In reviewing the 2017 semiannual report prepared by PIAC at Koforidua over the weekend in line with the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 (Act 815) as amended by Act 893, Prof. John Gatsi , the Head of Department of Finance at the School of Business, University of Cape Coast admonished stakeholders to quickly find a way to halt the recurring triangle of indebtedness among Ghana National Gas Company, GNPC and Volta River Authority(VRA) as it threatens the efficiency of the National Oil Company.
He encouraged PIAC and other stakeholders to put premium on the cycle of indebtedness among the three stake own companies and bring the matter up for solution oriented discussion which should include members of the Finance Committee of Parliament . He said per the PIAC report” Ghana Gas owed GNPC at the end of June 2017 about $132million while Ghana Gas owed VRA about $100million”.
Prof. Gatsi questioned why no disbursement was made to physical infrastructure in health since it is one of the priority areas approved by Parliament and suggest parliament should press on the finance minister to spell out clearly the specific projects to be financed under each of the four priority areas to deepen monitoring and accountable disbursement of the annual budget funding amount
Prof. Gatsi asked PIAC to ensure GRA transfers over $30,000.00 surface rental which was wrongly paid to it to the petroleum holding fund at the Bank of Ghana immediately to conform with the requirement of section 3 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act . He further explained that managing petroleum revenue without the active advise from the Investment Advisory Committee as provided for by the Act is not only a violation but very risky as there is no investment advisory committee in place. He therefore support the call by PIAC for the Finance Minister to nominate persons to be appointed to the committee.
On whether the plan by the government to review the mandate of PIAC is appropriate , Prof. Gatsi said given the work done by PIAC, this is the time the government and other stakeholders should support it to perform more. Any attempt to reduce the scope of monitoring and independent evaluation of petroleum revenue management in Ghana will demonstrate truncated commitment to transparency , accountability and sustainable usage of petroleum revenue and must be condemned.