CSPOG Launches Campaign To Fight Corruption In Extractive

The Chairman of Civil Society Platform on Oil and Ghana (CSPOG), Dr. Steven Manteaw has revealed that he is optimistic the campaign to rid the extractive sector of corruption can be a reality if Ghanaians support the fight.

According to him, this can be achieved if the authorities in power do not hide the needed data but provide accurate information to the public on the happenings in the sector.

Speaking at the campaign launch, Mr Manteaw said, “We are about 30million Ghanaians and because all cannot go to Parliament, we elect people to go and take decisions on our behalf. This is the principle of the Principal Agent Relationship.”

He added that since it does not happen, it tends to weaken the democratic accountability to a very large extent, likewise the ability to make a transition from transparency to accountability.

Chairman Manteaw mentioned that in an attempt to fight the menace, the public always pays much attention to white-colour corruption i.e bribery, influence peddling especially in the financial sector, Police Service and other public institutions and ignoring the types that go on in the extractive sector.

“But the kinds of corruption, we are talking about here are the ‘big ticket ones’. 1% marker on one oil contract could be amounting to about $100,000 and so if you pay your attention to the GHc1, GHc2 that the Policemen collecting or the ‘Sheep’ and ‘Goats’, the Judges are ‘supposed’ to be collecting, we will be losing so much money which could actually have gone to finance our national development,” he intimated.

Dr. Manteaw noted that the time has come for Ghanaians to broaden the scope of our anti-corruption fight and ensure that it pays attention to the bigger corruption that often gets ignored.

He added that although it has taken Ghana so long in the fight against corruption, CSPOG conceives the idea based on revelations in the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) report and also the reports of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC).

He revealed that CSPOG is determined to pull together all the episodic revelations of corruption in the various reports and try to understand the enabling factors that make the acts happen.

“We have to look at the policy legislative institutional gaps that are exploited to perpetrate these acts of corruption in the sector and pull these together to one document could serve as a guide for any future policy legislative and institutional reforms. But this reforms we know can come about only as a result of citizen’s advocacy and demand. That is why we are bringing this issue in our report,” he stressed.

Economist and Member of CSPOG, Samuel Bekoe in a presentation noted that the weaknesses in Ghana’s anti-corruption legal framework thwart government’s efforts to effectively prevent or prosecute corruption in the sector.

“Our main objective is how to win our Civil Society Platform and other stakeholder campaigns against some of these findings and also advocate for the loopholes, vulnerability of the sector has to be reduced and the risk of also being reduced,” he indicated.

According to him, a report of fiscal receipt from oil and gas between 2010 to 2018 revealed that Ghana gained an amount of US$5billion.

“The sector is very important to us. If you add the 2019 report, we are almost about $5.8Billion but if we don’t put things in place, we may tend to be dependents in that sector in the near future,” he stated.

Mr. Bekoe advised that if Ghanaians do not fight against ministerial discretion and political interference, the next generation unborn will suffer from the negligence of this 21st Century.

He added that CSPOG will be reviewing suggestions and work with partners in the anti-corruption fight to fashion out a sector specific initiative.

He also noted that CSPOG will be pushing for legislative and institutional reforms to remove the identical potential enablers of corruption in the sector.

A launch on the campaign to Ghana’s Extractive Sector of Corruption was also held.