Mr Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, a Deputy Minister of Finance, said the country had produced over 74 million barrels of crude oil from the Jubilee Fields as at August 2013.
The daily production currently is in excess of 110,000 barrels per day, he said, adding that the oil and gas sector’s contribution to the revenue of the country represented 6.6 percent of domestic revenue and 1.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr Ricketts-Hagan was addressing the 2010/2011 sensitization and dissemination workshop on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Audit Report in Tamale on Wednesday, attended by industry players.
He said the sector employed about 27,000 people with a total of 13.5 billion dollars earned from foreign direct investment from 1983 to 2012.
Mr Ricketts-Hagan said the revenue contributions over the past decades had been increasing steadily and that in 2012 the sector contributed 27 percent of Ghana’s total tax revenue and six percent to GDP.
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He said Government was working assiduously to ensure that the enhanced revenues were prudently managed and utilized for the benefit of the people.
He said given the strategic importance of natural resources, especially minerals and oil to the economy of Ghana and the need for more transparent and prudent management of the revenue, it was appropriate to make the revenue data widely available to empower the general public to hold companies and Government accountable.
Mr Ricketts-Hagan, however, lamented the associated risks galamsey operations posed to the nation and gave the assurance that Government was making efforts to curb the activities of illegal miners.
“We are also making the necessary efforts to ensure that the legal small scale mining moves to sustainable footing,” he said.
Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, Executive Director of WACAM, said Africa had significant resources accounting for 30 percent of the world’s proven reserves but the natural wealth and the grim of poverty was a paradox.
He said there were many gaps in regulatory frameworks in Ghana with no clear provision for ‘no go zones’ to protect communities and national landmarks.
Mr Owusu-Koranteng said the law was also silent on cyanide spillages and chemical pollution of water bodies.
He called on the Government to place a moratorium on the granting of mining leases and undertake cost benefit analysis to cover the social, economic and environmental costs of mining.
Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini, Deputy Northern Regional Minister, said there was the need to review legislations to ensure that the country gained the best dividends from her natural resources.
He said the country must take advantage of her abundant natural resources to fetch the needed revenue adding that; “Ghana has found gas and oil in commercial quantities but it is unclear what actually the people of Ghana gain, we must make better policies”.
Mr Amponsah Tawiah, EITI Steering Committee member, said prudent use of resources was an important engine for economic growth which contributed to sustainable development and poverty reduction.
He said the development of the country’s natural resources should be designed to secure the greatest social and economic benefits for the people.