CSOs should complement advocacy with legal action – Dr Manteaw

Dr. Steve Manteaw

Dr Steve Manteaw, Chairperson, Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, has admonished stakeholders in the extractive industry to back advocacy with legal actions against corruption in the sector.

He said this would improve accountability and transparency in the sector and rake in the full benefits of mineral resources to the country.

Dr Manteaw made these remarks at a forum convened by STAR Ghana Foundation in partnership with CSOs in Oil and Gas and Columbia Centre for Sustainable Investment convening on Ghana’s extractive industry.

The event was on the theme, “Extractive Sector Governance: Examining political economic factors for promoting transparency, participation and accountability.”

Dr Manteaw called for the equipping and strengthening of state institutions to effectively exercise their constitutional oversight responsibility.

He reiterated that state institutions often fell short in the execution of their responsibilities due to political interference, especially when the guilty parties are political actors.

“Take the AGYAPA deal for instance, you will realise that it took the Minority in Parliament and CSOs to raise the red flags of the deal and called for its transparency and accountability,” he added.

He called for a broader stakeholder participation and engagement in the sector especially when deals such as the AGYAPA agreement were being developed by policy makers in the interest of the nation.

Mr Gideon Peasah, Energy and Minerals Policy Expert, said CSOs and the media played a critical in the extractive industry with respect to governance and decision making and must continue to hold governments accountable to their stewardship.

Mr Peasah, speaking on the role of CSOs and media in fighting extractive sector corruption, said the capacity of the two stakeholders needed to be built so that they could be abreast of issues in the industry.

“We need to build the capacity of our CSOs and the media especially in operations in the sector, so that they can hold duty bearers accountable and ensure the right thing was done,” he added.

Mr Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, Executive Director, STAR Ghana Foundation, said stakeholders of the sector would be engaging more to ensure accountability.

He expressed the hope that the event would be a build up call for improving governance in the sector for the country’s social, economic growth and development.

Source: GNA

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