The Kumasi Institute of Technology, Energy and Environment (KITE), says the impact of the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) has been ineffective.
Mr. Ishmael Edjekumhene, the Executive Director, said this has been due to the thinly spread of the revenue over many projects – minimizing the potential transformational impact.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ workshop for dissemination of its findings from evaluation of key provisions in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, in Accra, he asked that a second look was taken at the ABFA.
The study by KITE also showed that reporting on projects and activities funded by the ABFA had been unsatisfactory.
This was because available information lacked details, making it nearly impossible for independent monitoring.
He stated that, four major oil-funded projects, listed as completed in the Northern, Upper West and Brong-Ahafo Regions could not be traced, after a visit to the said project sites.
These are a three-unit classroom block at Soo in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region, a six-unit classroom block at Ntariba, in the Kintampo Municipal of Brong Ahafo, the T.I. Ahmadiyya Primary and the Yeliyeri Dam, both in the Wa East District of the Upper West.
About four out of the 31 projects they inspected between 2010 and 2016 could not be traced. However, 63 per cent of the projects had been completed and were being used by the intended beneficiaries.
Mr. Edjekumhene said the inspected projects spanned all sectors of the economy – education, energy, agriculture and infrastructure.
He pointed out that there was very little information on the projects, apart from what that the Ministry of Finance had been putting in their reports.
“Our experience in trying to follow some of the projects was extremely difficult. Meanwhile, the law is clear that no information should be withheld as far as oil and gas is concerned.
So, we have not spent the money well – and not necessarily because someone is squandering the money, because you go to the ground and you don’t see the project,”
Mr. Edjekumhene recommended that focus was shifted to working on a few projects at a time which could be fully completed to serve as a legacy from the oil revenue.
“The resource won’t be there forever because it is not infinite. If we do not make another discovery soon, Jubilee will be hitting decline in no time.
We need to follow what the law is telling us to do. The law said don’t spend on more than four priority areas; and when you start the project, finish it. It continues to say don’t change until after three years.”
He called for the Auditor General to do a follow-up on those projects that could not be traced to ensure the nation was not short-changed.