Member of the parliamentary select committee on Mining and Energy, Adam Matawakilu has assured Ghanaians that government has halted the signing of petroleum agreement until the Exploration and Production( ENP) law iis passed.
The Member of Parliament was speaking at this year's African Oil and Gas Governance Summit on Monday morning
His assurance was in reaction to calls made by civil society organisations present at the summit who are pushing for the immediate passage of the law.
One of such stakeholders is the campaign coordinator of the Integrated Social Development Center - ISODEC in an address to the gathering, called for a swift passage of the law in order for the country to get real value for its oil and gas resources.
" The elaborate disclosure provisions in the petroleum laws have not led to accountability. Questions are being asked in terms of value for money considerations. The PNDC law does not protect the country well enough against exploitation by investors. Which is why we are calling for a swift passage. It does not help matters that we have not been able to pass the Exploration and Production law for six years now."
In response, the Member of Parliament on the parliamentary select committee on the mines and energy, Adam Matawakilu said
" With the five years of oil production, we have done considerably well in terms of availability of legislature to protect the interest of the country. There is the Petroleum Ma Management Act 2011, Act 821 and the local content law. There are more laws in the offing, like the ENP bill. And I assure you that since 2008 when the bill was laid before parliament no petroleum agreement has been signed. And no agreement will be signed until the law is passed."
Meanwhile, a communique is being put together by all stakeholders at the summit containing all loopholes that have been found in the bill. It will also highlight the need for a strong link between oil wealth and development that will ensure equity in the distribution of benefits for the oil resources.