Published On: Wed, Feb 25th, 2015

Ghana encouraged to draft gas sector plan

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ACCRA – A GHANAIAN oil and gas industry expert has advised Ghana to devise a Master Plan to assess the gas industry and spur its growth.

Prof. Kwaku Appiah-Adu, who is the Acting Dean of Central University College, said such a plan must spell out the ownership of such resources and map a way forward.

“We need a master plan and we need it as much as possible for the gas sector,” he told CAJ News Africa at the sidelines of a workshop organized by Natural Revenue Governance Resource Institute and Penplusbytes in Accra.

The event was held under the theme, “Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sector: Reporting on Oil, Gas and Mining.”

Furthermore, Appiah-Adu said legislation for the funding of the Ghana National Petroleum Commission is needed.

Production, royalties and other fiscal benefits of the natural resources must be monitored.

A decommissioning fund should be set up to deal with excesses and other ramifications to the environment as a result of these finds, said the expert.

“Environmental and socio-economic impacts of these resources must be closely addressed,” he added.

According to Appiah-Adu, in developing nations, natural resources and extractive industries sector is shaped by and has an influence on political, societal and institution dynamics.

Ghana in 2007 discovered large petroleum deposits and in just a matter of three years was able to promulgate laws and policies to manage the resource.

Key amongst these laws includes Petroleum Commission Act, Local Content and Participation Act 2013, Petroleum Revenue Management Act, and already existing Petroleum Income Tax law 1987 and the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill currently before Parliament.

Appiah-Adu welcomed moves by the country to take steps towards getting the regulatory framework right towards the journey of achieving a political economy of Ghana’s oil and gas sector.

“However, before Ghana can achieve this, it is important for the country to take a closer look at some pertinent issues regarding the industry,” he said.

“These issues include a review of certain portions of the exploration and production bill currently before parliament before its passed to ensure the media show keen interest in monitoring the transparency of the issuance of exploration licenses in an open tender bid than the discretionary powers given to the Minister of Energy and Petroleum in awarding contracts and licenses to these companies,” he said.

Nonetheless, he was upbeat of the country’s economic prospect following the discovery of the natural resources.

“Lastly, as Ghana is now credit worthy as a result of its oil discovery, there is the need to price competitively to ensure value for money of her resource,” said Appiah-Adu.

– CAJ News




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