The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), the statutory body with oversight responsibility of the management and use of petroleum revenues has urged managers of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) to prudently manage revenues allocated to them from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).
The DACF has received more than GH¢32,380,403.91 from the ABFA in 2021 following a 2019 decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Kpodo vs The Attorney-General.
Speaking at a public forum for residents in the Nzema East Municipality in the Western Region, a Member of PIAC, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang said for the first time since Ghana started receiving petroleum revenue in 2011, the DACF received funds from the ABFA in 2021.
He said there are guidelines guiding the utilization of revenues from the ABFA, and thus, the latest stream of expenditure to the DACF should be properly managed and accounted for to ensure that the transparency and accountability being demanded by PIAC would be holistic.
The forum, which was organized in line with PIAC’s second mandate of providing space and platform for public debate on the management of petroleum revenues, brought together participants from different sectors of the economy.
2021 Annual Report Findings
Presenting highlights of the findings in the 2021 PIAC Annual Report, Dr Tenkorang noted that annual crude oil production declined by 17.7 percent from 66,926,806 bbls in 2020 to 55,050,391 bbls in 2021, despite the rebound of economic activities in 2021, after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Total petroleum revenues, he noted, also increased by 17.5 percent from US$666,390,751.22 in 2020 to US$783,325,849.87 in 2021 due to higher crude oil prices. This is in spite of the decline in crude oil production in 2021.
Surface Rental arrears also increased by 22.22 percent from US$2,110,212.23 in 2020 to US$2,579,170.21 in 2021.
Another recommendation he highlighted, was the usage of petroleum revenues to pay judgement debt in 2021.
“For the first time since 2011, the ABFA was used to pay a judgement debt of GH¢12,475,426.01. This was under the Roads, Rail and Other Infrastructure Priority Area during the period under review,” he stated.
The 2021 PIAC Annual Report recommended that the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with relevant institutions should develop appropriate guidelines on the utilisation and reporting of ABFA disbursed to the DACF.
“PIAC also calls on GNPC to double up efforts at recovering loans to Government and its agencies to ensure that the Corporation’s work programme does not suffer from non-implementation. For now, GNPC should discontinue granting loans and guarantees until significant recoveries are made with respect to outstanding loans and guarantees owed the Corporation,” he said.
Notable Projects in the Nzema East Municipality
Dr Tenkorang mentioned that some projects that have received funds from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) include the construction of CHPS Compound at Akango-Nzema East (GHC194,614.70), construction of Akonu Community Shed in the Evalue Gwira Ajomoro Constituency (GHC86,772.88), construction of Axim Coastal Protection Project (GHC35,587,902.30), and the construction of Akosonu Community Shed in the Evalue Gwira Ajomoro Constituency (GHC51,143.42).
In her address, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Nzema East Municipal Assembly, Ms Dorcas Elizabeth Amoah, welcomed Members of the PIAC Team to the Municipality and expressed her excitement over the opportunity to educate citizens on the use of petroleum revenues in her Municipality.
She urged participants to take active part in the discussion and also bring out their pressing issues regarding how petroleum revenues are utilized for government’s attention.
Participants also had the opportunity to ask questions and also give their suggestions on best ways to manage the country’s petroleum revenues.