts.
He was responding to the question of how to secure the infrastructure of the gas project with the benefit of the recent West African? gas pipeline that damaged by a ship.
Dr Amin noted that any other solution other than the total satisfaction of the people will only lead to obnoxious tactics taken by the people against the company, citing the Nigeria experience as an example. Participants were of view that land could be used as shares for the community instead of paying compensation to the chief and later another chief also emerges to also make a claim as it is gradually being witnessed in the Western region of Ghana in recent times.
Responding, Dr Amin noted that could depend on the people at the time as some may want to use it for shelter or marry or something else. And so dialogue is the best option out of such community relations problems.