COVID-19: Using Heritage Fund a ‘wholesale theft’ – IES

The Institute for Energy Security (IES) has described as a wholesale theft of the prospects of generations to come, as the government wants to withdraw from Ghana’s Heritage Fund to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Institute further added that the move would be seen as an assault on the well-being of future generations.

On March 30, 2020, Government through the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta submitted to Parliament an economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy of Ghana.

Among other things, the government proposed fiscal measures to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic which includes the thought of amending the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815) to allow for the withdrawal from the Ghana Heritage Fund (GHF) to undertake emergency expenditures in periods of national emergency.

A press release by the IES said though saddened, the IES is not in the least surprised at government’s request to use monies from the Heritage Fund.

“Not surprised in the sense that judging from the level of indiscipline in the energy sector when it comes to making especially financial and economic decisions, the IES sees government request to Parliament as only consolidating that level of indiscipline, and amassing huge debts which would eventually be borne by the ordinary Ghanaian,” it said.

Excerpts from statement went on “the IES is however concerned about the attempt to rob the future generation of the endowment once all the petroleum resources have been depleted; and as a result wishes to point out clearly to government that “the Heritage Fund as the name suggests, does not allow for any utilization under the present circumstance, and that no amendment in law is justified.”

“While acknowledging that the world in general and Ghana, in particular, is experiencing extraordinary times in recent history due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it should not be a launch-pad for GoG to unnecessarily engage in the implementation of measures that are short-sighted and lacks robustness, and comes with negative ramifications for the future,” the statement added.

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Source: Ghana/