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Gov’t must adopt measures to properly analyze cost of petroleum contracts to avoid losses – PIAC – Citi Business News

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The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) is asking the government to adopt measures to thoroughly vet costs provided by international companies before petroleum contracts are signed.

In a 10-year assessment report on the petroleum sector, the Committee says this needs to be tackled with all seriousness to prevent wastage of money in the sector.

Commercial production of oil and gas in Ghana commenced in December 2010 following the discovery of the play-opening Jubilee Field offshore Ghana in 2007.

Since then, oil and gas production and exports have provided a critical boost to Ghana’s economy over the past ten years. It has become a fundamental component of the country’s industrial strategy and transition to a middle-income country, acting as the lever to provide jobs and energy security.

The Public Interest and Accountability Committee report titled, “Assessment of the Management and Use of Ghana’s Petroleum Revenues between 2011 and 2020”, assessed Ghana’s management and use of petroleum revenue between 2011 and 2020 in line with the requirements of Ghana’s Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 (Act 815, as amended by Act 893) and the Petroleum Revenue Management Regulations 2019 (L.I. 2381).

According to the report, Ghana earned about $6.55 billion from oil and gas production as of the end of 2020, equivalent to 9.97% of Gross Domestic Product.

Regarding the breakdown of the petroleum receipts by fiscal instrument, PIAC said carried and participating interest by far generated the highest share for Ghana, accounting for 58 percent or 3.8 billion dollars of the total revenue earned.

On the allocation of petroleum revenue inflows, the report revealed the Annual Budget Funding Amount received the highest amount of $2.6 billion (40%) over the period.

This is followed by the Ghana National Petroleum Cooperation receiving $2.0 billion (30%); the Ghana Stabilisation Fund (GSF) receiving an amount of $1.39 billion (21%) of total revenues; whereas the Ghana Heritage Fund (GHF) received $586 million (9%) of the total allocation.

The report further showed that three oil-producing fields, namely the Jubilee, Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) and Sankofa-Gye Nyame (SGN), account for petroleum revenues as of the end of 2020. According to PIAC, an amount of 31.22 billion dollars in value was generated from these fields in the ten-year period.

According to the report, production will continuously decline if nothing is done through new in-fill developments on these existing fields or new fields coming on-stream.

In addition, PIAC is advising the government to adopt a laser-like approach to cost monitoring as this, along with transfer pricing, is one of the major ways the State loses money in the industry.

The committee believes there is a strong need for Ghana to fully vet costs provided by international oil companies as this ultimately goes to the heart of whether the country would get its fair share of revenues.

To effectively operationalise this, PIAC is suggesting that the petroleum and transfer pricing units of the Ghana Revenue Authority be provided with adequate human resources and technical capacity to conduct audits effectively.



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ARB Apex Bank Ladies Association launched

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ARB Apex Bank, the mini-regulator of rural banks has launched a ladies association called ARB Apex Bank Ladies Association.

Its president, Iris Obeng Tudah, is optimistic the ladies association will aid the growth of the bank.

According to her, the association will pool the efforts of women from rural and community banks across the country to ensure the bank achieve its goals.

She therefore encouraged members of the association to be confident and united.

She further urged the ladies to promote activities that will enhance the talents of members and prepare them for the challenging opportunities in the future.

“We want to drive the rural banks along with us in a form of unity because they are far off and seem left behind. We want to see many of our ladies at the forefront of the bank”.

“We want to unleash the potential in us and support the bank fully”, she added.

The Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, Alex Awuah, commended the initiative by the ladies and admonished them to be active to contribute to the success of the bank.

“This association was mooted by hardworking ladies of the bank and when they presented the proposals to us we thought it wise to support them”, he opined.

Speaking on various reported fraud cases at rural and community banks across the country, he revealed that the bank is on course to deal with perpetrators of such acts.

“Fraud cases are everywhere and we have very strong structures dealing with such cases. For now I think we are making progress”, he added.

The ARB Apex bank Ladies Association is expected to play a collective role to the success of the bank.



