I recall, during my inauguration of the expanded Ghana EITI National Steering Committee in September 2010 when the initiative was being extended to the oil and gas sector, that I mentioned that the value EITI can add to the governance of our natural resources sector can be enhanced if its fundamental role of publishin However, I have been reliably informed that earlier EITI Audit Reports have suffered from lack of cooperation from some of the extractive companies and some national revenue management institutions to disclose information for the preparation of the EITI reports. This constitutes one of the most critical barriers to the EITI implementation in the country. To address this challenge stakeholders have called for legal backing of the Ghana EITI to ensure that government institutions and all companies in the extractive industry disclose their payments and receipts periodically. g or putting accurate information in the public domain is done regularly and timely.
In fact we expect timely and accurate information to enable us address systemic problems on time. The regular publication of timely, reliable and easily accessible financial information disclosed by governments and companies and subject to third-party verification is at the core of the EITI model of improving natural resources governance.
Honorable Members, it is the opinion of EITI stakeholders that while the EITI can deliver many benefits as a stand-alone initiative, it is likely to work particularly better when there is a long term strategy for mainstreaming it to improve governance of extractive industries. This mainstreaming can be achieved through a well thought out law backing the initiative and addresses some of the implementation challenges.
So far countries like Nigeria, Liberia and Azerbaijan have legislated the EITI in order to remove all the legal obstacles to the implementation of EITI in their countries whilst other countries are in the process of doing so. Ghana has gone through a series of consultative processes including a legal review of some of the country’s laws that promote transparency and accountability. The EITI legislation has, therefore, begun in earnest.