Audit reports on the mining sector launched

…with a call to ensure transparency management of revenue from resources

By Daniel Nonor

Deputy Finance Minister, Mr. Seth Tepker

The Deputy Finance Minister, Mr. Seth Tepker, has launched the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) audits reports covering 2006-2008, with a call on stakeholders to use the information to police the exploitation of natural resources.

In a speech read for him at the launch, Mr. Tepker said for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to be effective, key stakeholders, including civil society, private sector, and selected ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) should be able to evaluate and interpret the results.

“These discussions would signal our willingness to be responsible and accountable for extractive sector revenues. We are convinced that it is only through creating awareness among relevant stakeholders that maximum benefit would be derived from these publications,” he said.

The EITI was launched by the UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, in September 2002.

The initiative encourages, governments, extractive companies, international agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to work together to develop a framework to promote transparency of payments in the extractive industries.

The EITI therefore, seeks to create that missing transparency and accountability in revenue flows from the extractive industry.

Mr. Tekper said the EITI initiatives provided opportunities to address existing shortfalls within institutions, and complement the government’s efforts to reduce corruption.

“The reports point to various weaknesses within the extractive sector revenue institutions. They therefore, provide a solid basis for probing further existing institutional weaknesses, and the urgent need to strengthen them,” he said.

The Deputy Minister urged all MDAs affectaed by the findings and recommendations, to ensure the necessary corrective measures were put in place as soon as practicable.

Mrs. Philomena Johnson, a representative of Civil Society, appealed to the government to adhere to calls from the public to ensure transparency in the management of revenue from the oil resources.

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