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The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has announced that the implementation of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Recirculation Model will be a conduit for massive job creation in the country.

According to the Chief Executive of the Authority, Mr. Alhassan Tampuli, there would be no job loses as perceived; rather, over 4000 jobs will be added to the already existing jobs in the LPG sector.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement forum held in Accra, on Friday, Mr. Tampuli said, “We envisage that at the end of this exercise, we would be able to add not less than 4500 jobs to the job market.”

He continued: “There will be a number of indirect jobs created for installations, maintenance, fabrication and other services. New investment opportunities such as bottling companies, bottle transportation, manufacturing of cylinders and cylinder redistributors will also be available for grabs.”

The NPA boss was emphatic that the policy would be fully rolled out and assured stakeholders there will be no backing out.

Increase in LPG production

With the implementation of the policy, the NPA further foresees a substantial increase in the country’s LPG supply by 25% within a 10-year span.

“The relevant licenses will be issued and safety protocols will be keenly observed to ensure the safety of the good people of Ghana, while increasing access to LPG for domestic commercial and industrial use from the current 25% level 50% level by 2030,” Mr. Tampuli indicated.

Safety first

Speaking at the forum, Deputy Minister for energy, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam said the first LPG bottling plant will begin operation by end of the year adding that “safety remains a major component in the policy.”

He said, “We can’t ignore the issues of safety, health and security of the public, hence the need to put structures in place to ensure that systems guide the process going forward.”

The Second Lady of the Republic, Her Excellency Samira Bawumia also called for support and partnership with the NPA to implement policy. On her part, the use of LPG products should not and must result in the loss of lives.

“No woman, no child no family should lose a loved one because of the usage of LPG in cooking. LPG is a friend not an enemy when used properly,” she said.

Government through the NPA has been engaging with various stakeholders to solicit their thoughts on the appropriate ways roll out the policy.

So far, the NPA has engaged with the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, Members of the Council of State, residents of Nima, Suyani, Koforidua as well as members of the media.

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Since the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities in Ghana, the government has, over time, been working feverishly to ensure that the country fully benefits from the blessings of what has been described as ‘black gold’.

One of the major projects it intends to undertake is the development of a petroleum hub for the West African sub-region.

A lot of work had been done in the past, but being one of the present government’s strategic anchor initiatives, the hub project is expected to take off soon, leading to the establishment of Ghana as a petrochemical hub to supply refined petroleum products.

The aim is to meet the demands of the West African sub-region and eventually the entire continent and further develop Ghana’s petroleum downstream sub-sector.

The Cabinet has given approval for the establishment of the much-awaited petroleum hub in the Western Region to house all infrastructure projects in the petroleum industry.

The hub will accommodate a refinery to process crude oil into various petroleum products and manufacturing plants for the processing of fertiliser from the by-products of oil.

The move by the government forms part of a major initiative to create more jobs in the oil and gas sector of the economy and provide investment opportunities for interested companies within and outside Ghana.

The hub, which is expected to cover an area of about 20,000 square kilometres, will be developed using the free zone concept.

The Minister of Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, who announced this at a luncheon organised by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), Ghana in Accra last Friday, expressed optimism about the project.

The Daily Graphic would want to associate itself with the project, particularly at a time when more discoveries are being made by players in the oil and gas industry in the country.

As we know, the development of the hub will increase the presence of major international oil trading and storage companies, create regional trading champions and encourage joint ventures between local and multinational companies for knowledge transfer and wealth creation.

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A total of 150 upstream multinational oil and gas companies are set to participate in the West Africa Offshore Well Intervention (OWI WA) Conference in Accra which comes off in June.

Participating companies include Tullow Oil, Exxon Mobil, Shell Nigeria, Chevron Nigeria, British Petroleum (BP) Angola, Sanongol Group, and Marathon Oil among others.

This will present a perfect opportunity for various joint ventures between Ghanaian exploration firms and their multinational oil and gas counterparts to utilize various innovative technical and economic strategies that enhance well performance in collaboration with each other.

