Stakeholders review 2014 GHEITI reports

By
Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Takoradi, Aug.
14  GNA – Stakeholders in the extractive
sectors have held a workshop in Takoradi, to review the 2014 Ghana Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) Reports, to improve transparency
and accountability in the management of revenues from the natural resources.

Mr Simon Attebiya,
the Technical Director in-charge of Mining at the Ministry of Lands and Natural
Resources, said the country has made tremendous progress since 2003 when it
signed onto the global benchmark for measuring transparency in the utilisation
of revenues from the extractives.

He said Ghana was
recognised at the Seventh EITI Global Conference in Lima, Peru, in February
this year, as the best implementing country for initiating reforms in the
extractive sectors.

He also applauded
the efforts of the Natural Resource Governance Institute, a civil society
organisation, for facilitating the development of the Open Data Dashboard on
the country’s extractives that enabled individuals and institutions to tap into
data available on the sector.

Mr Attebiya noted
that easy access to information on the extractives had improved public
confidence and would promote sustainable socio-economic development.

According to him,
the work of the EITI had facilitated positive outcomes such as policy and
institutional reforms that would enhance transparency, good governance and
accountability in the extractive sectors.

He cited the
enactment of the Minerals Development Fund legislation by Parliament and,
therefore, expressed optimism that EITI would champion programmes to digest
complex and intricate financial systems operated by some mining companies.

This would ensure
that Government receives its fair share of revenues.

Mr Attebiya
indicated that the government supports initiatives and reforms aimed at
ensuring mutually positive outcomes for stakeholders in the extractive sectors.

In this vein, he
said, the government would in turn utilise the accountability and transparency
mantra, to achieve development in the most efficient and effective manner.

In a speech read on
her behalf, Madam Mona Quartey, the Deputy Minister of Finance, noted that the
EITI process has helped the country to better appreciate the challenges
confronting the extractive sectors and find ways to address them.

She said government
is committed to the EITI processes and would continue to lend massive support
to GHEITI, in order to improve regular and updated information on revenues in
the mining and oil and gas sectors to the relevant stakeholders.

The Deputy Finance
Minister observed that the mining sector is the most significant sector to the
country’s economy for over two decades.

She said it
contributed 8.0 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product and 34.7 per cent of the
country’s total merchandise exports in 2014.

In addition, the
extractives contributed 5.0 per cent of the total government’s revenues, which
underscores its importance in consolidating the country’s middle-income status
and ensuring sustaining economic growth.

So far, this is the
11th EITI report for the mining sector since 2004 and the fourth for the oil
and gas sector since Ghana started commercial production of crude oil in 2010.

GNA

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