Finance Ministry ‘frustrates’ work of PIAC, fails to release data on oil cash for the fourth time

The Ministry of Finance has, for the fourth time, failed to release data on the Annual Budget Funding Arrangement (ABFA) to the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) to enable the body to compile its reports on petroleum revenue utilization.

The ABFA is the statutory fund required to receive oil revenue earmarked for government expenditure.

PIAC is mandated by the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011, (Act 815) to release two reports in a year, the semiannual and the Annual reports, on how the revenue generated from petroleum utilized.

Institutions such as the Bank of Ghana, the Ministry of Finance, the Ghana National Petroleum Cooperation are required to submit to PIAC, data on the allocations made to them.

However, PIAC has revealed in its report covering the first half of 2020 that the Finance Ministry failed to do so for the fourth time.

This, according to PIAC, makes it work difficult and also frustrates the transparent manner in which the oil money is supposed to be utilized.

“For the fourth time, the Ministry of Finance failed to provide ABFA utilization data for the compilation of PIAC reports.

“This makes it difficult to reconcile disbursements and expenditure and undermines the spirit of accountability as envisaged in the PRMA,” PIAC said.

When asked for the reasons the Ministry gave for its inability to provide the data, at a media engagement on the report over the weekend, a Technical Manager at PIAC, Mr Mark Agyeman said “They don’t give any explanation to the reason why they fail to give the data.”

Regarding total petroleum receipts in the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF) for the period, PIAC said it stood at US$322,671,265.64, indicating an 11.32 percent.

“Even though the GNGC received US$1.78million under the Cash Waterfall Mechanism, there was no payment to GNPC in respect of gas supplied consistently, the nonpayment of gas revenue denies the PHF of its due entitlement.

“Total petroleum funds distributed since inception till end of June 2020 was $5.32billion of which approximately 39 percent went to the ABFA, 31 percent to GNPC, 21 percent to GSF, and 9 percent to the Ghana Heritage Fund (GHF).

“This suggests that about 91% of the petroleum revenue is available for spending by the current generation,” the report said.

Source: 3 News

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