Government of Ghana has been transparent and accountable in its expenditure from petroleum revenue, a senior public official insisted here on Friday.
On Thursday, energy policy think tank Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) expressed worry about the lack of full disclosure in government’s utilization of allocations for the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) component of petroleum revenue for 2017.
Executive Director of ACEP Benjamin Boakye disclosed that analysis of the think tank of the expenditure reporting had observed an unspent 409 million Ghana cedis out of its total allocation for last year.
“Despite the fact that government had 733.2 million cedis of ABFA to spend on the priority areas in 2017, government spent only 332.29 million cedis but the Ministry of Finance failed to account for the unspent difference of 400.9 million cedis representing 54.6 percent of total ABFA disbursed,” Boakye pointed out.
He also said it was unacceptable for the ministry to provide provisional indication of expenditure from ABFA for the previous year against the provisions which demanded a full disclosure during the first quarter of previous year’s expenditure.
Boakye therefore urged the Ministry of Finance to account immediately for the whereabouts of the 400.9 million cedis of the ABFA that was unutilized in 2017 and provide detailed reconciliation of the petroleum funds with accurate data and explanations to all the discrepancies.
He added that the finance ministry must also at all times comply with the disbursement architecture of petroleum revenues as provided for by the PRMA.
When reached on the phone, Director of the Oil and Gas division at the finance ministry Joseph Asenso wondered what the basis of the complaints were, stressing that government had given full account of the utilization of the petroleum revenue.
“You gave me 20 Ghana cedis and I returned to you to state that I could spend only three cedis; what don’t they understand about this,” Asenso said in a preliminary response, indicating that government would soon give a full response to the complaints by the think tank. Enditem