petroleum revenue
oil money

The Energy Policy Think Tank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), has charged the ministry of finance to account for the GH¢400.9m oil revenue that was unspent in the 2017 budget.

According to ACEP, that unspent ABFA could have been more than enough to fund the total budget of PIAC, education, health, roads and many other critical infrastructure in the country.

At a press briefing on Thursday 31st May, 2018 in Accra, the Executive Director of ACEP, Benjamin Boakye, noted that, parliament has failed in its oversight responsibility on the petroleum funds.

According to him, government had GH¢733.2 million of Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) to spend on some priority areas in 2017, but the government spent only GH¢332.29 million, yet the Ministry of Finance failed to render account for the unspent difference of GHc400.9 million which represents 54.6% of the total ABFA disbursed.

Mr. Benjamin Boakye indicated that, the reconciliation report which was published at the end of the first quarter of 2018 was supposed to have given a full account of the petroleum revenues in the preceding year, nonetheless, in the 2017 reconciliation report, the Ministry provided an amount which was not a follow up to the 2017 report.

However, ACEP recommends that, “The Ministry of Finance must immediately accounts for the whereabouts of the GH¢400.9 million of the annual budget funding amount that was unutilized in 2017, and provide a detailed reconciliation of the petroleum funds with accurate data and explanations to all discrepancies.

The Ministry Finance must seek the approval of parliament for expenditures outside the approved budget such as happened with disbursement to the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) in 2017 and the $33.3 million oil revenue disbursement towards GNPC’s share of the net Carried and Participating Interest (CAPI) in that same year.

The Ministry of Finance must at all times comply with the disbursement architecture of petroleum revenues as provided for by the PRMA.

PIAC should follow up on issues raised in their review of the 2017 reconciliation report on petroleum holdings funds, and demand responses from the Ministry of Finance on behalf of citizens of Ghana in compliance with its role under section 62 of the PRMA.”

By:Sammy Adjei/Newsghana.com.gh

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