The government has ensured the timely release of allocations to the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), the body charged to monitor the responsible use of oil revenue and resources in the country.
“Government since 2017 has ensured that, unlike in the past, the budgetary allocations of PIAC have been released to enable it undertake its activities. In 2020, for example, an amount of GH¢3.1 million was given to PIAC, with GH¢2.35 million set to be released for this year, in spite of the pandemic,” President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, stated.
The President disclosed this when he launched the 10th anniversary of PIAC in Accra yesterday.
Independent checks from PIAC indicated that the committee in a timely fashion to support their programmes, received GH¢1.34 million in 2017, GH¢3.54 million in 2018; GH¢2.94 million in 2019 and GH¢3.09 million last year.
“Indeed, the committee utilised part of its 2018 budgetary allocation to procure its current office building at East Legon, in Accra, which brought an end to the era of evictions and threats of eviction by landlords.
“For as long as I remain President, support to PIAC will be forthcoming and on time,” President Akufo-Addo stressed.
Make information symmetrical
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo urged the Ministry of Finance and PIAC to resolve the delay in transmission of information between them.
He observed that the delay chiefly emanated from distortions in the deadlines of reporting obligations of the two institutions, which he stressed, must be addressed.
The President explained that the delay in information exchange had sometimes stoked unhelpful controversy and called for an amendment of the relevant provisions in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815) to help resolve the situation.
He urged the Ministry of Finance and PIAC to rekindle their quarterly meetings to ensure that issues of mutual interest and concern were addressed through dialogue.
The President appealed to PIAC, in its publications, to help provide the general public with a better understanding of how petroleum resources were managed.
The committee should also clarify its position on matters swiftly should it be misconstrued in the media space, President Akufo-Addo stated.
“Let me reiterate the fact that the government is fully committed to supporting PIAC, and will help it ensure that petroleum revenues are well managed for the benefit of all Ghanaians,” the President assured.
The Petroleum Reverence Management Act (PRMA) states that PIAC must monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act by the government and relevant institutions in the management and use of petroleum revenues and investments and provide space and a platform for the public to debate on whether spending prospects, management and use of revenues conform to development priorities as provided under the Act.
It is also charged to provide independent assessment on the management and use of petroleum revenue to assist Parliament and the Executive in the oversight and the performance of related functions.
Speaking before launching the 10th anniversary, President Akufo-Addo noted that by all accounts, PIAC had succeeded in attaining the objective for which it was established, saying “I applaud, on behalf of government and the people of Ghana, successive heads and members of PIAC for this. For long may this continue.”
The President encouraged PIAC that as it celebrated its 10-year milestone, the committee must double its steps in engaging the government and relevant stakeholders, and help work towards the economic transformation of the country through the efficient use of hydrocarbon resources.
President Akufo-Addo gave an assurance of the government’s considerable interest in all of its activities, expressing the hope that the co-operation between the government and PIAC would be deepened further in the coming years for the goal of a united, progressive and prosperous Ghana.
The Chairman of PIAC, Professor Kwame Adom-Frimpong, said a major achievement of PIAC had been its role in legitimising government commitment to improve governance in the country’s oil and gas sector.
Also, the committee had effectively exercised oversight responsibility of managing and evaluating the management of Ghana’s petroleum resources.
He said the PIAC had produced two reports each year in line with the legal requirement and raised critical issues of transparency and accountability in Ghana’s oil and gas sector