Group calls for withdrawal of Petroleum Bill from Parliament

The Patriots for the Protection of Western Regional Heritage, a pressure group, on Tuesday called on the government to immediately withdraw the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill (PRMB) from Parliament.

Mr George Mireku Duker, a leading member of the group, told a press conference that the Bill needed further and broader public consultation and fine-tuning to make it more responsive to the developmental challenges of the region.

“It is sad to realize that the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill does not make any provision for our dear region,” Mr. Duker said.

He said Clause 56 of the Bill shows that the plight of the region has been relegated to the background.

Mr Duker said the region had no representation on the Public Interest and Accountability Committee that had been instituted in the Bill.

He said the Bill made room for the Association of Ghana Industries, Association of Queen Mothers and the Trade Union Congress.

Other nominees to the committee are the Ghana Journalists Association, Ghana Bar Association, Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana Extractive Industries, Transparency Initiative and the academia.

Mr Duker said the PPWRH found it intriguing that the Bill did not institute a development fund for the region and called on the government to consider building a refinery in the region.

“PPWRH also has problems with Clause 23 which prohibits earmarking of petroleum revenues for any special considerations as it is ambiguous and must be clarified”, he said.

Mr Duker said Clause 25 of the Bill anticipates petroleum operations and vividly provides for compensation and appropriate royalty payment in line with existing laws.

“We see it as ridiculous because oil extraction and its associated problems are entirely different from other fields of operation and must have its own royalty payment law”, he said.

Source: GNA

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