The upcoming conference will serve as a platform to hear from regional and international offshore operators and well service companies at the cutting edge of subsea innovation as they present their most recent well intervention projects as well as share reliable insights on the challenges and opportunities facing the West African offshore market.

Importantly the conference will offer options with regards to the most cost-effective well drilling and maintenance services.   Currently, it costs between US$30 million to US$70 million to drill one upstream well and maintenance is an essential element to maintain the longevity of the wells’ lifespan.

The event will enable upstream operators in the sub-region to learn the latest industry developments; take advantage of new networking opportunities and potential partnerships with West Africa’s leading operators and service providers to explore deepwater solutions for efficient operations in the region; and discuss various topics aimed at developing the sector.

Topics to be discussed during the occasion include light and heavy well interventions, well integrity, good intervention mechanisms, production enhancement as well as logistics and supply chain strategies.

The activity will allow operators to hear first hand case studies of recent campaigns within the region as presenters will explain the main challenges in the sector, how they solved them as well as giving other operators insights into improving future well intervention strategies.

The West African Offshore Well Intervention Conference was launched as a meeting point for industry stakeholders, regulators, operators and service companies to discuss the opportunities, and discover innovative approach aimed at improving well performance in the region.

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The cabinet has given approval for the establishment of the much-awaited petroleum hub in the Western Region to house all infrastructure projects in the petroleum industry.

The hub will accommodate a refinery to process crude oil into various petroleum products and manufacturing plants for the processing of fertiliser from the by-products of oil.

The move by the government forms part of a major initiative to create more jobs in the oil and gas sectors of the economy and provide investment opportunities for interested companies within and outside Ghana.

The hub, which is expected to cover an area of about 20,000 square kilometres, will be developed using the free zone concept.

The Minister of Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, announced this at a luncheon organised by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), Ghana in Accra last Friday.

Christened: the AMCHAM Ghana Energy Forum, the event was on the theme: Energy sector perspective: Vision and strategies for a sustainable energy sector in Ghana”.

“I am happy to announce that two weeks ago the Cabinet gave approval for the establishment of the petroleum hub, which will create a lot of job opportunities and also investment opportunities for interested companies.

“The hub is going to work under a programme where the government will serve as the facilitator in securing almost 20,000 square kilometres of land and all our petroleum infrastructure is going to be placed in that hub. It is going to be a free zone concept sort of thing,” Mr Amewu told the gathering of high-profile businessmen and women of the chamber.

He said, for instance, that “our fertiliser plants, our refinery and all other petroleum-related activities are going to be there in the hub”.

Role of private sector

He said the project would be private-sector driven but indicated that the government would provide the necessary infrastructure.

Broader project intention

Explaining the broader intention of the government regarding the project, Mr Amewu said it was leveraging the strategic location of Ghana to position itself within the sub-region as the major supplier of finished petroleum products.

The location of the hub in Ghana would make it easy to transport finished products from Ghana to Cote d’Ivoire and landlocked countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso, he added.

To actualise the project on time, he told the participants that a team was recently in the Western Region to start negotiating for land to ensure a smooth take-off.

Responding to issues about the challenge in acquiring land for projects in the country, the Energy Minister conceded that there were problems associated with land acquisition in Ghana but gave an assurance that “we are seriously in touch with the traditional authorities, while the Lands Commission in the Western Region has also been consulted to avoid any hitches”.

PPA

On power purchase agreements (PPAs), Mr Amewu said the government would ensure that the processes were transparent, open and competitive for all.

“We have a President who believes in democracy and accountability and that is why he asked for the introduction of competitive licensing rounds in the oil and gas sector for the first time to ensure that get these things right because the eyes of the world are on us as a country.

“To get it right is when you are very transparent and the process is fair, and so what we have done is to lay the process before everybody; right down from the introductory stage. So everything has been put before all the prospective bidders. That makes the process clear and the laid down rules set. We are just not doing this anyhow,” he said.

