Business News of Thursday, 31 May 2018
The African Centre for Energy Policy, ACEP is demanding accountability on a GH¢400.9 million oil revenue that was not utilized in the 2017 budget.
According to ACEP, despite that government had GH¢733.2 million of Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) to spend on the priority areas in 2017, the government spent only GH¢332.29 million but the Ministry of Finance failed to account for the unspent difference of GHc400.9 million, representing 54.6% of total ABFA disbursed.
According to the Energy Policy Think Tank, the unspent ABFA is more than enough to have funded the total budget variance of PIAC, education, health and roads and other critical infrastructure.
In an interview with JoyBusiness after addressing a press conference, Executive Director of ACEP, Benjamin Boakye thinks parliament failed in its oversight responsibility on the petroleum funds.
He said the outturn of receipts and expenditure of oil revenue in 2017 raises concerns about compliance with the appropriation act.
Mr Boakye stated that the reconciliation report which was published at the end of the first quarter of 2018 is supposed to give a full account of petroleum revenues in the preceding year 2017 however in the 2017 reconciliation report, the Ministry provided an amount which was not a follow up to the 2017 report.
ACEP is, therefore, demanding that the ministry of finance immediately accounts for the whereabouts of the GH¢400.9 million of the annual budget funding amount that was unutilized in 2017, provide a detailed reconciliation of the petroleum funds with accurate data and explanations to all discrepancies.
The Energy Policy Think Tank also wants “ the Finance Ministry to seek the approval of parliament for expenditures outside the approved budget such as happened with disbursement to the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) in 2017 and the $33.3 million oil revenue disbursement towards GNPC’s share of the net Carried and Participating Interest (CAPI) in that same year.