Dr. Steve Manteaw, Co-Chairman of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), has cautioned Ghana’s policy makers not to repeat the mistakes in the management of our cocoa and gold resources in the oil and gas sector.
According to him, though Ghana was the leading producer of gold in Africa, and the 6th in the world, yet she ended in the Highly Indebtedness Poor Country (HIPC) in the year 2000 because of the mismanagement of our gold and cocoa resources over the years compelling her to always run to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the least chance.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ dissemination workshop on the GHEITI 2020 report on the mining and oil and gas sectors in Kumasi, he stressed that, the policy makers should be mindful not to repeat the mistakes in the mineral sector to our oil and gas sector.
He reminded them that the resources were not for the current generation alone, but future generations, hence, the creation of the Heritage and Stabilisation funds.
He expressed worry over the attitudes of politicians who divert the 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.
The GHEITI Co-Chairman noted that in addressing the limitations of the EITI, it had taken the EITI through three phases of evolution in 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 lamented that there were some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) that 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 new frontiers such as Commodity Trading Transparency, Gender, Environment, as well reinforcing the requirements on mainstreaming.