Minority accuses government of diverting oil revenues into ‘campaign projects’

General News of Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

2018-05-30

Minority MPs in Parliament

The Minority in Parliament is accusing the government of diverting oil revenues into the implementation of its campaign promises in breach of the Petroleum Revenue Act.

Minority Spokesperson on Finance Casiel Ato Forson said the diversion is crippling other sectors which ought to benefit from oil funds.

“Someone is tactically breaching the Petroleum Revenue Management Act,” Mr. Forson said Tuesday.

He said the government is also breaching the Ghana Infrastructure and Investment Fund Act by choosing to divert the oil revenues into funding other activities.

According to the Ajumako Enyan Essiam Constituency MP, the government has diverted the funds into activities, including the free Senior High School policy.

The Petroleum Revenue Management Act (815) which was passed in 2011 regulates the collection, allocation and management of oil revenues by the government.

The Act says in part “For any financial year, a minimum of seventy percent of the Annual Budget Funding Amount shall be used for public investment expenditures consistent with the long-term national development plan.”

Rather than going by the law of the country, the MP said the government is spending a chunk of the money on consumption instead of physical infrastructure.

“I don’t think it is something that we should encourage. I think as people of this country we should be interested in the matter,” Mr. Forson said.

The Member of Parliament of Tamale Central Inusah Fuseini is threatening to file a motion on the floor to compel the Finance minister to come and explain how Ghana’s petroleum revenue is being used.

He said the members of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) must be interested in how the petroleum revenue is being used.

“PIAC must not only be interested in going round and looking at the physical infrastructure which has been delivered through the utilization of the petroleum revenue,” he said adding we need to hold government accountable for the utilization of the oil revenue because it is a finite resource.

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