BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE
|The Jubilee Oil Rig|
A 13-member Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) put in place by government September to monitor Ghana’s petroleum revenue and investments, has pledged to work with dedication to give Ghanaians confidence in the country’s oil find.
“We intend to dedicate our time on the Committee to faithfully monitor and render a true account of the oil revenues to Parliament, the Executive and Ghanaians in general. This we hope will give the public some confidence in what to expect from the oil find at any given time,” said Major Ablorh-Quarcoo, the PIAC’s chairman.
In a press statement issued by the PIAC, Major Ablorh-Quarcoo said: “It is our prayer that through PIAC Ghana should avoid either the so called oil curse or the Dutch disease, which we know has plagued many of the oil rich countries of this world.”
The PIAC was created as an oversight committee by the Petroleum Act and charged, among others, with the responsibility to monitor, evaluate compliance with the law, provide independent assessment and above all, provide space and platform for the general public to debate the management and use by government of the petroleum revenue and the investments made from the revenue.
According to the statement forwarded to ghanabusinessnews.com, the committee has since its inauguration, been working on the quiet behind the scenes, putting together a secretariat and updating itself on available relevant information and statistics relating to Ghana’s oil industry, as well as consulting on best practices regarding the management and use of petroleum revenues as pertains elsewhere in oil rich countries.
It will however be formally outdoored Thursday, December 15, 2011 in Accra at a press conference, where it is expected to give an overview of the performance of Ghana’s oil sector in the course of 2011 and also announce the programme of its oversight activities for 2012.
The 13-member committee inaugurated by Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance, is made up of representatives nominated from 13 institutions named by the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011, (Act 815), with its Chairman, Major Ablorh-Quarcoo, representing the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Other institutions represented on the Committee are the Trades Union Congress, the National House of Chiefs, the Association of Queen Mothers, the Association of Ghana Industries and Chamber of Commerce, the Ghana Journalists Association, the Ghana Bar Association and the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
The rest are the Christian groups, made up of the Catholic Secretariat, the Christian Council and the Pentecostal Council who are represented on rotational basis, the Federation of Muslim Councils and Ahmadiyya Mission also represented on rotational basis and the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.