Asked when the winners would be announced, Mr Amewu said: “I can assure you that with regard to putting the timeline in place, we are definitely sure that the winner will be announced by September or the end of this year.”

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Deputy Energy Minister Mohammed Amin Adam believes the rollout of the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM) before the year concludes will enable the Ghanaian society to by 2030 have a safer LPG regime in place to safeguard lives and property.

To that end, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has licensed five LPG marketing Companies to undertake the Cylinder Recirculation Model although the names of the companies have not been made public yet.

The marketing companies will be responsible for the purchasing and branding the cylinders as well as the distribution of already filled LPG cylinders to consumers after they have been filled at a point and transported to the marketing companies.

Mr. Amin Adam further assured: “To our LPG marketing companies, what this means is that you have no cause for alarm. Your jobs are still secured. We are only changing the manner in which LPG is distributed and consumed in the country,” adding “Cabinet directed a number of actions including the immediate commencement of the implementation of the National LPG Promotion Policy based on the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM). The policy is to ensure that at least 50% of Ghanaians have access to safe and environmentally friendly LPG for domestic, commercial and industrial use by 2030.”

A total of 510 classified high-risk LPG retail outlets representing 77.4% will have their stations converted into cylinder distribution centres under the CRM while the classified low-risk stations will be considered as autogas refilling centres with improved standards.

The CRM has gained currency following series of gas explosions which have rocked Accra and Kumasi involving human errors during discharges and leaving flammable materials in the vicinity of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) leading to sparks and fire outbreaks.

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Employees of Karpowership Ghana Company limited joined the rest of the world to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day by sensitizing fishmongers at the Tema Manhean community to modern and best practices in fish processing in order to increase the value of their stock while simultaneously improving their means of livelihood.

The programme attracted over 50 fishmongers from the Tema-Manhean Municipality.

A Deputy Head of the Post-Harvest Unit at the Fisheries Commission, Miss Yaa Tiwaa Amoah, who was the resource person at the programme, emphasized the importance of educating all players in the fish processing chain to enhance their businesses.

According to her, “There is the urgent need to educate these women as they play a very important role in the fish processing value chain. They determine the hygienic condition of what buyers consume.

Beyond consumption, they may be able to put Ghana on the international market if they apply more modern fish processing practices to meet international standards.”

She  commended Karpowership Ghana for the initiative as well as its constant collaboration with the Fisheries Commission to implement such programmes to equip traders within the fishing community, and also called on other corporate entities to follow suit.

Sensitisation

Employees of Karpowership,  the only owner, operator and builder of the first power ship (floating power plant) fleet in the world, took their turns to sensitise the women to their role in the education of their wards.

The Corporate Communications Specialist of Karpowership Ghana, Ms Sandra Amarquaye, underscored the importance of the programme and said “Karpowership celebrates women on this day.

One of the passions of the company is to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5, which is Gender equality.

As such, the company believes in empowering women in society.

On a special day like this, the company finds the need to sensitise tese women who remain a dominant stakeholder at our operational site in their field of work.

The well-being and economic viability of their business remain at the core of our business culture.”

The engagement is in line with the theme for the 2019 International Women’s Day Celebration, “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”, captured in the campaign theme #Balanceforbetter, which seeks to empower women around the world.

On behalf of the Tema Manhean Fishmongers and Smokers Association, Madam Cynthia Commey expressed gratitude to Karpowership for organising the programme as they had  become more enlightened on their job.

She gave an assurance that the leaders of the association would ensure that members practised all that had been learnt at the engagement.

Karpowership Ghana Company Limited focuses its corporate social investments on Education, Economic Empowerment and Environmental Sustainability.

Since Karpowership began operations in Ghana, the business has empowered the Tema Manhean Fish Mongers and Smokers by providing them with items to support their businesses.

