The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), is calling for an open and competitive process in the award of petroleum contracts and mandatory disclosure of beneficial ownership information.
It is estimated that developing countries, including Ghana, lose about $1trillion each year due to corrupt or illegal cross-border deals, many of which involve companies with unclear ownership.
Speaking to Class Business’ Pious Kojo Backah on the sidelines of a stakeholder engagement workshop on petroleum contracting, petroleum revenue management and beneficial ownership in Ghana, a Senior Policy Analyst at ACEP, Pauline Anaman, urged government to be transparent in the award of contracts in the industry.
She said: “ACEP is seeking to ensure that the petroleum contracting process – that is the licensing allocation process is first of all transparent. We agreed the regulation ensures good level of transparency and we’re very proud of that but we’re saying more can be done.
“When it comes to direct negotiation, it has to be equally opened. The qualification of the companies must be declared even before they enter so that they know that this is the criteria I have to meet to be able to even start bidding or going into direct negotiation.
“The other thing is, also, when the negotiation is on-going, Ghanaians must know the process, understand the evaluation criteria, it has to be open. If you follow the process, we will be able to feed into it and as a result we could have a better outcome.”
She bemoaned, however, that: “What the law does not provide for is redress mechanism. When a company feels aggrieved, what mechanisms are there for the company to feel that they’ve been treated fairly? So, these are things we feel we must take a second look at.”