The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), Co-Chairman, Dr. Steve Manteaw, has urged policymakers to avoid repeating mistakes in managing cocoa and gold resources in the oil and gas sector.
He explained that Ghana, the leading gold producer in Africa and the 6th globally, was ranked as a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) in 2000 due to mismanagement of gold and cocoa resources, prompting her to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IME) at all times.
He made the remarks while speaking at a stakeholders’ dissemination workshop on the GHEITI 2020 report on the mining and oil and gas sectors in Kumasi.
He urged our leaders not to repeat the mistakes in the mineral sector in our oil and gas sector.
In his view, the resources were not for the current generation alone, but for future generations, hence the creation of the Heritage and Stabilisation funds.
He expressed worry over the attitudes of politicians who divert oil resources to constituencies where they seek votes but end up not realising the full potential of the resources.
Dr. Manteaw revealed that Ghana was endowed with lithium and urged the managers not to make the same mistakes in the oil sector.
He was worried that, over the years, manganese had been shipped in its raw form to China and recommended a ban on the exportation of manganese in its raw state.
He noted that in addressing the limitations of the EITI, it had taken the EITI through three phases of evolution from 2013 to 2019 standards, saying the scope expanded to include contract transparency, sub-national reporting, budgetary information, data disaggregation, and a lot of the new requirements were encouraged.
He bemoaned the situation where some Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) used their share of the gold resources for the painting of their administrations, collection of refuse, donations at funerals, and per diem for their chief executives instead of property rates.
Dr. Manteaw stated that the 2019 Standard Built Good Practices and Lessons from implementing countries open up new frontiers such as commodity trading transparency, gender, and environmental issues, as well as reinforcing the requirements for mainstreaming.