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Civil Society Crucial In Oil Revenue Management – Speaker

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The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye has underscored the important role Civil Society Organizations play in awakening the consciousness of the nation towards the path of good governance as far the management of revenue from the Nation’s Oil and Gas is concerned.

According to Prof. Oquaye, actions and inactions of persons in public sector must be seen to satisfy the interest of members of the larger society.

He said there is therefore the need for society actors to play that lead role.

Prof Oquaye made the observation at a Breakfast meeting in Parliament during which he said a dormant society is a recipe for disaster.

The meeting was to discusses challenges in the gold mining sector and the lessons for the oil and gas sector implications for policy in Ghana.

The Speaker noted that Ghana’s oil must be a blessing and not a curse therefore lessons learnt from decades of gold exploitation must serve a lesson that guides the future as Ghana exploits oil and gas for the sake of posterity.

He emphasized the need for Ghana, the second leading gold producing country in Africa, to take advantage of her enviable position in the management of her natural resources for the benefit of her people.

These resources, he noted, has brought transformation in the living standards of citizens of Australia, Botswana, Malaysia, Chile whiles urging Parliament and civil society to speak up to make Ghana a better place.

The Speaker advocated for the need to focus resources on Agriculture if possible since the destructive mining has caused a lot of harm to the environment without anything significant to boast off.

Majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, advocated for the empowerment of citizens to create wealth instead of focusing on poverty reduction using oil revenue.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu called for a national discipline stating that Ghana is never shot of ideas.

He urged for diversification of focus on revenue alone to other sectors of the value chain in the Oil and Gas industry.

Convener for Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), Dr. Steve Manteaw, expressed concerns about the continued violations of the Petroleum Revenue Management Acts by successive Ministers of State.

Section 48(1) of the Act mandates the finance minister to give update of oil project and revenues to Parliament.

“Since we started producing oil in this country, past and present finance ministers have not complied with that provision and giving us updates on the stage of completion regarding oil projects’’ he alleges.

Dr. Manteaw urged Parliament to make effective its oversight role in that regard failure to do so he noted would have negative repercussions on Ghana’s oil revenue management.

Source: Christian Kpesese/ thePublisher

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