GHANA, between January and June 2018, has raked in a total of US$463,569,064 in oil revenue, Parliament’s Finance Committee report on the 2018 Public Interest and Accountability Committee Semi-Annual report on the management of petroleum revenues for the period under review, has revealed.
The amount was realised from sources, including carried interests, US$168,575,887, Royalties, US$151,754,754, Additional Participating Interest, US$69,685,300, and Surface Rentals, Corporate Tax and Interest Incomes, US$73,553,119.
During the period, however, US$475,861,758.47 has been disbursed to various entities and funds in line with the Petroleum Revenue Management Act.
The beneficiaries are Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC), US$142,822,504.82, representing 30 per cent, Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA), US$117,551,658.10, 25 per cent, Ghana Stabilisation Fund, US$150,841,316.89, 32 per cent, and Ghana Heritage Fund (GHF) US$64,646,728.66, representing 13 per cent.
According to the report, approved and adopted in Parliament yesterday, the return on investment of the Heritage Fund for the period was -0.90 per cent compared to 2.09 of the same period in 2017.
“The opening balance of the GHF was US$344,792,661.86 with US$64,646,728.86 being transfers during the period and a net return of US$4,042,888. The closing book value as at June 29, 2018 was US$413,481,829.47,” the report, presented by the Member of the Finance Committee and representative of Asikuma/Odoben/Brakwa, Anthony Effah, stated.
Of the GNPC’s US$140 million expenditure for the period, the report among other indicators said US$10.6 million was spent on staff cost, US$6.1 million went into administrative capital expenditure, US$7.4 million was earmarked for capital projects with US$13 million going into general operational expenditure.
The Committee, the report said, observed that there was an unutilised ABFA amount of GH¢403.74 million which has increased to GH¢440 million as a result of exchange rate gains, but remain unpaid and that same was sitting in the Single Treasury Account.
“The Ministry of Finance confirmed the amount, and indicated that the amount was outstanding because it was not included in the 2018 appropriated budget. The Ministry intends to obtain the necessary Parliamentary approval in order to disburse the amount,” the report, signed by Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, Chairman of the Committee, stated.
Commenting on the report, the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, questioning the GNPC’s expenditure, said the share of the oil revenue allocated to the corporation, even more than what goes into the ABDA, was misplaced.
Beside these expenditures on non-core activities which amount to US$37.2 million within six months, the Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam lawmaker said Parliament’s oversight over the GNPC was weak, and called on the House to up its supervision over the finances of the Corporation.
He charged the Minister of Finance to furnish the House on which specific account the unutilised GH¢400 million was ‘sitting’ since the Single Treasury Account was an aggregation of all government accounts, hinting that the Minority would ensure that the amount was accounted for.
Adansi Asokwa MP, Kobina Tahiru Hammond, said there was sense in allowing oil money to be ‘sitting’ in the Heritage Fund for future generations, with such ‘insignificant’ yields, when the current generation was in need of development.
“We need the money to develop the country for future generations to be proud of us that we used the money well for their benefit. We need to put these monies into good use,” he said, asking “for how many years are we going to be saving for the future generation when the present generation needs it?”
There were pressing needs like schools, hospitals and roads among others to be built to satisfy both the current and future generations provided the funds were used judiciously, Mr Hammond said.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI