Business News of 2014-01-23

ACEP critiques Petroleum Law

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has attributed challenges associated with the implementation of Ghana’s Petroleum Revenue Management Law to the design of the law.

According to Mohammed Amin Adam, ACEP’s Executive Director, who was delivering an address yesterday in Accra during a day’s national forum on proposals for the review of the Ghana Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 (Act 815), the situation could be attributed to the high costs associated with implementation.

“ACEP’s review of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act shows that perhaps enough due diligence was not done on the cost of its implementation before the law was passed.

“The law, in our view, is one of the costly laws to implement. For instance, it provides for two new institutions, expansion of the role of four existing institutions and the development and publication of nine reports annually, most of them duplicating one another.

“The provision of more cost centres without appropriately funding them has even created additional costs translating into poor implementation of the law.

The most institutional and bureaucratic cost of the law is the fiscal model, which has become so complex and difficult to implement, he indicated.

Mr Amin Adam further noted that as the protector of the public purse, Parliament must ask Government to provide cost estimates for implementing any new bill it submits to Parliament.

“This will make us more innovative in the making of laws which do not eventually become a burden on our country.

He, however, commended the Minister of Finance for the renewed efforts at addressing some of the concerns.

“In the 2014 Budget Statement, the Minister of Finance agreed with us and stated that the ABFA will be devoted to only a few capital projects to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

“The Minister also announced that the Government will develop a policy and law on Public Investment Management of public investment. This, according to the minister, will cover all the requirements including planning, formulation, appraising, selection, budgeting, as well as monitoring and evaluation of all public investments. This is commendable and I believe this might be one of the reasons for the President’s recent public declaration of confidence in the Minister.”

Source: Daily Guide
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