Dr. Mohammed Amin, Executive Director, Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP
The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) is proposing the establishment of guidelines to regulate how oil revenues are spent in the Annual Budget Funding Amount
According to ACEP, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are spending the oil revenue on projects and activities they deem fit without recourse to any laid down procedures.
He explained that the guidelines would inform the MMDAs on how to effectively and efficiently spend monies earmarked from oil revenue to maximize value for the nation.
The Centre has therefore made a strong case for the ministry of finance to come out with the guidelines as soon as possible to correct the anomaly.
Speaking to Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam— Executive Director, ACEP, he explained the absence of any laid down procedure has led to the MMDAs spreading the oil revenues so thinly on projects which may not yield any results in their lifetime due to lack of funding.
Similarly, many projects being funded with oil revenues have suffered time and cost-overruns in some cases the costs have doubled or tripled, he added. For instance, Dr Amin indicated that the Asankragwa road, which was awarded on contract at GHc24 million in 2011, had ballooned to 42 million Euros.
“Ghana is therefore not deriving value for money from the infrastructure projects funded with oil revenue as most of the projects had been delayed, operating under costly extensions and leading to cost overruns. The money is supposed to be used for investment to improve living conditions of the people”, he stressed at training workshop for journalists held recently.
In 2013 for instance, US$24 million was spread over 64 road projects, covering 2,124 kilometres; this is not efficient spending because each of these projects, if this rate of disbursement is maintained, will take not less than 30 years to complete and in some cases the cost of the projects has to be doubled or tripled.