Business & Finance

Gas Accountants’ Business Summit was held by ESRP.

Gas Accountants' Business Summit was held by ESRP.

Gas Accountants’ Business Summit was held by ESRP.

A two-day Gas Accountants’ Business Summit was hosted by the Energy Sector Recovery Programme (ESRP) to examine the natural gas industry in Ghana and challenges that are relevant to creating a financially sustainable energy sector.

The summit, whose theme was “The Role of Natural Gas on Ghana’s Sustainable Future,” drew in specialists from the energy industry including accountants, attorneys, business experts, and others.

Through a five-year implementation period beginning in 2019, the Ghanaian government created the ESRP to address ongoing and anticipated financial deficiencies for both the power and gas sectors.

The summit’s focus, according to Mr. Leonard Akuffo-Kwapong, Lead Accountant of the Natural Gas Clearinghouse, was on lowering legacy debt and guaranteeing financial viability in the energy industry.

In addition, Mr. Akuffo-Kwapong noted that it emphasized the significance of Ghanaian involvement in the oil and gas sector by concentrating on revenue collection, rising African markets, natural gas sustainability, and the energy sector legacy debt.

He claimed that oil and gas were a key source of money for Ghana, showing that they had recognized the value of local investment and participation in the industry as well as the need for the nation to take responsibility for its economic legacy.

Regarding the benefits of the ESRP, he revealed that the Natural Gas Clearinghouse and the Cash Waterfall Mechanism had worked together to make sure that State Owned Organizations (SOEs) involved in the value chain received full payment for the gas commodity, associated fees, and charges from October 2020 to January 2022.

Without the government of Ghana making any additional payments, he continued, they were able to significantly reduce the legacy debt. He explained how they did this by keeping track of the government’s payments over time and making accounting entries along the value chain from gas to power, which eventually gave the government of Ghana credit.

We reconciled more than $300 million in 2021 alone, and that money would be returned to the government of Ghana as a credit, he claimed.

According to Mr. Akuffo-Kwapong, one of the problems that contributed to the long-standing legacy debt was the lack of openness in the industry, which is what the ESRP is here to address.

The summit’s chairman, Professor Kwaku Appiah-Adu, ESRP Coordinator and Senior Advisor to Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, emphasized the value of bringing together key players in the energy industry to discuss critical concerns.

While considering the potential of the natural gas sector, Prof. Appiah-Adu stated that it was also important to improve ties amongst sector stakeholders in order to aid in reducing debt in the energy sector.

A formula and a percentage are then used to distribute money to the various players in the industry, he said, adding that by doing this they were able to ensure that there was an equitable distribution of the funds. He said the ESRP had a natural gas clearing house concept through which it brought together all the revenue that comes through the gas value chain.

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