MMDAs told to invest mineral revenues in development projects

Seth Terkper - Deputy Finance Minister

Mr Seth Tekpe, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, has called on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to invest mineral revenues into development projects.

He noted that investing in development projects such as housing, hospitals, schools, vocational centers and the provision of water and sanitation facilities were key in raising the standard of living for the majority of the people they served.

Mr Tekpe gave the advice in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Roger Angsomwine, Chief Director at the Office of the Vice President, at a day’s consultative workshop on Ghana Extractive Industries’ Transparency Initiative on Oil and Gas Reporting Templates in Takoradi in the Western Region.

The oil and gas template when developed would help in tracking the revenue in that sector as well as its usage. It will also influence the fiscal transparency framework for the sector.

The Deputy Minister noted that many developing countries in Africa that abounded in so much natural resources and huge economic potentials had failed to translate the benefits from such resources into better standard of living.

He said draft oil and gas-reporting template had been developed to capture oil and gas revenues and which required that important stakeholders like chiefs and MMDAs were thoroughly consulted.

“We therefore need to work with all the relevant bodies to ensure that collectively we strengthen our institutions to better manage the benefits from the oil discovery”.

Dr. Steve Manteaw, Chairman, Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas said the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative would provide critical data that would empower citizens to hold governments accountable.

He said, “Improved accountability will lead to better development outcomes and contribute effectively to economic growth and poverty reduction.

Mr. Dela Klubi of the Ghana Revenue Authority said his outfit was monitoring and analyzing production trends through the placement of electronic seals on the export pipelines to ensure that no export was made without customs authorization.

He said GRA had also opened the Petroleum Holding Fund to receive all petroleum revenue in a structured manner.

Mr. Klubi added that preparation of monthly, quarterly and annual reports on petroleum revenue had been collected for submission to the finance Ministry, Controller and Accountant-General’s department and the Bank of Ghana.

Mr. Kwaku Boa-Amponsem, Ghana EITI Aggregator, added that EITI was aimed at improving development outcomes from payments made to government by the extractive industries.

It would also reduce corruption and large-scale embezzlement of these payments.

Awulae Annor Adjaye, the third, paramount chief of Western Nzema traditional area, called on the Environmental Protection Agency to sit up and address the environmental degradation and pollution associated with the extractive industry.

Source: GNA

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