Business News Fri, 7 Aug 2015

‘Let oil contracts bidding process be transparent’

Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, the Executive Director, African Centre for Energy Policy, ACEP, has called for a clear and open bidding process for oil contracts.

He also called for proper assessment of the financial strength of companies awarded oil contracts to ensure that they had all the needed financial capacity to execute such contracts.

Dr Adam said this on Wednesday during a forum organized by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), on the theme: “Efficient Utilisation of Ghana’s Oil Revenue” in Accra.

He urged state agencies which would be allocated proceeds of the oil revenue to use them for projects which would inure to the total benefit of the country.

He expressed disappointment in the Department of Urban Roads for using its allocation of the oil revenue to pay for the penalty on delayed projects in 2013.

Dr Adam intimated that proceeds from the nation’s oil production was not much hence, the need for all state agencies which benefited, to use it judiciously.

“We can only feel the oil money when we have good roads, good schools, goods hospitals among others, hence, the need for all of us to make very good use of the little proceeds that we generate from our oil”, he added.

He praised Government for enhancing transparency, by coming out with a data which spells out how the oil revenue is allocated for various Government policies and projects, and called for the exercising of accountability by ensuring that people and agencies which misused their allocations were made to account for them.

He mentioned the upgrade of the Emena-Boadi main road in Kumasi, the emergency rehabilitation of Dansoman Main road, Nima Highway, Dadeban and Palance Street, as some of the benefits Ghana had accrued from the oil revenue.

Others include the partial reconstruction of the Meridian Road at Community 2 in Tema, and the rehabilitation of the Tema Beach Road.

Dr Adam cited cultural modernisation, roads construction and other infrastructure, capacity building, expenditure and paying back of loans for oil and gas infrastructure, as some of the priority areas in which Government had invested much of the oil revenue since 2011.

Mr Abdallah Ali-Akyea, a Law Lecturer, was of the view that the oil revenue, if properly administered, could help boost the development of the nation drastically by the provision of social amenities and good education and massive improvement on infrastructure.

He expressed concern about the activities of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee, adding that the nation was not utilizing the Committee.

Source: GNA