By Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, April 20, GNA - Dr Steve Manteaw, Co-Chair of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), on Thursday said an EITI report conducted by an Independent Validator has shown that Ghana made meaningful progress in implementing the 2016 EITI standard.
Ghana is a signatory to the EITI, a global Standard to promote the open and accountable management of the country’s natural resources.
The EITI standard requires information along the extractive industry value chain from the point of extraction, to how the revenue makes its way through the government, and how it benefits the public.
The EITI standard includes how licenses and contracts are allocated and registered, who are the beneficial owners of those operations, what are the fiscal and legal arrangements, how much is produced, how much is paid, where are those revenues allocated, among others.
Dr Manteaw, speaking at a stakeholder discussion of GHEITI final validation report, said the country had made progress in meeting the EITI requirements relating to license registers, state participation and state owned enterprises transactions.
He said the outcome of the Initiative had led to increased scrutiny of timelines and distribution of mineral royalties to local government and monitoring of how mineral revenue was utilized.
Dr Manteaw indicated that the GHEITI had contributed to the enactment of a new Income Tax Act and the development of guidelines for the utilization of mineral royalties for the national and sub-national levels.
He said the GHEITI had led to improvement in inter sectoral collaboration through setting up of a multi-agency revenue task force as well as improvement in the mining sector revenue collection.
He said a recommendation for improving EITI implementation in the country urged civil society to undertake a capacity building needs assessment and that actions to address civil society capacity constraints be implemented.
Dr Manteaw noted that the EITI Board agreed corrective actions to be undertaken by the country, including the need to maintain a publicly available register with timely and comprehensive information regarding each of the licenses concerning to companies covered in the EITI report.
The Board also agreed that the country must disclose production data for the fiscal year covered by the EITI report, including total production volumes and the value of production by commodity.
Mr Patrick Nomo, Chief Director, Ministry of Finance, said the country was one of the star performing countries in EITI and was not surprised that the International Secretariat of EITI recognized Ghana’s efforts and commitment to implementing the EITI standard in Lima, Peru in 2016.
He noted that there was more room for improvement and stated that the report revealed some areas of weakness which require corrective measures to bring sanity and improvement in the natural resource sector.
He said the extractive industry contributed substantially to economic growth, adding that in 2013, over 50 per cent of foreign direct investment and 1.1 per cent of direct employment were attributed to the mining sector.