The Ghanaian government has been urged to be transparent in tracking projects funded with petroleum revenues.
Steve Manteaw, member of the country’s Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), told Xinhua Monday that the practice would bring about integrity in the monitoring of oil-funded projects.
“The government should just be open and transparent with its findings from the inspection and they should be aware that the Public Interest and Accountability Committee and its partners are also tracking the use of oil revenues and they will be issuing reports,” said Manteaw.
Ghana discovered oil in commercial quantities in July 2007 but only commenced production in December 2010.
The country’s Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) states that the minister shall submit an annual report on the Petroleum Funds.
The various finance ministers, however, have failed to comply with the legislation and Manteaw, also a co-chair of the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), lauded the government for the decision to begin monitoring projects funded with petroleum revenue apart from what PIAC has been undertaking over the years.
“I think it’s a good idea. It’s rather unfortunate that over a period of six years, the minister of finance has been unable to comply with the provision to provide update on oil funded projects so I believe this exercise will enable the minister to be compliant with the requirements,” he said.
There have been concerns in Ghana that the government wants to usurp the role of the PIAC, the civil society body mandated by law to monitor and evaluate the management of Ghana’s petroleum revenue.
But Manteaw, who is also an analyst with the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) and member of the National Steering Committee of the Open Governance Partnership Initiative, disagreed and urged the PIAC to be focused on its core mandate.
“PIAC doesn’t have to be worried at all. PIAC should just keep focus and innovate in terms of getting citizens involvement in how we track oil revenues,” he said. Enditem