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Finance Ministry breaching petroleum revenue law

  • SOURCE: BFTonline | Editor
  •  

    …. yet to submit reports of oil-funded projects to Parliament

    The Finance Ministry has been accused of flouting aspects of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act(PRMA) by failing to disclose to Parliament oil funded projects in the country.

    According to a member of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee, Dr Steve Manteaw, this raises serious concerns about value for money on the said projects.

    Speaking at the Speaker’s breakfast forum on challenges in the gold mining sector and the lessons for the oil and gas sector; implications for policy in Ghana, Dr Manteaw raised issues over the repeated breaches of the Act.

    “The breach is in respect of a provision requiring the Minister of Finance every year to submit to Parliament, a reconciliation report on the management of petroleum revenues and in that report the minister is expected to indicate the stage of execution of all oil funded projects.

    Over the period, since we started producing oil in this country, the previous Ministers and the current Minister have not complied with that provision in terms of giving us updates on the stage of completion of oil projects, “

    He explained that a project inspection undertaken by PIAC recently revealed that a lot of the projects are non-existent, with those in existence deteriorating barely a year into their completion, which raises “serious concerns” about quality of spending and value for money considerations that underpin the use of oil revenues.

    Dr. Manteaw said he brought the matter to the attention of the Finance Committee of Parliament and at the Speaker’s forum in the hope that Parliament that passed the law would be minded to see to it that the law is complied with.

    The country, he said, should not be in a situation where Parliament passes a law and goes to sleep and does not care whether it is being complied with or not.

    Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, who was the brain behind the forum, stated that self-examination in the oil sector was critical and there is the need to be more accountable and transparent to avoid the deficiencies of the past.

    The PRM provides a framework for the collection, management of petroleum revenues in a responsible, accountable and sustainable manner for the benefit of Ghana in accordance with Article 36 of the Constitution.

    It is also expected to regulate the collection, allocation and management by government of petroleum revenue derived from upstream midstream petroleum operations.

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