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Pressure group petitions Council of State on oil revenue

Business and Economics

Accra, March 19, GNA - The Ghana Institute of Governance and Security (GIGS), has petitioned the Council of State to initiate a national forum for discussion on the best formula and fiscal regime to adopt to back the nation’s Upstream Oil Industry.

    The Council of State is the highest advisory body to the President, and by default the nation, and the GIGS explains that a national forum would allow all groups for or against the current Ghana’s hybrid system to make a presentation to support their claims.
     Speaking to journalists, after presenting the petition to the office of the Council in Accra, the GIGS said the current application of the hybrid system in the sharing of the nation’s oil proceeds was not the best, as it favoured more the foreign investor in the oil sector rather than the citizenry.
    The Rev Charles Eric Gyeban-Mensah, Spokesperson for the GIGS, supported by Mr Solomon Kwawukume, Senior Research Officer if the GIGS and National Co-ordinator of Fair Trade Oil Share-Ghana (FTOS-Gh) PSA Campaign,  registered their readiness  to appear  before the Council for further clarifications.
     According to Rev Gyeban-Mensah, Ghana needs to adopt the Production Sharing Agreement formula instead of the Hybrid System in sharing its oil proceeds with investors in the oil sector.
     Under the Hybrid System, a country is compensated through the payment of royalties; while the Production Sharing system refers to compensation paid on agreed percentage of the oil revenue.
     Rev Gyeban-Mensah said Production sharing formula was the world’s standard norm in sharing oil proceeds and that the current formula in distributing the country’s oil wealth was unsatisfactory.
     The petition, addressed to the Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, dated March 9, was signed by Imam Adam Abubakar, Tema Metropolitan Chief Imam and the National Leader of the FTOS-GHA PSA Campaign, Rev Gyeban-Mensah and Mr Kwawukume; and copied to the Vice President of the Republic of China and the Speaker of Parliament.
     The petition stated it was the third time the Institute was drawing the attention of the Council of State to the abysmal manner in which the Upstream Oil Industry is been conducted by our elite technocrats at the GNPC, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Petroleum Commission and our political leaders to the detriment and disadvantage of Ghanaians, the sovereign owners of the oil and gas resources as well as other natural resources.
     “They have messed up the whole country big time and the Upstream Oil industry to the advantage of foreigners on the wrong notion of attracting investment into the sector.”
    According to the petition, the passage of Act 919, the Ghana Hybrid System Law on August 4, 2016, is to “perpetuate the robbery of our Oil and Gas riches in the name of attracting investment”.
    It said: “If the world standard norm, the production sharing agreement fiscal regime, which laws were on our statute books before commercial discovery was adopted, Ghana would not be in this dire economic quagmire and hardships the masses are suffering.”
    The GIGS accused the technocrats of wrongly advising the previous Government of the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress and other state to believe that by adopting the hybrid system the country was doing the right thing.
   “They must be stopped from their deliberate public deceits, falsehood and misinformation. We cannot sit down and see the few elite technocrats and politicians wreck the economic destiny of our dear country for their selfish interests,” the petition emphasised.
    The GIGS underscored transparency in the share and management of the oil proceeds, explaining that falsehoods breeds instability and undermines development.

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