The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), has lamented the poor handling of projects funded with Ghana’s oil revenue without adherence to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act.
According to a member of PIAC, Dr. Steve Manteaw, successive governments have breached the Act for seven years running.
The Act mandates the Finance Minister to report on all oil-funded projects in the year under review.
But Dr. Manteaw said the provision has been breached by various Finance Ministers including, Ken Ofori Atta.
“Over the period since we started producing oil in this country, the past ministers and the current Minister [of Finance] have not complied with that provision in terms of giving us update on the stage of completion of oil projects. A project inspection undertaken by PIAC recently has revealed that a lot of the projects are non-existent and those that are in existent, are deteriorating barely a year into their completion raising serious concerns about the quality of spending and value for money considerations that underpin the use of oil revenues,” Dr. Manteaw added.
Dr. Manteaw was speaking at a breakfast meeting in Parliament today, Tuesday, where he made the remarks.
PIAC needs prosecutorial powers
Some stakeholders within the oil sector had earlier called for more powers to given PIAC to prosecute persons who misappropriate Ghana’s oil revenue.
This in their estimation could empower PIAC to fully fulfill its mandate of ensuring the efficient management of the nation’s petroleum revenues for sustainable development.
About the Petroleum Revenue Management (Amendment) Bill, 2015
Parliament in 2015 passed the Petroleum Revenue Management (Amendment) Bill, 2015 into law.
The Bill amended an existing Act to provide for the allocation of Funds for the Ghana Infrastructure and Investment Funds, address some issues with the Ghana Stabilization Fund, the benchmark revenue projection, and further empower the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) to become a commercial entity and a strong operator in the oil and gas sector.
The law was expected to also provide a legal framework for the collection, allocation and management of petroleum revenue in a responsible, transparent, accountable and sustainable manner for the benefit of Ghanaians in accordance with Article 36 of the 1992 Constitution.