The Executive Director of the Centre for Extractives and Development Africa (CEDA), Emmanuel Kuyole, has strongly advocated for the reviewing of the existing Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011, Act 815, as amended by Act, 2015, Act 893, to cover other sectors of the economy.
He pointed out that petroleum revenue contributes only 4percent of Ghana’s GDP, and yet too much emphasis has been given to it; leaving the other over 90% sources of revenue to chance.
Figures from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Plannings midyear fiscal policy review from January-June 2017 indicates that real GDP growth for the first quarter was 6.6 percent against 4.4 percent for the same period in 2016; with agriculture contributing 7.8 percent against 5 percent for the same period in 2016; industry contributing 11.5 percent against 1.8 percent for the same period in 2016; and services contributing 3.7 percent against 6.6 percent for the same period in 2016.
Speaking at the Penplusbytes’s Enhancing Media’s Role Tracking Ghana’s Oil and Gas Revenue For Inclusive Growth training program, Mr. Kuyole insisted that the benefit of having one omnibus natural resource revenue management law will ensure that much attention is given to all the revenue sources of Ghana’s economy just as is being done currently for the oil and gas sector.
According to him, the current PRMA has delivered on transparency and accountability but it is yet to address most of the issues pertaining to public financial management, noting that, ‘We have come to a point where we need to broaden the law to include the mining sector and other public financial matters to make it more robust.’
Under the Enhancing the Media’s Role in Tracking Ghana’s Oil and Gas Revenue for Inclusive Growth project, the capacity of the Ghanaian media is built to constantly demand transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector.
The training is intended to bring about a paradigm shift in the way the media covers the sector from mere reports to investigative pieces and in-depth reporting to have an informed citizenry and promote good governance in the sector. It is being championed by Penplusbytes with support from Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth (GOGIG).
According to the Executive Director of Penplusbytes, Kwami Ahiabenu II, the project is aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in the sector through effective public oversight on oil and gas revenue management and the media plays a leading role in making this possible.
The oil and gas sector is often perceived as a very technical sector but this can only be debunked if the media simplifies and gives prominence to the sector issues. Penplusbytes, with its years of experience in media training is poised to deliver this training to reflect our key goal of promoting good governance, he added.
The ten (10) including journalists from Multimedia Group, Graphic Communications, The Finder Newspaper, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), GhOne, Orient Energy Review and the Business and Financial Times, will be taken through topics such as budget tracking, project tracking, analytic story writing, forensics, data journalism as well as investigative journalism.