Stakeholders decry high cost of projects funded with petroleum revenues

OilThe stakeholders at a day’s sensitisation workshop on the utilisation of the petroleum revenues, have expressed concern about the high cost of projects funded with the petroleum revenues.

They, therefore, asked the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) to impress upon the implementers of those projects, to breakdown the various components of the expenditure for easy understanding.

The event was organised by PIAC in Takoradi, which brought together the section of the public comprising assembly members, traditional rulers, technocrats, youth groups, women advocates, civil society organisations, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the media.

Some development projects in the Western Region funded with the petroleum revenues comprised the construction of a six-unit classroom block at Debiso/Essam Senior High School at the cost of GH¢ 105,253 in 2014, the construction of Aboadze coastal protection works to protect the Thermal Power Plants at the cost of GH¢ 28,990,890 in 2014 and the construction of the sea defence wall at Ngyiresia at the cost of GH¢ 35,570, 875 in 2014.

Other projects were the bitumen surfacing of Shama Town roads at the cost of GH¢772,833 in 2014, the construction of Enchi-Dadieso road at the cost of GH¢5,021,106, in 2014 and GH¢3,697,202.45 in 2015  rehabilitation of Juaboso/Akontombra road at the cost of GH¢1,789,584.66 in 2015, asphalt of roads in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis in 2014 at the cost of GH¢1, 980,839, the dualisation of Kansawurodo by-pass in 2014 at the cost of GH¢4,599,266.

The participants also expressed concern about the 11 per cent allocation of petroleum revenues to the modernisation of agriculture and, thus, described the allocation as woefully inadequate and called for increase since agriculture is the mainstay of the country’s economy.

They said the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) should give prosecutory powers to PIAC, in order to prosecute duty bearers and institutions that misappropriate the petroleum revenues.

With regards to the selection of priority areas, the participants suggested that improvement of health infrastructure should be added to the existing four selected areas.

Osabarima Kwaw Entsie II, the Paramount Chief of Mpohor and Member of PIAC representing the National House of Chiefs, briefed the participants on the PIAC report, and stated that the Committee had made recommendations regarding the utilisation of the petroleum revenues.

He noted that key concerns expressed by PIAC included the fact that, so many projects and national problems were tackled at the same time with the petroleum revenues, which eventually weakened the potential impact on the citizenry.

PIAC therefore recommended proper guidelines for selection of priority areas and also identify legacy projects that could be supported with oil revenues from the Annual Budget Funding Amount.

PIAC also reiterated the need to increase allocation to the agriculture sector in view of the pivotal role it had played over the years in sustaining the local economy, he stated.

So far, the four priority areas comprised the development of roads and infrastructure, amortisation of loans, the modernisation of agriculture and capacity building.

Source: GNA

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