Business News of Sunday, 24 December 2017
The Ministry of Energy is seeking to improve accountability of oil revenues from 2018.
This follows the launch of the Independent Oil and Gas Information Resource Centre (IOGRIC).
The absence of such a platform has partly contributed to the country’s inability to fully account for some $3.6 billion so far accrued from oil revenue, according to some observers.
The launch of this centre also comes at a time that Ghana faces suspension from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) for failing to submit reports on dealing with corruption in the oil and gas sectors.
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.
Information available to Citi News indicates that the Ministry of Finance has already written to the organization pleading for a three-month extension to enable it put the reports together.
The Deputy Minister of Energy, Mohammed Amin Adam has, however, said the introduction of the centre will ensure stakeholders hold government accountable for revenue generated from the country’s oil resources.
He noted that “it is the constitutional right of the citizens of Ghana to have access to information, whether they find it useful or not.”
“It, therefore, places greater responsibility on the resource centre to have all these documetns and not only to publish the documents, but more importantly, make efforts to simplify them into forms that are easy to understand and appreciate by our citizens.”
“So once the Minister will give out the contracts, it will take the centre, for instance, to look at those contracts to reduce them into simplified forms so that society can make good meaning out of those contracts. This is the only way and ensures for accountability of our public officials,” Mr. Amin Adam explained.