Review mandate of PIAC to include other natural resources – BudgiT Ghana report

The mandate of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) should be reviewed to include the other natural resource revenues says a report.

The report authored by BudgiT Ghana together with the Ford Foundation said the review would increase accountability and improve utilisation revenue from the sector.

The report said PIAC should rather be empowered to look into other natural resource revenues adding that creating a new organisation to look into income management of the mining sector would be a duplication of function.

The 30-page report launched last Tuesday dubbed “Impact Assessment of Oil Producing Communities in Ghana” highlighted the need for the establishment of a ‘policing’ entity like PIAC or broadening its mandates in order to increase accountability and improve utilisation in the country.

PIAC’s mandate is to monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act by the government and relevant institutions in the management and use of petroleum revenues and investment as well as providing space and platform for the public to debate whether spending prospects, management and use of revenues conform to development priorities.

The recommendation was because of how the mining sector’s revenue had been managed over the years.

However the sector contributed between five and 10 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 45 per cent of all exports with gold alone accounted for 90 per cent of all mineral exports.

“Ghana is ranked among the 10 largest gold producers in the world and currently, the largest in Africa, between 1983 and 2016, $17 billion in value was spent in the mining industry, making Ghana the country with the highest gross foreign exchange earnings,” the report read.

Also, the report said the Ghana Chamber of Mines reported that, the mines industry was one of the major contributors to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), accounting for 16 per cent of domestic tax receipts in 2016 and GH¢1.46 billion of total direct tax receipts in 2012.

In accordance to that, government have been urged to focus on building PIAC’s capacity to deliver on its mandate to the people of Ghana by providing the needed financial support to enable the committee function smoothly.

“Given that petroleum was a limited resource, PIAC must also keep collaborating with government and other relevant actors to guarantee effective management and use of the resource and revenue,” it advised.

BY ANITA ANKRAH

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