Business News of Wed, 24 Aug 20162
PIAC wants government to invest oil revenues in other sectors
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) says government must invest into other sectors as the revenues from oil alone cannot sustain the country’s economy.
Professor Paul Buah-Bassuah, Chairman for PIAC speaking at a meeting with heads of the decentralized departments, traditional rulers, assembly members, opinion leaders and the media to educate the participants on the management and utilization of the oil revenue generated in the country, explained that the country receives only five percent of the royalty interest from the oil revenues and out of that, 70 per cent goes to the Annual Budget Fund Amount (ABFA), while 30 percent goes to Ghana Petroleum Fund (GPF), and that 30 per cent is then divided into two parts and 70 percent is given to the Ghana Stabilization Fund (GSF) while 30 percent is sent to the Ghana Heritage Fund.
Professor Buah-Bassuah said the country seemed to have placed all its hopes and expectations on the oil sector forgetting that other resources such as cocoa, timber and Shea nut among others could also generate much revenue if adequate attention is given to them.
He explained that until the country is able to discover more oil fields it cannot get any meaningful revenue from the petroleum sector as what was being generated was too small to stabilize the country’s economy.
He said the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) required that not more than 70 per cent of government’s share of petroleum revenue for each financial year should be earmarked as Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA), when the ABFA quarterly allocation is fully met.
He said the GPF received funds only after the net petroleum receipts had exceeded the quarterly ABFA, however, the allocation of the petroleum revenue during the first half of 2015 was based on that formula, which meant that no transfers were made into the GPFs since the ABFA quarterly were not met.
Participants at the meeting expressed worry about the way the oil revenue was being utilized and called on government to spend the petroleum revenue specifically on projects that would produce real development.