ACEP cautions against abuse of discretion on oil proceeds  

The Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), has challenged Ghana’s Finance Minister against using his discretion to vary the law on debt repayment in a way that might negatively affect projects being funded by the Annual Budget funding amount.

The Executive Director of ACEP, Mohammed Amin Adam, who made the call said the Minister must strictly follow the laws regarding the use of oil proceeds to ensure that the benefits inure to all.

‘’In 2015 for instance, whiles the law requires the minister to use discretion to set a lower cap, by reducing the cap on the  Ghana Stabilization Fund to 300 million dollars to a 150 million dollars and therefore failing to make the withdrawals to the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA), the minister did issue that it could create room for the transfer of the oil money in the Stabilization Fund to the Sinking Fund that he has set up for debt repayment,’’ Mr. Amin Adam said.

As it stands now, Ghana 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.

Speaking further, the ACEP Boss said, “there seems to be a shift from the stabilization focus of the Ghana Stabilization Fund to using the oil revenue for repayment and these are some of the debt that nobody can tell how the loans that were procured were used and whether they were used for the purposes in tandem with objectives defined under the Petroleum Revenue Management Law for the use of the oil revenue’’

By: Lorrencia Nkrumah/