Friday, 26 March 2021

NRGI demands publication of oil buyers data in quarterly reports



Zaratu Yussif


The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has called on the Ministry of Finance to provide data on buyers of Ghana's oil sales.


It believes this will enhance accountability and transparency of the petroleum sector to citizens and critical stakeholders.  


NRGI launched a report on Ghana Oil Sales Data for Accountability in December 2020. This report demonstrates how publicly available data on the state’s oil sales activities can be used by civil society organizations, government, media and other oversight actors to hold the government, GNPC and trading companies accountable for how they sell and manage Ghana’s oil and its revenues.


It is based on this that, the NRGI organized a virtual learning event, last week, to empower media practitioners and stakeholders on how they can access the publicly available Ghana oil sales data covered in the report and use the data for accountability in their reporting.


"Ministry of Finance should include information on buyers in its quarterly reporting NRGINRGI’s oil sales activities", NRGI recommended in a presentation during the training. "Government should improve accessibility to oil sales information as well as disclose long-term sales contracts agreements."


NRGI also wants authorities in trading hubs such as the U.K., Switzerland, the U.S. and Singapore to require commodity trading companies to disclose the payments they make to governments for the purchase of commodities. 


The coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted the Ghanaian economy, with the IMF estimating that real GDP growth in Sub-Saharan Africa has contracted by about 2.6 percent. 


The country, like many oil- rich states, is facing the challenge of responding to the pandemic with reduced government revenues resulting from the oil price crash. 


The coronavirus has also exacerbated the country’s debt sustainability issues, which were already on the rise prior to the pandemic. 


Ghana is still a new producer, with first production from its Jubilee field occurring in November 2010  and the first cargo sold in early 2011, but the sector represents a significant source of revenue. Oil  revenues totaled USD 938 million in 2019. Around USD 802 million of this amount, or 86 percent, came  from cargos of oil sold by the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC). GNPC oil sales equaled a full nine percent of government revenue in 2019.

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