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As we’ve posted here and written in our magazine (p. 7), Ghana civil society organizations have gained substantial ground in collaborating with their government to promote transparency in oil revenue. They can now see what taxes, royalties, and other payments the government collects, and monitor where that money is spent.
Here at Oxfam we have worked hard to support the work in Ghana to build a culture of transparency and good governance. We’ve complemented this work in Ghana with our advocacy in the US for the payment transparency provisions in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (p. 8). These provisions are under threat in a law suit by the American Petroleum Institute (the lobbying arm of the US oil industry), which is seeking to block that entire section of Dodd-Frank, legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Obama.
What are the oil companies y trying to hide? This is the question posed by Boakye Dankwa Boadi in a video we released last week. The efforts of Mr. Boadi and others in Ghana to promote transparency and responsible governance are under threat. He sees legislation like Dodd-Frank as a measure that will help them check the money coming in to the government with payments reported by the companies themselves. He says this will help Ghana “cross the path of poverty” to becoming a more developed nation.
The court heard oral arguments last week, and we anticipate a decision in the coming months. Oxfam is calling for oil companies to publicly disassociate themselves from the API suit, and we’re asking you to sign a petition to support this.