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We’re committed to investing more in Ghana – MTN Group CEO

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Telecom gaint, MTN, has given the firm assurance of investing more in Ghana despite the current economic environment.

Speaking at a media engagement in Accra, visiting Group Chief Executive of MTN, Ralph Mupita said his outfit has taken the decision because of Ghana’s role in the group and return on investments.

He added that “we want to have a sustained investment programme so that in a market like Ghana, every Ghanaian has the capacity to enjoy the benefits of a modern connected life. And we are not changing view.”

“So if we are true to that vision, then we must sustain the CAPEX [Capital Expenditure]; and therefore we are not going to review that commitment when it comes to investment in Ghana,” he explained.

We're committed to investing more in Ghana - MTN Group CEO
Group Chief Executive of MTN, Ralph Mupita

There are fears that due to the current challenges facing the economy which has resulted in inflation hitting 23.6% in April 2022 as well as rising taxes on the company’s operations, MTN might have reviewed its capital expenditure.    

But the Group Chief Executive of MTN said otherwise, saying, it’s committed to aligning itself to a programme like the Ghana Cares initiative by the Government of Ghana.

MTN and the E-Levy

On the tax on Electronic Transfers popularly known as E-Levy, the Group Chief Executive said, for now, MTN sees it as a burden-sharing with government in terms of addressing the current challenges facing the economy.

Mr. Mupita, however, pointed out that it’s too early to find out the impact of the E-levy on its operations, but can only do so in six months’ time.

Localisation of MTN 

The Group Chief Executive of MTN intimated his outfit is committed to increasing the stake that Ghanaians can hold in MTN Ghana.

MTN, in 2018, issued about 12.5% of its shares to the public.

But presently, the investing public hold about 23.7% stake in the telecom giant.

“We are looking to offload about 30% and we’ve made a lot of progress on that. 30% is the target and that is the commitment as group.”

The Group CEO added that as a company “we want more and more Ghanaians to enjoy and participate in the economic success of Ghanaians and the business.”



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GITFiC 2022 to focus on efficient mobile money penetration in Africa

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With the growth of mobile money and electronic money transfers, stakeholders in the sector are poised to discuss its challenges and new methods to enhance its efficiency at the 6th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC).

The event which will take place again in Accra, on 23rd and 24th May, 2022 will have the Chief Executive of the Ghana Telecommunications Chamber, Dr. Ing. Ken Ashigbey as its Chief Executive

GITFiC 2022 seeks to update the evidence base of what is currently available in terms of reviewing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), data on digital trade, and in doing so, identifying potential options for estimating the value of cross border payment & settlement given the current data gaps.

The 6th Conference will, this year, consolidate the conversation from the 5th Conference on the AfCFTA and the Role of Local Governance in helping with extensive sensitisation, education, and preparing the minds of the business communities within the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District localities.

 The Vice President of VISA, MasterCard, Swift’s Senior Country Director for Western Africa, Chief Executive of Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Chief Executive of the Association of Micro-finance Institutions in Kenya, and the Regional Head of Société Général in West Africa based in Abidjan makes up the first panel on day one for discussion.

The theme is “Towards an Effective and Efficient Mobile Money Transactional Penetrations in Africa; A Catalyst to solving Cross Border Payment & Settlement, an Anticipated-Barrier within the AfCFTA; – The Role of Financial Regulators and Stakeholders”.

The second day of the conference christened; the Trade Minister’s Panel, will see some selected Trade Ministers within the continent joining the conclave.

The final panel discussion on day 2 is on the theme “Leveraging on the pillars of Trade-Finance – A catalyst for Industrial Growth and Acceleration Post Pandemic; the Role of Payment, Financing, Risk Mitigation, and Access to Information”.

This panel will seek to address current woes facing industries due to the prolonged restrictions on the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and the post pandemic – the available finance options for industry.

The Vice President of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, the Head of Trade Finance at the African Development Bank, the Ivorian President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Special Advisor to the Ivorian President of the Federation of SMEs comprise the third panel.



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