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Oil industry has reputation for corruption – President

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday said “there is no avoiding the fact that the oil industry, unfortunately, has a reputation for corruption”.

He said since the discovery of oil in the country, there had been heightened anxiety among the people that “we do not fall into the same trap of the oil money benefitting individual officials to the detriment of the state and the general public”.

The President delivering this year’s State of the Nation Address in Parliament in Accra, said on the fight against corruption in the oil industry, and to aid transparency, the government had established a National Register of Contracts on which all the Petroleum Agreements signed by the Government have been published.

That, he said, provides a platform for citizens to scrutinise the oil contracts signed by government, and accords with the international call for contract transparency.

“We have also passed the General Petroleum Regulations, which provide for the disclosure of beneficial ownership information of companies operating in Ghana’s oil and gas industry.”

He said that would ensure that people do not hide in the shadows to appropriate oil blocks to themselves, at the expense of the citizens of Ghana.

“The interest of major oil companies in Ghana has become dramatic. Today, oil companies such as the American giant, ExxonMobil, and the Norwegian conglomerate, Aker, have signed petroleum exploration agreements with Ghana.

“Through the launch of the “GHANA OIL AND GAS LICENSING ROUNDS 2018”, the bidding process for the allocation of new petroleum rights to prospective investors, the first such exercise in our history, other global players such as BP, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, and Total have expressed interest in coming to Ghana”.

President Akufo-Addo said: “Be it in the oil industry or manufacturing or retail, every day demonstrates the urgent need for our own businesses to develop and flourish. We have put in place the mechanisms to train young entrepreneurs and to help established businesses with a stimulus package to expand their companies.”

Source: GNA

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