Cut down on petroleum revenue supported projects – PIAC

Prof. Buah-Bassuah - PIC Chair
Prof. Buah-Bassuah – PIC Chair

The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has called for substantial cut down on projects implemented with the annual budget funding amount (ABFA) from the petroleum revenue.

Professor Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassuah, Chairman of the Committee, asked that the government identified few legacy projects that should be supported.

The spread of the petroleum money – to take care of numerous projects, he noted, was weakening the potential impact of the oil revenue on the nation’s socio-economic development.

He was speaking at a public forum on the management of the petroleum revenues between 2011 and 2015 in Juaso in the Asante-Akim South District.

It brought together key stakeholders including assembly members, trade associations, chiefs and civil society groups and the goal was to inform them of how oil money had been utilized.

The forum also provided the platform to solicit public views on priority areas that government should spend the money over the next three years.

The current priority areas are agriculture modernization, amortization, road and other infrastructure and capacity building.

Prof Buah-Bassuah indicated that the government had gone beyond these four priority areas – spending in other sectors of the economy which had not been selected.

He spoke of petroleum revenues having been used “to tackle too many national problems at the same time” and he underlined the need for properly defined guidelines on the selection of where these should go.

He said as a non-partisan body charged with the responsibility to ensure compliance of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, the Committee would continue to monitor and see to it that the right things were done.

Ghana between 2011 and 2015 received petroleum revenue totaling US$3,251,830,000 billion, out of which US$1.428 billion was allocated to ABFA.

Giving the breakdown, he said, US$ 249.92 million went into the Ghana Heritage Fund, US$ 604.35 million to the Ghana Stabilization Fund with the remaining US$968.8 million allocated to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

Mr. De-graft Forkuo, the District Chief Executive (DCE), hailed the PIAC for its education drive to keep the people adequately informed about the management of the oil money.

Source: GNA

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