Accra, Sept. 22, GNA – Major Daniel Ablorh
Quarcoo (Rtd), the former Chairman of Public Interest Accountability Committee
(PIAC) has urged civil society organisations (CSOs) to seriously engage
government in discussions over the usage of the oil revenue.
He said professional groups, traditional and
religious groups and other pressure groups need to effectively debate
government on how the petroleum revenue could be used for the benefit of the
people, especially the youth for the next three years.
Major Quarcoo gave the advice at an
orientation forum organised by the PIAC, for assembly members of the Accra
Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and other stakeholders on how revenue generated
from the oil and gas for the past five years was being spent.
He said the forum would provide an opportunity
for the public to debate whether the spending prospects and management of the
revenues conform to development priorities and what positive impact it has
brought to the people.
Mr Quarcoo said the biggest challenge faced by
most oil producing countries are equitable distribution of revenue, good
governance on all levels in exploration activities, transparency in
decision-making process, hence the PIAC to provide space and platforms for the
public to debate the management and the use of the revenue.
“We have to put up the right structures to
manage the oil money otherwise Ghana would be as other oil countries as had
always been the case in Africa,” he said.
The former chairman said: “This would provide
independent assessments on the management of the petroleum revenue to assist
Parliament and the Executive in their oversight responsibilities and
performance of other related functions, to monitor and evaluate compliance to
Act 893, 2015.”
He said since Ghana had found oil, there is
the need for a vibrant media, strong civil societies, to play roles of constant
oversight activities on legitimate and effective framework for the conduct of
public policy to give a big push to transparency.
Miss Lydia Sackey, the Director of Budget of
the AMA, said the emergence of oil in Africa has led to abandonment of other
important sectors which has not brought about high standard of living for the
She said there is the need for stakeholders to
take up the oil and gas industry issue as priority, to protect the interest of
the citizens to make it a blessing rather than a curse.
Miss Sackey urged assembly members to take
proactive measures to demand for their participation in the decision-making process
to secure good environmental protection for the people.
Among issues raised by the participants at the
forum are ambitious action plan with dedicated attention to rural development,
agriculture and industry, science and technology, healthcare, infrastructural
development and housing delivery, to enable the youth to derive maximum
benefits from the petroleum revenue.
Mr Isaac Dwamena, the Account and Finance
Manager of PIAC took participants through some of the projects executed with
the oil money.