Other initiatives include instituting a bursary scheme for over 100 students in the Tema Manhean Municipality, furnishing an ICT Laboratory, to mention but a few.

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dara Salaam Group of Companies, Alhaji Yusif Ibrahim, has stated that but for an act of bad faith by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), telecommunications giant, MTN would have been 40 percent Ghanaian-owned.

Until its recent Initial Public Offering (IPO), MTN was wholly-owned by South African nationals.

Speaking to Paul Adom-Otchere on Good Evening Ghana, following the launch of his autobiography, Alhaji Yusif Ibrahim said in the early 2000s, MTN agreed a partnership deal with him to purchase Western Telesystems (WESTEL), which was the biggest telecommunications company in Ghana at the time.

The deal would allow MTN to begin operations in Ghana, owning 60 percent of the company while 40 percent would be owned by Alhaji Yusif Ibrahim.

The company had already had massive success after setting up in Nigeria and was looking to expand to other markets.

“MTN was doing really good business in Nigeria, Nigeria had a lot of communication problems; you couldn’t make any call at all, it was a big problem. MTN went there and within a year, they changed all the communications and everything was working so they were looking for other areas to move into.”

WESTEL was facing competition at the time from Ghana Telecom and has expressed disappointment with alleged attempts by the government to aid the state-owned company by frustrating their own efforts.

With WESTEL’s parent company, Western Wireless, ready to sell its shares in the company, totalling 60%, MTN saw it as a golden opportunity to break into the Ghanaian market, according to Mr Ibrahim.

“Fortunately for me, Western Wireless, who owned Westel and had majority shares and were trying to sell their land because they were having problems with what is now Vodafone, at that time. There was a lot of competition and they got really disappointed because Vodafone, at that time, belonged to the government and they were being frustrated. I heard of it and went to discuss the possibility of them selling to me and they did dell it to me for an amount of $10m.

“Having those documents with me, I realised that MTN in South Africa were looking for a place in Ghana. I went to see them and they agreed with me for us to have a partnership to start operations in Ghana – 60% for them and 40% for me. We came back to Ghana to do the marketing to see whether it was viable. We did market surveys in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi which was favourable.”

A deal had been agreed with Westel in principle but GNPC, who owned 30% of the shares in the company had the first right of refusal, prompting discussions between them and Mr. Ibrahim.

GNPC initially gave the deal a green light but eventually purchased the shares of Western Wireless, now owning 90% of the shares, with the remaining 10 percent owned by some private companies.

“GNPC had 30% shares in Westel and had the first right of refusal which they didn’t take up. We went to GNPC and talked to them about the possibility of getting into it and they said they didn’t have a problem as long as we made it work. Unfortunately, before we could do anything, they had gone behind us and bought the shares from Western Wireless in the US (60%).”

Mr Ibrahim believes that this intervention stalled the progress of Westel, which was eventually purchased by Bharti Airtel and recently merged with another telecommunications company, Tigo.

“Government should only be a facilitator and just chase the private sector for taxes in order to look at other developmental issues, not be rivals in business. If we had been left for the development of Westel, it wouldn’t be where it is now. It would have been where Spacefon or MTN is now. The South Africans would have had 60% of shares in MTN and a Ghanaian business would have owned 40%.”

He also stated that the initial deal with MTN would have been beneficial to Ghana’s economy, as having 40 percent Ghanaian ownership in the now billion-dollar company would have aided the cedi’s struggles over the years.

“Definitely, it would have helped the cedi because everything would have remained here, it wouldn’t go anywhere.”

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Deputy Minister for Energy in-charge of Petroleum, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, is urging Ghanaians to embrace the changes government is introducing in the LPG distribution and marketing in the country, saying the new policy seeks to protect lives and property.

It will, additionally, create more jobs as compared to the current model.

He explained that the current model where consumers send their empty LPG cylinders to refilling stations to get it refilled is not the best.

