The UK Minister of State for International Development, Rt Hon Desmond Swayne MP, paid a courtesy call on Ghana’s Petroleum Minister Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, during his visit to Ghana.
The meeting which took place in Takoradi during the President’s tour to the Western Region, had the two dignitaries discussing extensively happenings in the oil and gas industry.
Welcoming Hon Swayne, Mr. Buah, thanked him for the visit and acknowledged the UK’s commitment to Ghana. Hon Buah further emphasized on Government’s policies to ensure the prudent management of Ghana’s oil and gas industry. The two dignitaries also discussed the new Exploration and Production
(E&P) Bill which is currently laid before Parliament for passage.
According to the minister, the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Law, 1984, PNDCL 84 which Ghana currently conducts its exploration and production activities has served the country very well, and contains most of the essential provisions of an exploration and production law. However, with the discovery of oil, it became imperative that a more robust legal and regulatory framework was needed to fully protect the interest of Ghana and ensure the conduct of petroleum activities in a safe, secure and sustainable manner.
He further emphasized that, after the draft Bill was finalized, comments were solicited from more than one hundred stakeholder organizations all over the country, including international oil companies operating within Ghana’s basins, civil society organizations, development partners, tertiary institutions and Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. “A stakeholders’ meeting was held to provide a platform for articulating the various views received and for frank discussion on the draft Bill. “A number of these comments were incorporated into the Bill and thereafter submitted to Cabinet for approval” he added. The new E&P Bill will ensure greater transparency and prudent management of Ghana’s oil and gas resource.
Hon Swayne, thanked the Petroleum Minister for the warm reception and commended the Government of Ghana for work done so far in the oil and gas sector. The Minister’s visit to Ghana was to further bilateral relations focusing on good governance and Ghana’s commitments ahead of the UK summit on anti-corruption and Ghana-UK collaboration.
Other dignitaries present were personnel from the UK High Commission and the Chief Director for Ministry of Petroleum, Prof. Thomas M. Akabzaa.