Parliament has approved that government can use oil revenues due the annual budget as collateral for the next ten years.
The ten-year ceiling was part of contentious clauses in the petroleum revenue management bill currently under consideration.
Joy FM’s Parliamentary Correspondent Sammy Darko however reports, the Minority abstained from voting after they failed to convince the majority to consider their proposal for part of the 70 percent due the budget being used as collateral rather than a collateralization of the entire amount.
Works and Housing Minister, Mr Alban Sumana Bagbin, pushing for the amendment to allow unlimited collateralization, said, “this amendment is well intentioned, this amendment is appropriate, this amendment is reasonable, this amendment is in the best interest of the people, this amendment will assist us to develop the country, this amendment should be supported by this House and I so move.”
The Majority also rejected a proposal by the Minority that the oil revenues should be lodged in separate account, preferring to put all oil revenues in the consolidated fund.
The Minority had argued that creating a separate account for petroleum revenues will allow for easy tracking of how the funds are used. The NPP MPs maintained leaving oil revenues in the consolidated fund will subject the funds to abuse but the majority disagreed.
Meanwhile, former Deputy Energy Minister K.T. Hammond has challenged Works and Housing minister to substantiate claims that the NPP government collateralized the new found oil long before the first drop.
Alban Bagbin made the claims during a heated debate on the floor of Parliament. K T. Hammond describes the claim as a complete fabrication and is demanding proof.