Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam
Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam

By Francis Tandoh

Executive Director for policy think tank, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam has urged journalists here to investigate issues in the oil and gas sector to keep stakeholders accountable.

Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam
Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam
He made the remark during a two-day training programme for Journalists Against Corruption Coalition (JAC) organized by the ACEP in collaboration with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) here in the Ghanaian capital.
Dr. Amin observed there were high governance risks in the industry vis-?-vis rent seeking behavior, problems with how oil contracts were issued, the technical and financial capacity of some oil companies being questionable as well as the role played by some elitist groups to exploit the resources to their benefit at the expense of the nation.
These practices, he emphasized, had the tendency of robbing the state of millions of dollars needed to undertake socio-economic development in the country.
The oil and gas industry, the ACEP Executive Director observed, was surrounded by different stakeholders; public officials, corporate bodies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), development partners among others each with their own interests.
Dr. Amin urged Ghanaian journalists to carry out investigations into issues in the oil and gas industry to ensure all stakeholders involved played their role well to ensure good governance, transparency and accountability.
?There are high governance risks in the oil and gas industry and as journalists, the need to be critical is essential as that is the only way the stakeholders will do the right thing,? he remarked.
He however cautioned participants the task was not going to be easy as it was extremely difficult to come by evidence of corrupt practices among sector players whom he described as ?very smart? people who were very much conscious of their activities.
Dr. Amin said, ?It is not easy to see corruption in the sector but what you can use to track the stakeholders is to focus your activities on compliance issues; you take the various contracts and see whether the players are abiding by the terms with respect to the country?s laws.?
The West African country has been producing oil in commercial quantities for almost five years now and many civil society groups and energy experts have raised questions about certain practices regarding inconsistency in the award of oil blocks to some companies.
Participants were drawn from various media institutions in the capital and some regions (provinces) of the country.
Among the topics the journalists were expected to cover include introduction to petroleum contracts, the petroleum contracting process and the local content regulation in Ghana.

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