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Gov’t blows GHC666m oil cash

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has challenged Government to disclose how it used an amount of GHC666 million from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).

Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of ACEP, who made this known yesterday at a forum in Accra, said a report issued by government at the end of March, this year dubbed ‘the Reconciliation Report,’ showed that GHC666 million, which is part of the ABFA, was not spent in the 2014 Budget year.

Dr Adam added that the said amount was not accounted for in the recent revised budget.

“The GHC666 million which was supposed to be spent last year was not spent and I 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.

“Government needs to tell us where that money has gone to and what it has been used for.”

He stated that if the amount had been considered as additional revenue in the revised budget to Parliament, the deficit would not have been revised upward.

$100m Sinking Fund Cash Missing

Dr. Amin Adam further alleged that whopping $100 million of oil revenue, which the Finance Minister Seth Terkper told legislators had been transferred to the Sinking Fund account at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) was nowhere to be found.

According to him, an investigation by ACEP revealed that the said amount was never transferred to the BoG as indicated by Mr Terkper.

LPG Revenues

Dr. Amin Adam asked government to also disclose the amount of money obtained from Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) since government only considered crude oil price and crude oil production volumes.

“On the gas that Atuabo sells to VRA, I understand Atuabo hasn’t been paid as yet. But gas from Atuabo now satisfies half of our domestic LPG requirements.

LPG is sold to the market directly and revenues are collected. They are supposed to be part of petroleum revenues and so if oil revenues are falling, what will be the impact of LPG revenues which we have collected and those that would be recollected?”

Over-dependence

The ACEP Executive Director indicated that government was excessively using the oil revenue, which is only 1.3 percent of GDP, to support its capital projects, a development, he said, was not good for the country’s economy.

“When you create more funds then you create more corruption. Then you create more cost for managing all the funds and you confuse citizens about oversight. It will be difficult for citizens to monitor all the funds.”

He noted that government had deliberately established numerous funds with oil revenues to fund development projects.

“Oil revenue must only be used when there is a shortfall in non-oil revenue or targeted infrastructural spending and make sure that those projects can be completed in a short period.”

Source: dailyguideghana.com

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