Energy think Tank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) wants government to disclose how it used an amount of over GH¢600 million outstanding balance in the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).
In an exclusive interview with Citi News, Benjamin Boakye, deputy executive director at ACEP said a report issued by government at the end of March 2015 dubbed “the Reconciliation Report,” showed that GH¢600 million, which is part of the ABFA, was not spent in the 2014 Budget year.“Per the budget of the 2014 and expenditure the outstanding balance in the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) was in excess of 600 million Ghana cedis so you would have expected that it would be re-budgeted and Ghanaians told where that money is going to, but we have also seen the supplementary budget come-out and no mention of that money was made, so then it keeps us wondering what that 600million Ghana cedis is going to be used for,” he explained.
Ben Boakye also stated “The GH¢600 million which was supposed to be spent last year was not spent and it is not accounted for in any document, we will not be happy if we cannot get an up-to-date report on what happened to it since the China Development Bank Loan funded the project and this money, which was to be a counterpart fund was not disbursed.”
And stressed that “Government needs to tell us where that money has gone to and what it has been used for since to him “if the amount had been considered as additional revenue in the revised budget to Parliament, the deficit would not have been revised upward.”
Government is mandated in fulfillment of Section 48 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815 or PRMA) to publish the annual receipts on petroleum revenue.
The PRMA requires the Minister responsible for Finance to submit an annual report on the Petroleum Funds as part of the annual presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament.
Also Section 15 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815), requires the Minister for Finance to reconcile the actual total petroleum receipts and the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) of the immediately preceding year and submit a written report to Parliament not later than the end of the first quarter of the current year.
The 2014 Reconciliation Report on the Petroleum Holding Fund gave an account of the inflows into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF) and outflows to the various allowable destination accounts.
It also reports on the disbursement of the ABFA and gives an account on the use of the accumulated amounts in excess of the US$250 million cap which was placed on the Ghana Stabilisation Fund in the 2014 Budget.