Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, the Deputy Minister of Finance, has said there was the need to make revenue data on the nation’s natural resources widely available to empower the public to hold both companies and the government accountable.
He said Ghana, by signing on to the Extractive Transparency Initiative (EITI), had heeded the call that transparent and accountable management extractive resources could make the difference.
The Minister was addressing Metropolitan, Municipal, District Chief executives, Coordinating directors and finance officers of the assemblies from the Western Region at a workshop on the “Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) dissemination” in Takoradi.
The stakeholders’ workshop aimed at discussing the findings and recommendations of the 2010/2011 EITI reports which have been produced to make revenue information on the extractive sector available to the public.
Mr Forson said the effectiveness of the EITI required critical discussions, evaluation and interpretation of the report by key stakeholders, adding that it was through awareness creation among stakeholders that maximum benefit would be derived from these publications.
To this end, he said, the government would continue to support the Ghana EITI process to provide regular information on all revenues received by governments from the extractive sector in mining and oil/gas.
The Deputy Minister called on the MMDAs in the mining areas to demonstrate fiscal accountability and transparency in all revenue mobilization and expenditure decisions particularly those relating to the use of mineral royalties.
Mr Ebenezer K. T. Addo, the Western Regional Minister, said the time was ripe for citizens of mining communities to take the findings of the EITI report seriously and use it as the basis to demand accountable governance from the managers of the resources.
He said a well-informed society would embolden the citizenry to demand what is rightly theirs therefore urged the communities to study critically the report and act accordingly.
Mr Addo stressed the importance for the revenue generated from the extractive sector to be controlled to ensure its judicious use to the benefit of the entire community.
The Regional Minister called for permanent solutions to be found to lapses reported yearly in the EITI reports about the utilization of the royalties of the MMDAS.
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