He argued that it had become necessary to implement the Cylinder Re-circulation Model (CRM) policy, which seeks to introduce innovation in handling LPG due to the numerous gas explosions which has destroyed many lives and properties.

He explained that the CRM policy would lead to the establishment of LPG bottling plants where cylinders would be refilled and distributed to distribution points.

Customers would, therefore, have to go there with their empty cylinders to exchange for a filled one.

Speaking at a stakeholders engagement at the NPA head office in Accra, Dr. Amin Adam noted that the decision to introduce CRM was tough and difficult one but government had to do it in the interest of the safety of the citizens.

“Change is difficult and people do not readily accept, but change is a necessity. It brings value. Change will bring innovation and change, if it is positive, will bring improvement in our lives.

“And so when you have changed, that is not intended to destroy but to innovate, to reform and get things better. I want to appeal to all of you that you must accept the change for our good and the betterment of our children,” he said.

Dr. Amin Adam also disclosed that the first bottling plant is expected to be in operation this year, insisting that safety remains a major component in the policy.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the downstream regulator, has been soliciting the inputs of members of the public at various forums in some parts of the country.

So far, the NPA has engaged with the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu, Members of the Council of State, residents of Nima and Maamobi, Sunyani and Koforidua, as well as the media.

The Chief Executive of NPA, Hassan Tampuli, said the policy gives room for enormous job opportunities in several key areas.

He maintained that the policy will provide jobs for between 4,000 ad 4,500 people.

“There will also be a number of indirect jobs created for installations, maintenance, fabrication and other services. New investment opportunities such as bottling companies, bottle transportation, manufacturing of cylinders and cylinder re-distributors will also be available for grabs.”

Mr. Tampuli said the policy would be fully implemented and assured stakeholders there would be no turning back.

“The relevant licences will be issued and safety protocols will be keenly observed to ensure the safety of the good people of Ghana, while increasing access to LPG for domestic, commercial and industrial use from the current 25% level to 50% by 2030.”

On her part, the Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, expressed her commitment to the policy and promised to advocate for its implementation.

“The CRM will go a long way to encourage the safe use of LPG in domestic, commercial and industrial places. Under the new policy, LPG Marketing Companies (LPGMC) will ensure that the cylinders are in good condition before they are handed over to the end user.”

According to her, using LPG product should not result in the lost of lives.

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The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has licensed five LPG marketing Companies to undertake the Cylinder Recirculation Model.

The policy is expected to be rolled out before the end of the year.

The marketing companies under the Cylinder Recirculation Model will be responsible for the distribution of already filled LPG Cylinders to consumers.

They will also be responsible for the purchasing and branding of the cylinders.

Per the model, the Cylinders will be filled at a point, and transported to the marketing companies for onward sale to consumers.

Government has indicated that it will provide financial assistance to the marketing companies that will require more funds to ensure efficient service delivery.

“Cabinet directed a number of actions including the immediate commencement of the implementation of the National LPG Promotion Policy based on the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM). The policy is to ensure that at least 50% of Ghanaians have access to safe and environmentally friendly LPG for domestic, commercial and industrial use by 2030,” Deputy Energy Minister Mohammed Amin Adam said at a forum to discuss the policy as part of sensitization.

According to government, a risk assessment exercise of all LPG Refilling Plants across the country has been completed.

A total of 510 classified high risk LPG retail outlets representing 77.4% will have their stations converted into cylinder distribution centres under the CRM while the classified low risk stations will be considered as auto gas refilling centres with improved standards.

“To our LPG marketing companies, what this means is that you have no cause for alarm. Your jobs are still secured. We are only changing the manner in which LPG is distributed and consumed in the country,” Mr. Amin Adam assured.

The stakeholders were drawn from women groups including the Police Wives Association, the Military Wives Association and some  queen mothers.

Second Lady Samira Bawumia who was the guest speaker at the event encouraged the women to embrace the new model to safeguard their health.

