General News of Saturday, 23 December 2017
Ghana risks losing potential investors in its extractive industry if it is suspended over its failure to submit annual reports to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
This is the belief of the National Campaign Coordinator of the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), Dr Steve Manteaw.
According to him, Ghana’s delay in submitting the report could mainly be attributed to the failure of the World Bank to provide funding for the reporting. Ghana, from 2015, has failed to submit to the international body its annual report on commitments, and the fight against corruption in the country’s gold, oil and gas sectors, putting it at risk of suspension from the EITI if it does not produce the report by the end of 2017.
Information available to Citi News indicates that the government, through the Ministry of Finance has already written to the organization pleading for a three-month extension to enable it put the reports together.
Dr. Manteaw in an interview on Eyewitness News said despite the delay, Ghana has already initiated steps to get funding for the reports but will need extra time to complete it.
“Like many other implementing countries, the reporting is financed by the World Bank and we have assurances from the World Bank that monies were going to be released for the reporting however the World Bank failed to fulfill its side of the bargain. And very late in the year we found that it wasn’t possible for the World Bank to do its disbursement so quickly we had move to look for money outside the budget to finance the reporting. Government get managed to get some money for the mining sector and the Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth (GOGIG) came to government’s aid with money for the oil and gas reporting. So we [have] actually begun the process towards implementing our report for 2015/2016,” he said.
He said Ghana will be perceived as an unsafe destination for investment in the extractive industry if it is suspended from the EITI.
He argued that, “once a country is suspended, the impression is created that that country is not committed to fighting corruption and abuse in the extractive sector and that in itself becomes a deterrent for potential investors especially in the extractive sector.”
Dr. Manteaw said he was however hopeful that the EITI will grant Ghana’s request for an extension.
He also urged the government to find sustainable ways of ensuring funding for the production of the annual report to avert the difficulty in future.