Participants at a three-day workshop on Ghana’s oil revenue disbursement have implored government to shift from quantity to quality by investing the nation’s oil revenue on legacy projects.
The workshop as organized in Koforidua was spearheaded by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) and sponsored by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
It was meant to track the progress made on some oil revenue funded projects in some selected regions as follow-ups to the Public Interest And Accountability Committee (PIAC’s) field visits.
The event offered competitive teams the opportunity to give an account of some sparingly spread oil revenue funded projects in the Volta, Northern, Upper East and West, Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Greater Accra Regions.
The presentations focused on oil-funded projects in the agriculture, education, roads and highways sectors.
It emerged that whopping sums of the oil revenue released for the construction of several projects were diverted while some of the projects have stalled.
It was against this backdrop they insisted that government has to rethink its oil revenue disbursement strategy to ensure value for money on some earmarked projects.
They further advocated the need for a direct linkage between oil revenue funded projects and their impact on residents of the selected beneficiary communities.
They also called for forensic audit of oil funded projects as means of reprimanding plunderers.
A senior technical adviser of GIZ good governance programme, Alan Larsey took a swipe at the PIAC for reneging on its civic responsibility.
According to him, much was desired of the PIAC to hold managers of the nation’s oil revenue accountable to the citizenry.
An outspoken member of the PIAC, Dr. Steven Manteaw bemoaned the mode of selection of institutional representation on the PIAC saying, “PIAC should discharge its duties without fear or favour.”
He posited that in many instances, some members of PIAC are self imposed, hence the Committee’s inability to independently discharge its mandate in line with the purpose of its establishment.
Dr. Steve Manteaw admonished the media to constantly highlight some imperfections on the disbursement of oil revenue for funding some earmarked projects.
A founding member of IFEJ, Lloyd Evans lauded the teams’ presentations.
He disclosed the organization’s intension to organize a grand workshop that will bring together Ministers, Parliamentarians and other major stakeholders to brainstorm and proffer solutions to the misappropriation oil revenue.