The head of Policy Unit at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Dr. Ishmael Ackah is calling for a legal action that will force the Ghana National Petroleum Authority, GNPC to publish its audited accounts.
He regretted that since its establishment in 1983, the National Oil Company published its audited report only once, in 2014.
“All sectors that receive oil revenues; they publish their audited accounts quarterly and annually. The third organization that receives our oil revenue is GNPC so why don’t they account for what they receive and what they use it for”, Ackah quizzed.
“When you publish your accounts, it can even promote investment into the oil and gas sector.”
The ACEP official was speaking to Citi News’ Umaru Sanda Amadu at a workshop organized by Penplusbytes and the Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth (GOGIG) in Takoradi for journalists on the need to amplify oil and gas issues in Election 2016.
Although GNPC previously published a report on how it utilized its revenues, Dr. Ackah insisted on an independent audit report. He argued that GNPC has also not published the returns on investments it made with Ghana’s oil money into non-oil sectors.
“GNPC is not in competition with any company so there is nothing stopping them from publishing their audited accounts”, he observed.
The national oil company is reported to have received about 30% of the 3.25 billion dollars revenue accrued by the country in the first five years of the commercial production of oil.
“I should be interested in what they used the money for because they received the second biggest allocation over the past five years”, he charged.
“Maybe we need a mass action in court to force the company to do the right thing, he insisted.
Commenting on the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), Dr. Ackah described them as a “report writing body” and charged them to widen their scope of investigations.
“Why can’t Parliament invite the institutions implicated by PIAC and interrogate them live on television like the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament does?” he queried.
Other speakers at the workshop were Dr. Steve Manteaw, a member of PIAC who lamented the fact that the committee only produces recycled information because it relies on second hand information provided by institutions in the sector.
The workshop, organized by Penplusbytes and other partners for about 20 journalists was on the theme: “Does oil and gas matter in Ghana elections?”