Posted: Tuesday 3rd June 2014 at 16:20 pm

Gov’t Blows GH¢500m Oil Cash In May


Seth Terkper
The government has been accused of ‘blowing’ a whopping GH¢494.6 million of Ghana’s oil money in the month of May, this year instead of lodging it into the Contingency Fund.

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), which raised the alarm in a press statement, said the Mahama administration, contrary to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, had used US-dollar equivalent of GH¢494.6 million last month – being excess revenue over the maximum cap on the Ghana Stabilization Fund – to finance expenditure.

ACEP therefore called on Ghana’s Parliament to, as a matter of urgency, critically investigate the utilization of the excess revenues from the Ghana Stabilization Fund by the government because Section 23(4) of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act forbids that.

‘The Petroleum Revenue Management Act provides in Section 23(4) that excess over the maximum cap in the Stabilization Fund shall be transferred to the Contingency Fund or used for debt repayment with approval of Parliament,’ the Executive Director of ACEP, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, who signed the statement, said.

According to ACEP, even though it believed deficit financing is unavoidable, the use of oil revenues for that purpose must be strictly guided by the law.

‘We wish to state that this practice is not only a violation of Act 815, but also a violation of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. The use of money meant for the Contingency Fund is regulated by Parliament in line with Article 177(1&2) and we are not aware of any authorization from the Finance Committee in Parliament for the use of the money required by the Constitution,’ ACEP said and called on the Public Interest and Accountability Committee to demand answers from the government on this serious anomaly.

ACEP said that after Ghanaians had fiercely resisted the campaign by some government officials for the use of Ghana’s Heritage Fund, the government has now shifted its plan to abuse the Ghana Stabilization Fund, which must also be resisted.

‘This move by the government must not be allowed at these formative years of the petroleum revenue management law, and that ACEP will lead the crusade to save the Ghana Stabilization Fund,’ ACEP said in its statement.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr
 

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