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Accra, Ghana, March 11, 2019//-The demand for accountability in Ghana’s oil and gas industry has heightened as the country marks nine years of commercial production of oil from the Jubilee field of Cape Three Points in the Western Region.

It is situated in the Deepwater Tano and West Cape Three Points blocks of the Tano Basin, which is one of the three offshore sedimentary basins in Ghana.

The field jointly owned by a consortium of companies called Jubilee Joint Venture and managed by Tullow Ghana Ltd, a subsidiary of UK-based Tullow Oil Plc. Other five members of the consortium were – Kosmos Energy, Anadarko Petroleum, Petro SA and the state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

The field which was discovered by the consortium in 2007, was named Jubilee field, because Ghana was celebrating its 50th anniversary at that time.

It was hoping to produce 55,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), increasing to 120,000 bpd in six months.  Tullow expects 2019 average gross oil production from the Jubilee field to increase to around 96,000 bopd.

President John Evans Atta Mills, of blessed memory who on that momentous 15th December, 2010, commissioned the Jubilee field which ushered Ghana into commercial oil production, was expected to earn more revenues for the development of the country.

Ghanaians undoubtedly welcomed the news, as it could enhance revenue generation and job creation, and significantly improve the national economy.

At the time of chalking this historic feat, Ghana did not have most of its laws in place to properly police the burgeoning oil and gas industry.

As a result of this, many people, including oil experts, economists and civil society actors to express concern that Ghana would be afflicted by the “resource curse” which faces resource endowment countries in Africa.

The “resource curse” often marked Africa’s oil and mining industries: decades of extraction that often saw only a few getting richer but the majority getting poorer, economic distortions caused by improperly managed resource wealth and hardly any money set aside for times when commodity prices dip or the wells dry up.

For Ghana, examples of such problems are very close to home. Nigeria, its West African neighbour and the continent’s largest oil producer saw successive governments deplete the estimated $400 billion earned from crude oil sales since the 1970s.

Moreover, Ghana’s own record in managing mineral revenues after a hundred years of gold mining is nothing to write home about.

After the Jubilee field, other fields such as the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) and Sankofa-Gye Nyame are on stream, while exploration activities are underway in the Voltaian Basin.

Nine years into the production of oil and gas, the country is still grappling with the wanton embezzlement, misapplication and criminal abuse of oil and gas revenue meant for the provision of infrastructure and other social projects for the people. Most at time, the public officials and their conspirators who commit these crimes are left off the hook.

Reports by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee, (PIAC), established in September, 2011, and tasked with the oversight responsibility of monitoring and evaluating the management of Ghana’s petroleum resources by the government and relevant stakeholder institutions show these malpractices year.

Economist and Professor at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), John Gatsi, added: “Mismanagement, inappropriate disclosures, less accountability, corruption and nepotism are the drivers of the resource curse.

The successive PIAC reports and other reports about the national oil company, GNPC over the years mean some of the elements that may drive to resource curse are prevalent in the management of oil and gas in Ghana and this demands the efforts of all to ensure the right things are done”.

The management of oil and gas still needs improvements and collaboration and pressure for accountability is the key tool to ensure significant improvements, Prof Gatsi stressed.

Gideon Ofosu-Peasah, a Policy Analyst at Penplusbytes, a leading NGO in Ghana encouraged the government to open up to civil society and citizens “because they hold solutions to maximizing the nations natural resources”.

Again, the government should be passionate about getting the best out of international oil organisations (IOCs), he added.

The recent agreement entered between the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to probe the use of state revenue from oil and gas to prevent the widespread embezzlement, misapplication and criminal abuse, is in the right direction.

The EOCO investigations which are expected to begin from 2011, when the country started receiving petroleum revenue would ensure that all monies accrued to the State are accounted for.

Any person or an institution that is found to be culpable would be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land.

Also, the country being a member of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which is a global standard for improving transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors, is a clear manifestation that it wants to be accountable in the management of the oil wealth.

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