By Adu Koranteng
THE Public Interest and Accountability Committee(PIAC) will from April 2017 undertake a nationwide tour to trace and locate projects being funded with Ghana’s oil revenue and also identify contractors executing these projects.
The tour aims at given members of PIAC first-hand information about the current and exact state of these projects that are scattered across the country.
Identifying the real faces of the contractors executing these projects will help with the value for money audit that the committee plans to undertake.
The tour will enable the committee collate accurate information and make recommendation to government on these projects in terms of efficient utilization of the projects.
In its Semi Annual Report on management of Petroleum Revenues for the period January to June 2016, PIAC indicated that it requested for details of all projects and programs that were funded with the Annual Budget Funding Amount in the Roads and other infrastructure priority areas and other priority areas during the period under review.
However, it was not received at the time of publication.
At a stakeholders’ workshop in Koforidua over the weekend, an officials of PIAC , Dennis Gyeyir revealed that the committee is collaborating with the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalist (IFEJ), and the Ghana Audit Service to embark on this mission to unveil the mysteries behind these oil revenue funded projects.
In 2014, revenues earned from crude oil produced in Ghana were not maximized and utilized effectively; PIAC noted in its report.
The committee, which is mandated by law to oversee the management of petroleum revenues, maintained that revenues accruing to the sector were spread too thinly over a wide range of projects, diluting its impact, instead of being utilized on only a select few.
Similar thing happened in 2015 and the first half of 2016.
The Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 (Act 815) requires that government concentrates the petroleum annual budget funding amount (ABFA) which is the budgetary allocation from petroleum revenues, on four or less socioeconomic areas to maximize impact.
“Although this is a positive move which deserves commendation, a detailed analysis of the roads and other infrastructure projects indicates that the ABFA is still being spread thinly on several projects within the sectors, effectively minimizing its potential impacts,” the report says.