Prof. Larry Diamond of Hoover Institution, Stanford University, United States of America, has called for radical new approaches to more effectively and transparently manage Ghana’s windfall oil wealth.
Prof Diamond has, therefore, recommended ‘Oil-To-Cash’ — Alaska model– as a promising innovation that can reduce the scope of corruption and increase citizen engagement with the state and incentives to monitor the state.
Under this model, he said, a portion of the state’s oil revenue (or a portion of the yields from the oil revenue stabilisation or sovereign oil Fund) should be distributed directly to all citizens as annual dividends.
Prof. Diamond was delivering a public lecture in Accra, last week on the topic: ‘Managing windfall oil wealth: How oil resource can generate development rather than decay.’
The lecture, organised by the Ghana Centre for Democratic development CDD-Ghana, in collaboration with the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), aimed at analysing the opportunities and challenges presented to developing countries upon the discovery and exploration of oil.
He said there was an urgent economic, political and moral imperative to counter corruption in the oil economy by strengthening anti-corruption and monitoring agencies and making them more politically resourceful and independent.
He said for anti-corruption agencies to have independent power to prosecute, appointments to leadership positions in such agencies should be made by the Supreme Court rather than by the President.
Prof Diamond said to avert a resource curse, radical transparency measures were required by, for example, publishing all payments made to government and government officials by the extractive industries.
He said there was also the need for governments to disclose all sources and amount of revenues while the asset declaration of public officials should be made publicly available on the internet.
Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), an energy think-tank, called on government to ensure an open and competitive contracts bidding process.
Dr Adam stressed the need to prioritise the management of the oil fund and urged government to develop a public investment management plan as well as a public investment management law to guide policy-makers in investing oil fund wisely.
CDD-Ghana is an independent, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and Non-for-Profit Research and Advocacy Institute that is dedicated to the promotion of democracy, good governance and economic openness in Ghana and throughout Africa.
ACEP, for its part, is also a Not-for-Profit organization that works to influence energy sector policies in Africa by providing professional analysis of energy policy, training, advisory services and policy advocacy for the efficient and transparent management of Africa’s energy resources.