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23.10.2008 Business & Finance

Creating harmony in Petroleum and Investment Laws

By The Statesman

A sub committee formed to address irregularities in the country's investment and petroleum laws aimed at creating harmony for investment attraction is said to be making headway in its endeavours.

The out come of its decision is expected to be incorporated into the National Oil Policy which is being developed under the Chairmanship of Mary Chinery Hesse, chief advisor to president John Agyekum Kufuor.

The work of the sub committee, which comprises officials of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and Ghana National Petroleum Authority will help to give GIPC a role in the petroleum sector to also monitor and evaluate investment drives.

Addressing the media last week at a press conference, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, said there had been regular dialogue between GIPC and NPA in addressing the anomalies.

The initiative, he said would make the two laws which set up the NPA and GIPC compatible in addressing the needs of investors who wish to operate in Ghana"s petroleum sector.

Petroleum experts have argued that the inequalities in the two laws have greatly affected the growth of investment in the petroleum sector.

Even though he declined to comment on the changes made so far, he believes that "whatever law comes out will be in favour of Ghanaian investors and businesses in the petroleum sector while attracting more foreign investors.'

Experts say Ghana's investment laws have over the years been restricted from covering the petroleum sector, with the GNPC charged with oversight in the oil sector.

This disconnect, officials say, necessitated the formation of the sub committee under the oil act implementation committee to address such anomalies following the discovery of oil in the country.