Friday, 12 November 2010

Ghana's Petroleum Revenue Management Bill delayed by lack of consensus

Ghana's Joint Committee of Energy and Finance has failed to agree on an amendment while deliberating on the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, which will delay a reading and the recommendation expected to have been presented to the House on Thursday [11th November].

Committee chairman, James Avedzi, said members were yet to reach a consensus on an amendment proposed by the government limiting how much revenue can be used as collateral for loans. Under that proposal, the 30 per cent of revenues that are lodged in funds cannot be used as loan collateral, leaving only the remainder in the budget for the latter.

"We are unable to submit our report to the house today because we could not reach a consensus at our last meeting," said Avedzi.

It is estimated that Ghana will produce around 250,000 b/d by 2013 which, based on current levels, would make it Sub-Saharan Africa's sixth largest oil producer. President John Atta Mills has been adamant that Ghana's fledgling oil and gas industry will not be fuelled by political corruption and scandal.

"Getting our report to the House this week will not be possible. It is our hope that we'll be able to reach a consensus after tomorrow's meeting so that we can submit our recommendation next week Wednesday," added Avedzi.

Should the committee fail to reach an agreement; the report will be submitted for the House to vote on. Initially, the government had wanted the bill passed ahead of the 2011 presentation of the budget statement and its financial policy to be delivered to Parliament next week, however that is very unlikely to happen.

Source: Reuters

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

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