Business News of Wednesday, 11 April 2018
The Vice Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) is lamenting the continuous failure by successive Finance Ministers to provide an update on how they allocate projects funded by oil cash.
Dr Thomas Kojo Stephens is worried the failure of the current Finance Ministry and the previous ones to account for their allocation of oil funds could stifle the work of PIAC.
PIAC was established by an act of Parliament to monitor and evaluate government’s spending of the petroleum revenues.
Speaking on PM Express, a current affairs programme on Multi TV, Tuesday evening, Mr Stephens said, “It’s a statutory obligation of the Minister that he must update us on how the money has been allocated. The minister must update on the status of every project. Assuming we allocate 40,000 [cedis] for [the construction] of some building, he should tell us at what stage the project has reached.
“That is an obligation that none of the Finance Ministers have done. But if this was being done, it would make the work of PIAC easier and it would inform the citizenry better as to how oil revenues are being utilised.”
PIAC caused a stir when its Chairman, Dr Steve Manteaw, revealed at a press conference that 50% of all oil-funded projects in three regions are nonexistent.
Quoting figures from PIAC’s 2017 Project Inspections Report, Dr Manteaw said half of all oil-funded projects in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions are nonexistent.
He said PIAC is compiling a list of ‘Ghost projects’ and will soon call upon the Auditor General for further investigation.
Commenting on the PIAC Chairman’s revelations on Tuesday evening on PM Express, Dr Stevens told show host, Nana Ansah Kwao IV, the Committee will continue to push the Ministers for Finance to comply with the statutory obligation.