Benjamin Mensah, GNA
Accra, Nov. 14, GNA - Mr Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, has been called upon to include a reconciliation report on the management of petroleum revenue in the 2018 Budget to be presented to Parliament on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.
This requires that the Minister indicates to the House the stage of execution of all oil funded project, an action, which successive finance ministers have been faulted for not doing for seven years running against the provisions of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (Amended) 893, 2015.
Despite the violation of the law, the Legislation has not yet taken any action.
In particular, Section 48(1) of the Act requires the Finance Minister to submit to Parliament a reconciliation report on the management of petroleum revenues every year.
Dr Steve Manteaw, a member of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), has said the situation raises serious concerns about value for money on cost of ongoing projects across the country.
Presenting a paper on: “Enhancing Social and Environmental Performance on Oil and Gas,” on Tuesday at the Speaker’s Breakfast Forum in Accra, Dr Manteaw said Parliament’s oversight and monitoring role on the management of the nation’s petroleum revenue has not been effective, which raises serious concerns on how her revenues are utilised.
Dr Manteaw said: “Since we started producing oil in this country, past and present finance ministers have not complied with that provision and giving us updates on the stage of completion regarding oil projects.
“A project conducted by PIAC revealed that a lot of the projects are non-existent. Those that are in existence are deteriorating barely after a year of completion, raising serious concerns about quality and value for money,”
He called for issues of institutional inconsistencies that deal with the formulation of policies and legal framework to regulate activities in the oil and gas sector to be addressed.
Parliament in collaboration with the Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth held the forum on the theme “Challenges in the Gold Mining Sector and the lesson for the Oil and Gas Industry; Implications for Policy in Ghana.”
The forum, a feature of the activities of the House, which for some few years took a hiatus, was to provide an opportunity for Civil Society Organisations to engage Parliament on key policy regulatory issues.
It is also to engage on key community concerns regarding the Extractive Industry and to provide information on key sector issues, particularly on mining and oil and gas exploration.