The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has described the Ministry of Finance’s inability to account for unutilized funds in the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) as disturbing.
PIAC, which has oversight responsibility over the management and use of the country’s petroleum revenues, said the Ministry of Finance had, for the past three years, not fully utilized and accounted for the ABFA.
The ABFA is the portion of petroleum revenues earmarked for government spending in a particular year.
Speaking on the Sunrise morning show on 3FM Wednesday, Sepetmber 2, Chairman of the PIAC Noble Wadzah indicated that the trend where the Ministry of Finance continues to unaccount for some part of the Annual Budget Funding Amount is worrying.
“The state, symbolized by the Petroleum Management Revenue Act, is very interested in seeing how our petroleum revenue benefits us. In the scheme of trend where PIAC has identified or come across projects that are supposed to be funded by the ABFA fund which has not, is worrying trend,” he said.
He further called on Parliament to exercise its oversight responsibility and ensure the Ministry of Finance fully account for the funds.
“It is important the Attorney General and other institutions of the states such as Parliament that has oversight responsibility on PIAC [and] have the powers to prosecute should be in charge. PIAC is built with the mindset of drawing citizens into monitoring compliance into the use of petroleum revenue so looking at the committee, you will notice it is representing a broad range of citizens constituencies,” Mr Wadzah said.
The PIAC is a statutory body, established under Section 51 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Authority (PRMA), 2011 (Act 815), to monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act by government and relevant institutions in the management and use of petroleum revenues and investments.