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Monitoring without an office: PIAC suspects gov’t sabotage

The Public Interest Accountability Center- PIAC is accusing government of sabotaging its activities by denying it the resources it needs to operate.

The committee, tasked with a watch dog role of monitoring government’s use of revenue from the oil and gas industry has been evicted from its office in Adabraka and is now sheltering with Revenue Watch, a non-governmental organization.

Chairman of the Communications and Public affairs sub-committee of PIAC in an interview with JoyNews dismissed suggestions their eviction was due to non-payment of rent. He said it was because the landlord refused to renew their tenancy agreement due to delays in payment.

He however admits the committee would not have had the means to renew the rent had the landlord even extended their stay.

“We have not been evicted for non-payment of rent. Our rent has been paid but our tenancy is terminated because our landlord is not ready to renew the tenancy. Soon after we rented the place, he indicated to us that he will not renew the tenancy again because it took a bit of time before we were able to settle all the rent due him.”

Yaw Owusu Addo criticised government for its lackadaisical attitude towards the release of funds to advance the committee’s work and said the situation smacked of deliberate acts of sabotage.

He says the country risks becoming one of the failed states blessed with oil if the situation does not improve anytime soon.

“Anyone in this country who will take a passionate view of what is happening to PIAC may come to the conclusion that perhaps some people don’t want the institution to survive. But for the benevolence of some NGOs and international organisations, this institution would have been still born because as I told you before, for two years we had no funding and the membership voluntarily did the work that we did for two years without any allowance, without any office, not even a packet of A4 paper. The government never gave us money for that.”

He continued, “For example our budget for this year was 1million cedis, it was slashed to 500 thousand cedis, and then we were given 125, 000 cedis. We don’t even have to be speaking on television about this. It is something that the people of Ghana have set up to monitor the prudent use of their revenue from oil so that we don’t become like some of the failed states in this world due to oil…….if we don’t manage the use of oil well, it will become so. If we don’t monitor, what has happened to other countries in this world who have oil is going to happen.”

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