Adnan Adams Mohammed
The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has pinpointed four main factors influencing corruption in the trading of commodities, including oil and gas.
In it’s recent report titled; “Ghana Oil Sales Data for Accountability” listed among other reasons such as the involvement of large financial transaction, discretions given to political leaders like the energy minister and CEOs of state owned enterprises and the lack of standard international regulation in most cases on sales of oil and gas exposes the petroleum sector.
These were said during a virtual learning event held last week by NRGI to empower media practitioners and stakeholders on how they can access the publicly available Ghana oil sales data covered in the report and use the data for accountability in their reporting.
“The commodity trading sector is particularly susceptible to corruption for four reasons”, presentation by Dennis Agyir, senior official of NRGI Africa office prompted. ” firstly, involves large financial transactions, with the average cargo being around 950,000 barrels and able to cost well over US$100 million.”
“Secondly, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) often have a great deal of discretion in conducting a state’s commodity trading activities, creating opportunities for individuals to abuse their public position for private gain.”
He added that the “Sector remains highly opaque and less scrutinized than other extractive activities as well as trading transactions are not subject to the same regulations or international standards as upstream activities.”
NRGI launched a report on Ghana Oil Sales Data for Accountability in December last year. The report demonstrates how publicly available data on the state’s oil sales activities can be used by civil society organizations, government, media and other oversight actors to hold the government, GNPC and trading companies accountable for how they sell and manage Ghana’s oil and its revenues. The report was accompanied by a Ghana Oil Sales Dataset which aggregates oil sales data as disclosed by various entities in Ghana.