President John Dramani Mahama on Saturday gave the assurance that government would put in place adequate measures that would prevent financial leakages in the oil and gas and the general extractive industry.
He said: “In Ghana, government has a vibrant media, strong Civil Society Organizations, and is also a signatory to the Extractive Industries, Transparency Initiative (EITI) that will ensure that money accrued from the industry would be properly accounted.”
The President said apart from that, government had also set up an accountability measure, where the Ministry of Finance every year comes out with a report in Parliament to explain to all Ghanaians how much was generated from the sector and how it was utilized.
President Mahama gave this assurance during the plenary session of the G8 Summit currently underway in Lancaster, London in the United Kingdom on the theme: “Trade, Tax and Transparency.”
Ghana, Guinea, Tanzania and Senegal were the four countries that were invited by Prime Minister David Cameron to attend this year’s summit on account of the good governance, democracy and adequate measures those countries have implemented to ensure transparency in the extractive industry.
President Mahama said Ghana’s transparency was evidenced by the fact that all financial reports were published for public consumption, and budgets were presented to explain their achievements and failures, and promised to leverage the rate transparency that serve as an impetus and springboard for government to perform better in subsequent years.
On tax holidays for new multi-national companies in the country, President Mahama said the previous practice, where companies were given tax holidays was injurious to the state coffers as they kept changing hands every five years to evade tax.
He said government would soon come out with a workable strategy that would plug all the financial leakages that came from the ‘tricks’ of these foreign companies and seek lasting solutions that would bring financial dividends.
President Mahama called for the deregulation of investments in energy agriculture and roads that would help speed up the infrastructural development of the country.
He said Ghana deregulated investments in the telecommunication industry, which he said has yielded adequate benefits in the spread of technology and gave the assurance that liberalization in other sectors could yield similar benefits in various African countries.
President Mahama said it was necessary for other African leaders to open up their economies to intra-African trade that would harness the comparative advantage of various countries and promote the movement of goods and services in the continent.
Mr Kofi Annan, a former Secretary General of the United Nations, called on Britain and other developed countries to back their promises to support developing countries to enhance the development process.