The Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) has urged the government to amend the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) to address institutional overlap in the collection of surface rentals for onshore oil exploration.
GHEITI emphasized that surface rentals should be collected by the Office of the Administrator of Lands (OASL) in accordance with the 1992 Constitution.
GHEITI stated that the OASL, as mandated by the Constitution, should collect and distribute revenues, including ground rent, using a prescribed formula. Surface rentals refer to the fees paid by oil contractors for operations over a licensed area.
Currently, international oil companies pay fees to the Ghana Revenue Authority for offshore oil and gas exploration.
However, GHEITI argued that when exploration activities expand to onshore areas, the collection of acreage fees or ground rent should be taken over by the OASL and distributed as stipulated by the Constitution.
GHEITI highlighted that collecting onshore surface rentals into the Petroleum Holding Fund would be a violation of the Constitution, as these activities occur on land.
To avoid institutional overlap, GHEITI made two recommendations: limiting the Ghana Revenue Authority's role in collecting surface rentals for offshore activities and assigning the responsibility of onshore collections to the Office of the Administrator of Lands.
In related news, government, in collaboration with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Swiss African Oil Company Limited, and PET Volta Investments Limited, has granted Swiss African Oil Company and PET Volta Investments an onshore oil exploration permit in the Voltain Basin.