The paramount chief of Mpohor traditional area and president of the Mpohor Traditional Area in the Western Region of Ghana, Osabarima Kwaw Entsie II, says he has counseled the president, John Dramani Mahama, to create an agency that will monitor and regulate projects that are being funded with revenue from the production of Ghana’s crude oil.
Osabarima Kwaw Entsie who is also a member of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) says he is not satisfied with the way oil funded project are being developed.
According to him, while some of these projects are abandoned halfway in the process when full payments have been made to the contractors from commencement to completion others are poorly constructed, posing as death threat to the users.
“ I reported this issued to the president, John Dramani Mahama when he paid a visit to my Palace last month and informed him about the need to establish an agency that will monitor these projects. The president was in support of my proposal and assured me that that he will hold a meeting with cabinet to consider the issue since there is a need for the establishment of an Oil Revenue projects monitoring agency to oversee the efficient monitoring of oil funded projects.
Osabarima Kwaw Entsie spoke in an interview with this Journalist at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) where he is participating in this year summer school organized by the Natural Resource Governance Institute in partnership with the German International Development (GIZ).
He indicated that such an agency, when established, should operate under PIAC to ensure that its operations are well monitored .” PIAC will ensure that branches of these agency are opened in all the districts across the country to identify the needs of the people and advise on projects required to satisfy these needs. The agency will also monitor the implementation of these projects and alert contractors on deficiencies when spotted. This way I believe we can have value for our oil money “
INVOLVE PIAC IN CONTRACT SELECTION
Osabarima Kwaw Entsie also called for the involvement of PIAC in the selection of oil projects..” we want to have a say in the selection of projects funded with the oil money.”
He said the decision should not be left for government officials and politicians alone to determine since they have the penchant to abuse the process.
He noted that selection of such projects should be done in a fair and transparent manner across the country .
PIAC, for some time now been complaining about the oil revenue is being thinly allocated and released for projects across the country.
A recent tour undertaken by PIAC to the three northern region revealed that most of the projects being funded with oil money have been poorly constructed and others do not even exist.
For instance , at the Farikiya Institute in the heart of Tamale in the northern region where over Ghc30,276.70 has been allocated for the construction a six unit classroom Block, the PIAC and IFEJ team were shocked to realize that the project was not actually funded with oil money but funds from the Ghana Education Trust Fund(GETFUND).
At the Zebila senior High School where the Ministry of Finance claim to have allocated about 240,000 cedis of oil revenue into the construction of a two story dormitory block, it was discovered that only a single unit classroom is being constructed. Even with that, the project started before the oil money was released to to complete it. Officials at the school were not even aware that the fund for the completion of the dormitory is part of the revenue from Ghana’s oil.
At the Saint Francis Girls Senior High School at Jirapa in the Upper West Region , officials of the school were surprised to realize that oil money was used for the rehabilitation of the science resource centre.
At the Bagabaga college of Education in Tamale , where close to GHC248,245,00 cedis has been awarded for electrical works for the upgrade of electrical power supply , the team was informed that that the electrical wires had been changed but the contractor was yet to fix the transformer which is expected improve the Voltage and stabilize power supply within the school campuses.
When the team Visited the Duori Guo Irrigation project site in the Nadowli Kaleo constituency of the Upper West region where a sum of Ghc 119,798.00 is said to have been released for the construction and completion of the project, a regent of the Town, Chief Timothy Dombo informed the PIAC and IFEJ team that no project has taken place at the site since 1998 when a Japanese Grant was released for the construction of the existing irrigation project.
By Adu Koranteng