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Business News of Wednesday, 15 June 2016


Petroleum exploration and production bill re-laid before Parliament

The Petroleum Exploration and Production (E&P) Bill has been re-laid before Parliament by the Petroleum Ministry.

Government withdrew the E&P Bill which was before Parliament awaiting its passage, last week.
It was laid in Parliament in November 2014 but has been replaced by a new Bill titled 'Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill 2016.'

According to Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Bill had to be withdrawn due to certain global developments in the oil and gas industry.
He was, however, unable to indicate what those developments were but said the changes have been incorporated in the new Bill.

Following the withdrawal, the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), described the withdrawal as an attempt to continuously push oil contracts through the House without the appropriate transparency measures.
Many Ghanaians also did not understand why such an important Bill would be pending for many years.

But speaking to Joy News, Chairman of Parliaments Mines and Energy committee, Alhaji Amadu Sorogho said the Bill has being brought back to parliament and they will ensure it is passed soon.

“The goal was to pass it earlier, my goal as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina and also Chairman of Mines and Energy overseeing the petroleum sector and my committee in parliament will make sure we don’t delay this Bill in Parliament again.”

According to him, a lack of the Bill is affecting the country because “new investments that should have been rolling into the petroleum exploration sector is finding its way elsewhere.”

Meanwhile, the Co-Chair of the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), Dr Steve Manteaw said government must urgently improve the legislation regime on oil governance to avoid international sanctions.

He said the EITI requires all implementing countries are supposed to indicate a national roadmap to complying with the beneficial ownership disclosure regime by June 2017 and to begin operationalising that roadmap to establish the regime by 2020.

“And under the open governance partnership initiative, Ghana again is under obligation to institute a beneficial ownership regime by 2017," Dr Manteaw said.
“So all these put together makes it imperative for Ghana to begin the process of identifying either the relevant laws or introducing new legislation to facilitate Ghana’s compliance,” he added.