TUC cautions Parliament against amendment of petroleum bill

The Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), has demanded an immediate halt to attempts by members of the Joint Select Committee of Parliamentary on Energy and Mines and Finance to amend provisions in the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill.

Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the TUC, who made the appeal noted that the bill, makes it possible for the citizenry to scrutinise how accruals from petroleum will be managed.

He asked Parliament to leave the provisions in clause 58 and 60 intact so that Ghanaians can exercise their constitutional right of oversight in the management of the revenue that will be generated from the oil sector.

Mr Asamoah made this known in a press statement on the management of Ghana’s Oil and Gas, at the general meeting of the Central Regional and Cape Coast Metropolitan Councils of Labour meeting.

The congress expressed worry that government is signing agreements, which include stability clauses with oil companies, saying they do not serve the interest of the nation.

It stated that the stability clauses are inimical to the proper management of oil resources, explaining why many oil producing countries have no such provisions in their contracts with oil companies.

The TUC called on government to establish strong financially and operationally independent institutions to ensure that Ghana gets the best that it could achieve from the oil and gas resources.

The union expressed the need for Ghana Revenue Authority and Environmental Protection Agency to be given the full support it requires to enhance its capacity in petroleum accounting for tax purposes.

It expressed regret that government is making the same mistakes the country made in the mining sector, a result of which the country has virtually nothing to show off for more than 100 years of mining in Ghana.

It noted that the only way the nation can avoid the curse related to oil production is to ensure transparency and accountability in the industry.

The congress also appealed to government to make it possible for Ghanaians to participate fully in the decision making processes that affect the petroleum sector.

The function discussed the high cost of tariffs, the compulsory retirement age of public servants and the delay in the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

The Second Vice Chairperson of the TUC, Mrs Naomi Otoo explained that the delay associated with the SSSS is due to evaluation and mapping of workers, hence the need for the congress to monitor the process to ensure that the right thing is done.

Source: GNA

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