Graphic Business News

Halt duplication of institutions performing same role — Dr Manteaw

By: Ama Amankwah Baafi & Jessica Acheampong
Dr Steve Manteaw
Dr Steve Manteaw

The co-Chair of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), Dr Steve Manteaw, has cautioned the country against the creation of a multiplicity of nomenclature for achieving the same objective.

His comments come following suggestions for a Minerals and Mining Revenue Management Bill.

He questioned why there is Ghana Education Service (GES) that managed the educational sector, the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), and Free Senior High School Secretariat were also there doing the same things at the same time.

"Couldn't we have made the revenue accruing to the Free SHS go to the GETFund so that it does one job? The way things are done sometimes create opportunities for corruption," he stated during a media engagement on the analysis of the 2015 GHEITI reports for the mining and oil /gas sectors at Aburi in the Eastern Region.

He said although there was the need to save for mining, it did not mean setting up a separate arrangement.

Rather, he said, Ghana could have an Extractive Revenue Management Law which combined gold revenue because they all exhibited the same characteristics.

Dr Manteaw noted that they were all subject to price fluctuations and so they would all need a Stabilisation Fund.

"So why don't we have a Commodity Revenue Management Act? The idea for M&MRMA is good but we need to think through the approach again, so we don't create multiple nomenclatures that drain the little resources that could otherwise be channelled into development," he stated.

Media engagement
It was organised by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) in partnership with the GIZ/SECO.  Selected members of IFEJ from nationwide participated in the engagement.

Highlights of the report
The report on mining indicated that the sector contributed an amount of GH¢1,285 million to government revenue in 2015 as against GH¢1,193 million in 2014 representing an increase of 7.79 per cent.

It also indicated that of the total earning from the mineral exports in 2015, gold accounted for 96.68 per cent and remained a leading mineral generating revenue for the country. Other minerals such as bauxite contributed 1.24 per cent, diamond accounted for 0.31 per cent and manganese contributed 1.95 per cent.

On the oil and gas sector, the report recommended that reporting of activities funded by the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) should meet the requirements of Section 48 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (815) and should also provide specific details on projects funded by oil revenues.

It chided the Minister of Finance for failing to provide information on the stage if implementation of the activities as required by law, but instead, only reported on programmed activities funded by the ABFA.

Value for money
A Senior Technical Advisor at the GIZ, Mr Alan Lassey, recommended a strong collaboration between the GHEITI and the Ghana Audit Service (GAS) in terms of monitoring of projects in the extractive sector, and added that it was not within the remit of the GHEITI.

He noted that the GAS was not auditing the extractives and had only come out with petrol funds, a tiny bit of the bigger picture.

"What we see in the report and what we have to see on the field should actually be undertaken by the GAS because with infrastructure projects, we need to determine whether there is value for money," he added. — GB