Government has launched an independent Oil and Gas Information Resource Center (IOGIRC) with a call on stakeholders in the industry to support the Centre to succeed.
The Centre is among other things expected to create an interactive space for information, keep oil and gas stakeholders abreast with technical, strategic and commercial issues that affect the industry.
Launching the Centre in Accra on Tuesday, Deputy Minister for Energy in charge of Petroleum, Hon. Mohammed Amin Adam, noted that the establishment of the Centre is a reflection of government’s commitment to support relevant research for public discourse on policies, laws and regulations.
The Deputy Minister added that the Centre will provide relevant information on the operation of the oil and gas sector to interested parties and will indeed raise the bar on public scrutiny of decisions made by public officials regarding the exploitation and use of oil and gas resources.
Government , he announced will soon demonstrate its commitment to broadening the boundaries of transparency and information disclosure by launching a Public Register of Petroleum Agreements, Permits and Authorizations , a requirement by Section 56 of the Petroleum Act of 2016[ ACT 919].
The Register will contain full-text petroleum agreements and other relevant documents of public interest. ‘’ It is our expectation that the Register will not only complement the work of the Centre but more importantly serve as important reference source for information’’.
He underscores the importance of the Centre which according to him has come at an appropriate time when the government is desirous of increasing upstream activities in partnership with national and international oil and gas exploration companies through data acquisition and acceleration of exploration.
With an increase in upstream activities, information needs of the public and industry stakeholders will also increase tremendously and that the Centre will now fill the information gap which could create suspicion on the minds of people which has threatened the survival of oil industries in some countries.
The Minister was also hopeful the management of the Centre will justify the huge investment made by government in establishing the Centre.
Hon. Mohammed Amin Adam mentioned that the NPP Government is determined to ensure that Ghana’s oil and gas resources are well managed for the benefit of the people. ‘’ In fact we want to make oil a catalyst for economic , human and physical transformation of our economy; and we count on all of you to support us in realizing these noble objectives’’ he appealed.
For his part, Lawyer Kwame Gyamfua, who chaired the function, urged oil and gas companies operating in Ghana to cooperate with the Centre by giving it access to information on their operations in the country.
He lauded the idea for establishing the Centre and called on all stakeholders particularly the media to help disseminate information on the centre’s existence and activities to the people.
He charged the newly constituted steering committee for the Centre to ensure that only right information are collected and uploaded on the Center’s website to ensure accurate information sharing.
Mr. George Sarpong on behalf of the seven member Steering Committee , promised to justify the hope reposed in them by the government ‘’ Even though the task ahead is daunting, we shall work assiduously to achieve the objectives for which the Centre was established ‘’ he assured.
Story: Mohammed Saani Ibrahim