Stakeholders at the JoyBusiness Oil and Gas Town Hall Meeting have called for a review of the laws governing the petroleum upstream sector.

Head of Programmes at the Institute of Fiscal Studies Nicholas Ekow De-Heer called for a review of the Petroleum and Revenue Management Act (PRMA) to allow for proper investments of the funds.

He said, “The Investment Advisory Committee is largely non-functional. There is a more fundamental issue which is that the law itself, although the law itself says we should set up the Investment Advisory Committee (IAC), the law itself undercut and undermine the role of the Advisory Committee by prohibiting the investments into certain areas. So the law prescribes a very narrow range of qualifying instrument.” hence the need to review the country’s oil and gas laws. 

“So essentially even if the IAC was active, what it will mean was that their hands would betide. That’s an issue that needs to be looked at.”

 “If you look at the interest that we are earning on our petroleum funds and our heritage funds are so low and this should set as a guide to the Minister and to provide input into the technical decisions regarding the investments.”

The laws governing the GNPC is outmoded. Perhaps it is time to get GNPC a new law,” Mr De-Heer added.

Also speaking at the event was the former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper who “If we want significant projects to be done then it is the ABFA that must be examined and that is why we set up the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund to take a portion of the ABFA, a portion of ordinary revenue which is 15.5% of VAT…”

Mr Terkper added, “…But there is merit in saying that we should use the oil revenue for substantive projects. So that’s why the first investment by the Infrastructure Fund was on Terminal 3…”

The review which many say should be on the Petroleum and Revenue Management Act is expected to see to the proper management of funds that are held in the Petroleum Holding fund lodged at the Bank of Ghana.

In 2007, Ghana discovered oil and gas in commercial quantities and subsequently enacted the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) 2011 (Act 815) to govern the management of the revenues to accrue from the new-found resource in a transparent and accountable manner

The Town Hall Meeting organised by JoyBusiness and the Media Foundation of West Africa was on the theme: 10 years of commercial oil production in Ghana. Challenges and prospects for the future.”