By Frank Amponsah
The President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the somewhat stormy relations between PIAC and Government in the past, has largely been cordial and fruitful when he took office resulting in the prudent use of the nation’s petroleum revenues for the welfare and benefit of the people of Ghana.
President Akufo Addo said Government is committed to ensuring that petroleum revenues are well managed for the benefit of all Ghanaians
The President made the comment at the 10th Anniversary celebration of Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC).
According to him, although the Committee is doing well, the issue of delay in transmission of information between it and the Ministry of Finance, emanating from the distortions in the deadline schedules of the reporting obligations of the two institutions must be addressed.
He noted that, this has, sometimes, stoked controversy which, in his view, “has not been helpful, and an amendment of the relevant provisions in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act could help resolve this situation.”
He however reiterated the fact that Government is fully committed to supporting PIAC, and will help it ensure that petroleum revenues are well managed for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
“Government, since 2017, has ensured that, unlike in the past, the budgetary allocations of PIAC have been released to enable it undertake its activities. In 2020, for example, an amount of three million, one hundred thousand Cedis (GH¢3.1 million) was given to PIAC, with two million, three hundred and fifty thousand Cedis (GH¢2.35 million) set to be released for this year, in spite of the pandemic,” he said.
According to him, since its establishment in September 2011, some four (4) years after our nation discovered oil in commercial quantities in the Kufuor era, PIAC has lived up to its mandate, as set out in Section 51 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA), 2011 (Act 815).
“Indeed, as stipulated in the Act, PIAC was set up, amongst others, to monitor and evaluate compliance with the PRMA by government and other relevant institutions in the management and use of petroleum revenues and investments, and provide independent assessment on the management and use of petroleum revenues to assist Parliament and the Executive in the oversight and performance of related functions.”
He maintained that PIAC has succeeded in all.
President Akufo-Addo also noted that the Committee utilised a part of its 2018 budgetary allocation to procure its current office building at East Legon, in Accra, which brought an end to the era of evictions and threats of eviction by landlords.
He promised that as long as he remains President, support to PIAC will be forthcoming and on time, urging the Ministry of Finance and PIAC to rekindle the holding of their quarterly meetings to ensure that issues of mutual interest and concern are addressed through dialogue.
He also appealed to PIAC, in its publications, to help provide the general public with a better understanding of how petroleum resources are managed, and clarify swiftly its position on matters should it be misconstrued in the media space.