PIAC: Gov’t Utilizes GH¢40.17m from Treasury Main Account to Shore-up Budget  

Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, Ghana

Accra, Ghana//-Instead of withdrawing from the Ghana Stabilisation Fund (GSF), the Government has utilised an amount of GH¢40.17 million from the Treasury Main Account to shore-up the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) in the first quarter.  

The ABFA is the account set up by government that receives allocation from oil and gas revenue in support of Government budgets in the country.

The Semi-Annual Report on the management and use of petroleum revenues for the first half of 2021released by Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) revealed.

The 2021 report which covered the period January to June also revealed that an amount of GH¢129.26 million, representing five percent of the budgeted ABFA, was allocated to the District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF) .

This followed the decision of the Supreme Court of Ghana in the case of Kpodo and Another versus Attorney-General.

“Notwithstanding the allocation, there was no disbursement to the DACF in the first half of the year”, it stated.

The DACF is a pool of resources created under Article 252 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana. It is a minimum of 5.0% of the national revenue set aside to be shared among all District Assemblies in the country with a formula approved by Parliament.

The report further disclosed that the Earmarked Funds Capping Realignment Act, 2017, which discontinued allocations to Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) for infrastructural development has been amended to restore petroleum revenue funding to GIIF.

RECOMMENDATIONS  

The PIAC chaired by Professor Kwame Adom-Frimpong reiterated their recommendation in previous reports that the Minister for Finance should grow the GSF to better position it to serve its purpose of shoring up ABFA expenditure when there are revenue shortfalls in the Budget.

PIAC also recommended to the Ministry of Finance that, there is the need for the Supreme Court decision on funding of the DACF with petroleum revenues to find expression in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act PRMA, which is being reviewed, with the necessary provisions as is the case with the ABFA and GIIF.

“This will enhance direct implementation and monitoring of ABFA-funded projects at the Sub[1]national level. It is the expectation of the Committee that the public will find time to read the Report and provide feedback during PIAC public engagements and also reach out to the Secretariat via its various contacts, including social media channels”.

The Committee also urged the media to obtain a copy of the 2021 PIAC Semi-Annual Report from its website for further analyses of the issues raised.

The Semi-Annual Report

The Semi-Annual Report on the management and use of petroleum revenues for the first half of 2021 which is on its website www.piacghana.org was published in fulfillment of Section 56 of the PRMA, 2011 (Act 815).

Since its establishment in September 2011, PIAC has exercised its oversight responsibility of monitoring and evaluating the management of Ghana’s petroleum resources by the government and stakeholder institutions.

In compliance with provisions of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA), 2011, the Committee prepares statutory Semi-Annual and Annual Reports, which aim at keeping Ghanaians and other interested stakeholders regularly informed about the management and utilisation of the country’s petroleum revenues.

Since its establishment in 2011, the Committee has published a total of 20 Reports – 10 Semi-Annual and 10 Annual. The 2021 PIAC Semi-Annual Report is being published three weeks after the statutory date of 15th September, which is earlier than in the past.

This was achieved as a result of the continuous collaboration between PIAC and its stakeholders, especially on the timely exchange of information.

The 2021 PIAC Semi-Annual Report encompassed a broad range of issues associated with petroleum revenue management such as information on production, liftings, total revenues accrued and allocated by Government, ABFA utilisation, and the management of the Ghana Petroleum Funds (Ghana Stabilisation Fund (GSF) and the Ghana Heritage Fund (GHF)).

It also examined other issues pertinent to the performance of various institutions charged with responsibilities in the PRMA. The Committee notes with commendation the provision of ABFA utilisation data by the Ministry of Finance for this Report, which has not been the trend in recent years.

African Eye Report