Source: Ben LARYEA
As part of the measures to check illicit activities and malpractices in the extractive industry, the country has rolled out an initiative at implementing Beneficial Ownership (BO) at a launching ceremony in Accra.
The initiative is geared towards bringing to the forepersons who operate business entities without registering with the relevant institutions across the country particularly the extractive industry.
The Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. John Kuma speaking at the launch of the programme in a speech read on his behalf said for government to enhance its revenue mobilization, pragmatic measures be put in place to fight corruption in every business endeavour.
The event was sponsored by the BHP Foundation in partnership with Registrar General Department (RGD) and the Finance Ministry and implemented by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
According to him the beneficial ownership initiative will support the government, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs, Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as the media to engage and find out real owners of companies and monitor their financial operations for transparency in business dealings and transactions.
Dr. Kuma said the government in its quest to fight corruption in the extractive industry, parliament have passed a new Companies Act, 219 (Act 992) to scale up business operation in the country.
“Companies are also challenged to disclose their beneficial owners at the Registrar-General’s Department”, he said, a move he described as a module of reducing and curbing corrupt practices in the extractive space for the socio-economic development of the country and to enhance investor confidence by making Ghana as the gateway and economic hub to the world.
In a remark, the Head of the Registrar General’s Department, Mrs. Jemima Oware said her outfit have instituted a digital central register which have data on beneficial ownership on all companies as well as an online portal where interested clients can access information at any part of the world about the investment potentials in Ghana.
She said such programmes and policies will bring transparency and a conducive business environment to harmonize trade and services locally and internationally.
The Chairperson of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, Dr. Steve Manteaw urged all stakeholders in the extractive value chain to be committed and collectively work and ensure that the fight against corruption is achieved to enable the government to add value to its developmental projects.
He commended all the players in the extractive space and the sponsors for such an innovative programme as well as the panellists for their immense contributions in addressing corrupt practices in the extractive industry.