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Group supports use of oil money as loan collateral

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The People’s Independent Movement (PIM), a political group, on Tuesday declared support for the use of oil money as collateral for government loans.

A statement signed by Nana Addo-Aikins, the Spokesperson of the group, said that the law as it stood, with strict provisions against government in the handling of the funds, “is a fetter on the hands of the government.

“The law, which gives a strong hand to a ‘Petroleum Account’ to the exclusion of governmental control, also contravenes the normal state policy in public accounting”.

It said PIM saw the solution to the problem about the utilization of petroleum funds in the lifting of the fetters placed on the hands of government and the provision of clauses that would ensure probity, accountability and openness in the handling of petroleum funds by government, with adequate checks and balances.

PIM, therefore, called on Parliament to approve the Petroleum Bill for an amendment of the law to allow the government to use petroleum funds as collateral for raising loans for development projects.

On the demand by chiefs from the Western Region for 10 per cent of the oil revenue to be allocated to the region, PIM said the call was in the right direction, but cautioned that it may encourage agitations by other regions and rekindle the latent struggle for regionalism and federalism.

The statement said: “In the view of PIM, the demand for 10 per cent share of oil revenue by the Western Region should be satisfied not by putting funds into the coffers of the Western Region, but by government drawing up a comprehensive development programme to address the shortfall in development in the area, with the automatic stimulation of the region’s economy through oil exploitation as an added advantage.”

Source: GNA

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