By Roger A. Agana
The African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) has called on the Ghanaian government to publish all projects funded with oil money in the country.
Executive Director of ACEP, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam said in an interview such a publication will ensure the nation obtained value for money in projects it undertakes.
Section 48(2b) of Ghana?s Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) 2011 (Act 815) requires the government to, as part of its annual report, publish the stages of implementation of projects funded with oil money and expenditure on them.
Adam said, ?If we have to satisfy the public interest objective of the law, citizens must know which projects are, as well as the stage of completion of such projects every year.?
According to Dr Adam, that will further prevent the recurrence of same projects receiving funding from oil revenue year after year even though the projects have been completed.
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), a statutory committee established under Section 51 of the country?s PRMA to monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act in its 2013 report made references to some of the projects funded with oil money.
In its Annual Report on the management of oil revenue for 2013, PIAC stated, ?The Committee observed that only 3 projects (Anyinam-Konongo, Asankrangua-Enchi and Obogu-Ofoase-Gyadem roads received Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) for 3 consecutive years between 2011 and 2013 while another 2 received ABFA support for 2 consecutive years (2011-2012. Nine road projects received funding for two years (2011 and 2013) but not consecutively.?
The ACEP Executive Director however observed, ?unfortunately, the stages of completion of those projects were not provided and so, we are going to have a situation where a certain project, will receive oil money year after year, because we do not know the stages of completion. And whether that money is going into the project or not, you cannot tell.?
Adam explained that because such information is not immediately available, the ability to conduct value for money analysis becomes limited.
The annual publication of projects funded by the Ghanaian government with oil money he emphasized will help bring about good governance, accountability and transparency in the sector.
The PIAC, as part of its recommendations to the Ghana government has demanded an immediate evaluation of the effectiveness and impacts of all the projects and programs that have been funded with revenues from the petroleum sector to help inform the citizenry and provide the basis for spending allocations into priority areas.