The Public Interest and Account Committee (PIAC) 2017 Semi Annual Report on the management of the country’s petroleum revenues has received huge commendations from some industry experts including economist and head of department of finance at the School of Business, University of Cape Coast, Prof John Gatsi.
The 2017 Semi Annual Report covers the period January to June 2017 and encompasses a broad range of issues associated with petroleum revenue management such as information on production, liftings, total revenues accruing, allocation and utilization of revenues by the government, and the management of the funds set aside in the Ghana Petroleum Fund (Ghana Stabilization Fund and the Ghana Heritage Fund).
Addressing Finance and Economic reporters in Koforidua during a workshop to interrogate the 2017 Semi Annual PIAC Report organized by the Public Interest Account Committee (PIAC) and the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) in partnership with GIZ, Prof Gatsi noted that observing the Report within the framework of specific mandate of PIAC as an institution of state to monitor, evaluate compliance with the PRMA by the government and other relevant stakeholders and also to provide space and platform for the public to debate whether spending prospects and management and use of petroleum revenues conform to development priorities, there has been a general improvement in the 2017 Semi Annual Report
“I’m looking at the report within the framework of the specific obligation of PIAC within the obligation that’s to monitor, evaluate compliance with the PRMA by government and other relevant institutions. One thing about this year’s report is that most of the things described last year have been factored in and has actually enriched the Report,” he said.
Prof Gatsi although impressed about the provision of space and platforms by PIAC for public debate, stressed that going forward PIAC should consider guiding debate on specific areas and mention the indebtedness of GNGC, GNPC and other private companies as one of the key issues that PIAC could take it to the public for a thorough debate on.
“Example you have talked so much about the indebtedness or the triangle of indebtedness of GNGC, GNPC and some other private companies. I believe this discussion is lingering on, I think about three years now and the debt keeps on accumulating so as part of the framework of informing and eliciting the support of the public. Is it not necessary for PIAC to pick that issue and make it a major debate issue apart from the general report discussion with the public,” he stated.
The Semi-Annual Report also captured the transfer of an amount of 29.22 million to the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) in January 2017 from the Annual Budget Funding Allocation (ABFA), bringing total allocation to US$ 75,402,772 since 2015 and this the economist said it’s a good move embarked on by PIAC as stipulated in Act 893 of the PRMA.
“It is good, PIAC quickly added GIIF to the portfolio of institutions because petroleum revenue is allocated per Act 893 but did not indicate whether the GHS29.22Million is within the 25% requirement,”