The Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), in partnership with the Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI), has launched an open data dashboard to make data on the extractive industry easily accessible and usable.
The dashboard, which was launched alongside the 2014 GHEITI reports on mining and oil and gas, is available on the GHEITI websitewww.ghieiti.gov.gh.
A dashboard is “an easy to read, often single page, real-time user interface, showing a graphical presentation of the current status (snapshot) and historical trends of an organisation or computer appliances key performance indicators to enable instantaneous and informed decisions to be made at a glance.”
Mrs Mona Quartey, the Deputy Minister of Finance, in a statement read on her behalf by the Chief Director of the Ministry, said the dashboard provided a visual of the impact of the extractives on the economy for journalists, civil society organisations and policy makers.
She said Ghana would, from January 2017, be required as part of the new EITI standard to agree on a road map for establishing a beneficial ownership register and publish a Beneficial Ownership Register of Companies by 1st January, 2020.
The register, she noted, would not only be for the extractive sector but also for others in the financial sector, adding that; “the implications of lack of beneficial ownership disclosures in the country can lead to information gaps that allow financial corruption, transnational crime and tax evasion to flourish”.
Mr Christopher Nyarko, the Research Assistant at NRGI, said the open data dashboard made data easily accessible and reusable among other things, offering referenced information in Excel and CSV formats that could be easily used.
He stated, however, that GHEITI was not responsible for interpretations of the data provided.
Data provided include company data, project level data on mining and oil/gas, revenue data by company, disaggregated revenue, payments and others using attractive info graphics.
Findings from the 2014 reconciliation reports on the oil and gas showed that the Petroleum Holding Fund received $978,886,379 dollars.
Government receipts after reconciliation amounted to $977, 184,636 dollars. The difference was made up of surface rentals of the exploration companies and return on investment on petroleum funds which were not considered for reconciliation.
For the mining industry, 15 companies made up of 12 gold, a bauxite, and manganese mining companies as well as quarrying company participated while the Ghana Revenue Authority, Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands, the Minerals Commission, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Finance and Municipal and District Assemblies provided data from government to be reconciled.
All reporting entities reported dutifully for the exercise. The report also found that corporate tax was the largest mining revenue stream received by government in 2014; for the first in the reconciliation process, ground rent receipts were also significant.
It recommended, however, that mineral royalty payments should not be an offset against tax credits since it had implications for subnational transfers.