The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), has urged managers of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) to prudently manage revenues allocated to them from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).
The DACF has received more than GH¢32.3 million from the ABFA in 2021 following a 2019 decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Kpodovs The Attorney-General.
Speaking at a public forum for residents in the Nzema East Municipality in the Western Region, a Member of PIAC, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang, said for the first time since Ghana started receiving petroleum revenue in 2011, the DACF received funds from the ABFA in 2021.
He said there were guidelines for the utilisation of revenues from the ABFA, and thus, the latest stream of expenditure to the DACF should be properly managed and accounted for to ensure that the transparency and accountability being demanded by PIAC would be holistic.
The forum, which was organised in line with PIAC’s second mandate of providing space and platform for public debate on the management of petroleum revenues, brought together participants from different sectors of the economy.
Presenting highlights of the findings in the 2021 PIAC Annual Report, DrTenkorang noted that annual crude oil production declined by 17.7 percent from 66,926,806 barrels (bbls) in 2020 to 55,050,391 bbls in 2021,
This, he said, was despite the rebound of economic activities in 2021, after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Total petroleum revenues, he noted, also increased by 17.5 percent from US$666,390,751.22 in 2020 to US$783,325,849.87 in 2021 due to higher crude oil prices.
This is in spite of the decline in crude oil production in 2021.
Surface Rental arrears also increased by 22.22 percent from US$2,110,212.23 in 2020 to US$2,579,170.21 in 2021.
Dr Tenkorang mentioned that some projects in the areas that had received funds from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) included the construction of CHPS Compound at Akango-Nzema East (GHC194,614.70) and construction of Akonu Community Shed in the EvalueGwiraAjomoro Constituency (GHC86,772.88).
Others, he said, were construction of Axim Coastal Protection Project (GHC35,587,902.30), and the construction of Akosonu Community Shed in the EvalueGwiraAjomoro Constituency (GHC51,143.42).
In her address, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Nzema East Municipal Assembly, MsDorcas Elizabeth Amoah, expressed excitement over the opportunity to educate citizens on the use of petroleum revenues in her Municipality.
She urged participants to take active part in the discussion and also bring out their pressing issues regarding how petroleum revenues wereutilised for the government’s attention.
Participants also had the opportunity to ask questions and also give their suggestions on best ways to manage the country’s petroleum revenues.
BY TIMES REPORTER