For the second conservative year, the government has not made any allocation from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) to the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) despite the Fund raking in 5.5 million dollars returns on its investment in the 30 million dollar KIA terminal 3 project in three years.
Mr Mark O.A. Agyemang, Technical Manager, Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) who disclosed this at a workshop at Aburi at the weekend said, the returns on investment in KIA Terminal 3 project was commendable hence the need to see a continuous allocation to the Fund.
“After reviewing GIIF’s investment of 30 million dollars in KIA Terminal 3, and the subsequent returns of 5.5 million dollars of the initial investments in three years, PIAC recommends more of such investments in high-yielding projects,” he said.
The investment he said aligned with the spending aspirations of the ABFA with respect to capital expenditure.
On the non allocation of funds to the GIIF for two conservative years, Mr Agyemang said this was not only worrying but was contrary to the provisions of the Petroleum Revenue Management Law (PRMA) and the GO IF Act.
The GIIF is a permanent investment vehicle established by law to lead, promote, facilitate, fund and backstop the development of, and investment in, infrastructure.
Section 21(4)(b) of the Petroleum Revenue Management (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act 893), and Section 5(1)(b) of the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund Act, 2014 (Act 877), provide that a maximum 25 per cent of the amount allocated for Public Investment Expenditure under the ABFA shall be allocated to the GIIF for infrastructural development.
Mr Agyemang said the government must ensure that this was not repeated again as the non-allocation of funds defeat the purpose of the GIIF establishment.
Mr Noble Wadzah, Chairman of the PIAC, in his presentation asked Parliament to ensure that the Ministry of Finance accounted for the GH¢1. 5 billion unutilised Annual ABFA.
“For the third consecutive year, not only has a sizable proportion of the ABFA not been fully utilised but it has also not been accounted for, impeding PIAC’s appreciation of the full scope of accounting to the public on the utilisation of our petroleum revenues,” he said.
Mr Wadzah said in 2019, 45.14 per cent of the actual ABFA was spent on recurrent expenditure, with 54.86 per cent on capital expenditure in violation of Section 8(4)(a) of Act 893 which requires that a minimum of 70 per cent be spent on public investment expenditure.
He said PIAC before issuing its reports invited the Ministry of Finance to come and explain the rationale for not utilising and not accounting of the GH¢ 1.5 billion but they failed to attend.
He said the country was on the path of the resource curse if the current trend of spending oil revenues was not reversed.