Deputy Finance Minister, Mrs. Mona Quartey, has repeated the government’s unwavering commitment to ensure transparency in the spending of the oil and gas revenue to propel the growth of the economy and fight poverty.
She indicated that it would do everything to make the extractive industry more beneficial to the people.
She said this in a speech read for her at a two-day dissemination workshop of the 2014 Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) reports for the mining and oil/gas sectors of the economy, in the gold mining town of Obuasi.
It brought together stakeholders including civil society organizations, Municipal and District Chief Executives, District Coordinating Directors, finance officers and chiefs to discuss the findings and recommendations.
Mrs. Quartey underlined the critical importance of the natural resource sector to the nation’s development agenda, saying, “it has remained the most important and significant sector of the Ghanaian economy”.
She noted that mining for example contributed 8.0 per cent to the Gross National Product (GDP) and 34.7 per cent to the total merchandize export, in year 2014.
The sector’s contribution to government’s revenue during the period stood at 5.0 per cent, she added.
She said it was against this background that “for us as a country, we belief that the extractive industry transparency initiative (EITI) process is here to serve the interest of the government, private companies and other relevant stakeholders” as it helped to identify the challenges in the sector and how to address these.
Mr. J. B. Okai, Director, Policy and Planning, Ministry of Petroleum, said the new petroleum law would ensure better regulation of petroleum upstream activities.
The law has clauses meant to bring transparency and accountability in the management of the nation’s petroleum resources, he stated.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. John Alexander Ackon, called for all to act together to prevent economic decline of the other sectors of the economy because of the oil and gas production.