Public Meeting of the Public Interest And Accountaility Committee (PIAC) on the Management Of Petroleum Revenue

Placeholder image The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (IPAC) on Wednesday, 9th February, 2022, held a town hall meeting at the Akuapim South assembly hall, Aburi. The meeting was graced by Osaberima Professor Opare Addo II, Chief of Ahwerease who doubles as the Adonten Kyiredomhene, who was the chairman for the meeting. Present at the meeting was the Coordinating Director, Madam Lydia Akueteh, Professor (Prof.) Kwame Adom-Frimpong, Chairman of PIAC, some PIAC members, traditional leaders, Heads and Staff of the Assembly, Heads and Staff of the Security Services, media, representatives of both second cycle institutions and tertiary, representatives of Civil Societies, representatives of dressmakers and hairdressers; and some town folks.

The town hall meeting was to sensitize the general public especially the people of Akuapem South about PIAC and also the management of petroleum revenue in Ghana. Madam Lydia Akueteh welcomed all to the gathering, most especially PIAC members. PIAC documentary was aired; showcasing the history of petroleum in Ghana, some benefits gained and disadvantages derived from the petroleum revenue.

Addressing the public, Prof. Kwame Adom-Frimpong, pressed on the need for a long-term National Development Plan on the utilization of petroleum revenue for the country. He said “We are advocating for a long-term national development plan, because we need continuous projects, not projects done half way”. This he believes would help sustain the revenue made from the petroleum sector as against losses recorded in previous years due to the issue of uncompleted projects funded from the petroleum revenue. Issues of uncompleted projects, he explained, placed undue pressure on the petroleum revenues, which weakens the potential impact of oil revenues on the development of the country.

In his presentation, he also said petroleum revenue wastage is volatile in nature therefore could not be encouraged. The country had received petroleum revenue amounting to US$6.9 billion since 2011 and these had been utilized to support critical areas such as education, health, agriculture and infrastructure but most of these projects yielded no results. Setting the Pokrom market project as an example, He stated that “the work done cannot be described as a completed project, as indicted in the report because it is below expectation and does not meet the standard of a good rural market. There are cracks all over, even before it is handed over to the assembly, it is not acceptable” he added.

Alhaji Suleman Anderson, PIAC member, buttressed this by stating that the market project was poorly executed, given the amount of money involved. Thus, the cost of the project which include a storage facility and mechanized boreholes, is GHS954,000 out of which GHS581,000 was sourced from the annual budget funding amount (ABFA).

Prof. Kwame Adom-Frimpong stressed that the ABFA should not be used to fill expenditure gaps in times of revenue shortfalls in the budgets, since that was the purpose of the stabilization fund under section 9(2) of the petroleum revenue management act (PRMA), Act 815. “Even though the (PRMA) allows the minister of Finance to place a cap on the GGSF, the fund should serve its purpose of shoring up shortfalls in the budget.

The chairman, admonished all stakeholders especially traditional leaders, the MMDA’s and the citizenry of Ghana to get involve in the execution of government projects by been furnished with the necessary information. This according to him, they would serve as watchdogs of the projects on beheld of PIAC. “during our inspection in the municipality, we noticed that some projects were ongoing but were not known by most people and it made monitoring very difficult.

Questions about the petroleum revenue uses and its implications were sort after and corresponding answers were given, suggestions were given as well. Osaberima Prof. Opare Addo II, in his closing remarks, voiced his profound gratitude to the committee for their efforts and works so far and urged them to do more in order to get the government to perform its mandate for the greater good of all Ghanaians. “The discovery of oil in commercial quantities was important to the growth of every economy. However, over-dependence on oil may spell doom for the economy if not managed well” he said.

Osaberima Prof. Opare additionally advised the government to invest the oil revenue judiciously. He proposed for the introduction and implementation of laws that would hold government accountable for its use of funds for projects from the petroleum revenue.
  • Feb 23, 2022

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