Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, Dr. Steve Manteaw has welcomed the speed with which the Ministry of Finance responded to his Facebook post regarding oil cash that cannot be accounted for by the government.
He said he wished that every year was an election year because he had raised these issues years ago but never got any feedback from the government.
The Ministry of Finance has asked the public to ignore what it describes as misleading claims by Dr. Manteaw, who is also a former Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) suggesting that an amount of GH¢2,132,188,611.01 of oil revenues is missing from the books.
Dr. Manteaw had said in a Facebook post on Friday, December 4 that “Many have been asking me about the missing oil money. Here are the details: 2017= GH¢400,914,441; 2018= GH¢251,377,870.01; 2019 = GH¢1,479,896,300.00. Total amount of oil money the government has been unable to account for = GH¢2,132,188,611.01.
“Why would you vote for a government that has failed to fully account for your oil revenues?”
But in a response, the Ministry of Finance dismissed his claim saying “The alleged missing amount reported by Dr. Manteaw on Facebook, is significantly different from the amount of GH¢1,479,896,299.86 reported by PIAC as the unutilized Annual Budget Funding Arrangement (ABFA) balance in their 2019 Annual Report (pages 13,15, and 20), and published on its website on 23rd June 2020
We have noted that Dr. Manteaw erroneously presents the cumulative unutilised ABFA balances for 2017/18/19 of GH¢1,479.90 million as the closing balance for 2019 alone, then adds the 2017/18 closing balances of GH¢400.91 and GH¢251.38 thus inflating the cumulative ABFA closing balances by an additional GH¢652.29 million, bringing his cumulative closing balance to GH¢2,132.19 million as reported in his Facebook post.
“The above balances were unutilised at the end of each year when the books were closed mainly because of delays in submission of Interim Payment Certificates (IPCs) by MDAs for payment. These were then settled in the subsequent year.”
Regarding the amounts unutilized at the end of 2017/2018, the Ministry said “The sum of the unutilized (closing) balance of GH¢652.29 million for 2017/2018, were subsequently transferred to the Road Fund Secretariat, under the Ministry of Roads and Highways and utilized in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Revenue Management (PRM) Act, 2011 (Act 815), as amended, to reduce the Fund’s indebtedness to road contractors and creditor banks.