Speaking at the launch of the PIAC Annual Report on Management of Petroleum Revenues for 2015, Professor Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassuah, the Chairman of the PIAC, said there was the need for national dialogue on the utilisation of the ABFA to inform the priority areas to be selected by the minister for the next three years.
This, he said, should be informed by a detailed evaluation of how the approximately US1.5 million dollars allocated to the ABFA over the past five years has been spent and its impact on the sector.
Presenting highlights of the report, he noted that actual petroleum receipts for the period under review was US$396.17 million (GH₵1, 449.92 million), 46 per cent lower than the projected revenue, largely due to lower than expected crude oil prices which declined by nearly 49.4 per cent year-on-year.
A total of US$ 292.98million (GH₵1,086.28 million) was allocated to the ABFA in 2015.
The report found that year-to-year allocation to the priority areas dropped by 65 per cent from GH₵170.62 million in 2014 to GH₵59.54 million in 2015, with allocation to the agriculture modernisation priority representing only five per cent of the total ABFA.
Priority areas for the ABFA are expenditure on amortization of loans for oil/gas infrastructure, agriculture modernisation, roads and other infrastructure and capacity building including oil and gas.
Approximately 43 per cent of the amount (GH₵483.35 million) was spent on roads and other infrastructure, 39.07 per cent on amortization of loans, 12.64 per cent on various capacity building interventions and 5.30 on agriculture modernisation. Total disbursements exceeded the allocated amount by GH₵38 million.
A total of 33 road and road-related ancillary projects were financed by the ABFA at an average cost of GH₵2.34 million per project while the remaining GH₵406.21 was spent on projects in energy, education, transport, water and health which are not directly in the priority areas.
The report recommended that the capping policy for the Stabilisation Fund be reviewed to make it static for a number of years in order to build the fund to withstand shocks from price fluctuations.
Major Daniel Ablorh-Quarcoo Rtd, the former Chairman of PIAC, who chaired the launch, urged the general public to scrutinise the reports and ask the necessary questions.
He said the Committee would embark on a road-show to disseminate the findings of the report in other regional capitals.
PIAC is mandated under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (Act 815) 2011 and as amended (Act 893) 2015 to, among other things, provide independent assessments on the management and use of revenues to assist Parliament and the Executive in the oversight and performance of related functions respectively.
In this regard PIAC produces annual as well as semi-annual reports on management of petroleum revenues.