For blowing GHc300m oil cash over ghost road projects
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee has expressed disgust at the haphazard manner in which government is distributing oil money on nonexistent road projects.
About GH¢ 372.07 million from Ghana’s oil revenue cash in 2013 was spent on road projects, according to a report released by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC).
According to the PIAC report, about 68% of the Annual Budget Funding amount (ABFA) was channeled into the road sector for the construction of roads and other related projects.“The road sector benefited the most from the funds allocated from ABFA in 2013 but none of these projects was completed in the year,” declared the report.
Out of a total of US$846,767,184 (GHc1, 645,585) made from the oil revenue about US$726.7 million (39.66%) was channeled into Ghana’s ABFA. Despite the revelations in the report, Ghanaians have complained about bad road networks that have bedeviled the nation.
Despite the huge sums of money made from toll booths and other grants in the country, most roads continue to be in very bad conditions. Meanwhile, government is yet to complete the Accra-Kumasi road after several years of construction.
In July 2014, residents of Manhean in the Ga West Municipality in Accra also demonstrated over the bad nature of their roads. The Ministry of Roads and Highways in September assured that the deteriorating roads in the country will see massive improvement once the rains stop.
PIAC however recommended that “government should ensure that allocations of the ABFA to road and other infrastructure projects are prioritized to make a meaningful impact in the budget year in which such allocations are made in order that such projects may be completed in a much shorter period of time to avoid any cost ecalations.”
The report also stated that about GH¢137.92(25.4%) was used for amortization of loans, GH¢18million (3.7%) for Capacity Building and GH¢13.60 million (2.5%) for agricultural modernization.
Korantengadu@gmail.com writer is a senior Journalist with the New Crusading Guide Newspaper with expertise in oil and gas, climate change and agriculture