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STATEMENT: We Need To Know Owners Of Oil, Gas & Mining Contracts - CSOs To Mahama   
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Ten civil society organizations have raised the alarm about the possibility of politicians hiding behind secretive, non-disclosure legislation to award oil blocks to themselves and have thus petitioned President John Dramani Mahama to cause the disclosure of the identities of persons behind the ownership of oil blocks.

In a letter addressed to the president, the civil society groups called on the president to commit to a 10-point anti-corruption agenda

They are also demanding an immediate action to avoid international sanctions from the Financial Action Task Force.

It comes barely a day before the president delivers an address at the global anti-corruption summit in the United Kingdom.

Read statement below

Civil Society Anti-Corruption Agenda on Extractive Industries

Civil Society Organizations at a Dialogue on Anti-Corruption on Extractive Industries organized by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) on the 9th of May 2015, as prelude to the UK Anti-Corruption Summit, have called on the Government of Ghana to declare its commitment to fight corruption in Ghana and in the extractive industries in particular.

The Dialogue considered the hotspots for corruption in Ghana and recommended specific commitments expected of the President of Ghana to ensure that Ghana takes bold steps at eradicating corruption.

The participants called on the President to commit to a 10-point anti-corruption agenda as follows:

1. An open and competitive process for awarding oil, gas and mining concessions

2. A mandatory requirement for the disclosure of oil, gas and mining contracts

3. A mandatory requirement for the establishment of a public register of beneficial owners in the extractive industries and all their associated interest in Ghana and abroad. This could be done through a number of planned legislations – the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Bill or the Companies Bill.

4. A requirement for the criminal prosecution of public officials found to have engaged in conflict of interest during oil, gas and mining licensing and in the regulation of operations

5. The passage of the Right to Information Bill

6. The passage of the Petroleum (Explorations and Production) Bill

7. The Subscription to Open Data Standards across Ministries Departments and Agencies

8. Confirm Appointed Heads of Institutions in time to ensure their independence and security of tenure

9. Sign on to the Voluntary and Automatic Frameworks for exchange of information to address illicit financial flows

10. Effectively implement the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) or transform it into an Anti-Corruption Law.

These commitments should also be backed by timelines to enable citizens to hold the President to account. It was agreed that much of the commitment to fight corruption in the past has been mere rhetoric without timelines and clarity on actions to be taken.

It is our belief that our President who will be among world leaders to address the UK anti- corruption  summit,  will  use  this  great  platform  to  commit  the  government  to  an anti- corruption agenda that will lay the foundation for a transformative society in Ghana, in which official impunity, corruption, and mismanagement of public resources will be stopped.
Source: Peacefmonline.com

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