Politics of Monday, 9 July 2012
Professor John Asafu-Adjaye, a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), has stressed the need for Parliament to pass the Right to Information Bill before the year ends.
This he said would give the people the right to request for information on all oil contracts in the country.
He said if people could have access to information on oil contracts, they would then know what they contained and make better negotiations and additions to it.
“There is currently no legal requirement for oil contract to be made public but with the Right to Information bill in place, people could get access to such contracts upon request.”
Prof. Asafu-Adjaye told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Monday that the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill and other oil bills were still before Parliament and they all needed to be passed to ensure transparency and accountability in the oil industry.
He was briefing the media on the outcome of a two -day capacity building workshop organised on the theme: “Making Ghana’s Oil and Gas Resource Count,” which was held in Accra last week by the IEA in partnership with the Centre for International Private Enterprise and STAR -Ghana, a multi-donor funded organisation.
He said since Ghana out of the blue started producing oil without putting first in place any law, there was the need to ensure that legislations regarding the industry were put in place to help regulate the industry.
He said because Ghana’s industry was quite new, there was the need to tap foreign expertise but cautioned that Ghanaians should not be left.
Prof. Asafu-Adjaye suggested the need for local think-tanks to be consulted on the various issues within the oil industry.
Members of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy attended the workshop and deliberated on the entire fiscal regime regulating Ghana’s oil and gas industry drawing on international best practices and experiences.**