Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Unions highlight perceived deficiencies in oil revenue bill

The TUC has pointed to a number of weaknesses in the legal framework for oil revenue management.

A statement issued in Accra last week argued that in general the Ghana Petroleum Revenue Management Bill (GPRMB) gave too much discretion to the Minister of Finance. The TUC also expressed concern that both the GPRMB and the Petroleum Exploration Bill (PEB) are likely to be rushed through parliament without proper debate and scrutiny.

To avoid the challenges of other oil-rich African nations, Ghana required “good laws and strong institutions…a big push in transparency and constant oversight”, the statement said. It also required “rules that create a legitimate and effective framework for the conduct of public policy”.

While the TUC welcomed the establishment of the Investment Management Committee and the Petroleum Quantity Assessment Body to supervise oil revenue investment and management, it was disappointed at the lack of worker representatives on either body.

Parliament Majority Leader Cletus Avoka has promised that the PEB and the GPRMB will be passed before the 2011 budget is made public in November.

Speaking at an oil and gas workshop in Accra, he urged the committee deliberating on the petroleum bills to conclude their work so that the House can commence debate as soon as possible. Parliament resumed sitting on 19th October.

For more news and expert analysis about Ghana, please see Ghana Politics & Security.

© 2010 Menas Associates

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