Economist calls for new exploration and petroleum law

•   Drums of oil.

• Drums of oil.

Dr. Joseph Kwadwo Asenso of the Real Sector Division of the Ministry of Finance, has called for a new exploration and petro-leum law, to reflect current industrial practices for the country to have maximum benefit of the petroleum upstream industry.

He also expressed concern about low returns on the Ghana Petroleum Fund, which was established following the promulgation of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) due to what he described as “pessimistic investment”.

Dr. Asenso said this in Accra in a presentation on the topic: “The Upstream of the Petroleum Sector: the Challenges and Prospect for the Ghanaian Economy”, organised by the Economy of Ghana Network of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana, Legon.

The EGN serves as platform to allow individuals interested in the economy and social transformation of Ghana to share evidence based ideas on some best policy options available to Ghana and is being funded by the African Capacity Building Foundation.

His presentation was based on survey carried out in 10 regions, that sought the views of respondents made of chiefs, opinion leaders, Civil Society Organisations, Non Governmental Organisations and political leaders, think tanks on the upstream industry.

The petroleum upstream is being governed by the Exploration and Production Law 1984, PNDC Law 84, but Dr. Asenso, an economist, was of the view that the dynamics in the upstream industry had challenges, since the discovery of oil and gas in the country and expressed the need for new law to reflect current practice.

Dr Asenso expressed the need to direct the annual budget fund amount from the oil revenue used to fund the annual budget, into capital expenditure to prop up the economy, generate more wealth and create more jobs for the benefit of the country.

He said an amount of GH¢549,400,109.40 had been invested in priority areas of the economy from the oil revenue as at 2014.

Giving the priority areas as road and other infrastructure, expenditure and amortisation of loans for oil and gas infrastructure, agriculture modernisation and capacity building in the oil and gas sectors for Ghanaians to take advantage of the local content.

By Times Reporter 

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