Source: News Guide Africa
A former Chairman of Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has cautioned the government to be serious with the management of state resources in this crisis times.
If the government was serious it would rather use the money released for the ‘new voter register’ and the missing GHC600 million oil money, Dr Steve Manteaw stressed when reacting to government’s request to parliament seeking for permission to use part of the Petroleum Stabilization Fund and the Heritage Fund for emergency expenditure in relation the COVID-19 fight.
PIAC, in its 2018 report indicated that, a whooping GHC650 million of the oil revenue cannot be accounted for. There were no traces as to how or which account the said amount was used or lodged. However, the government had since then not been able to tell Ghanaians of whereabouts of the money meant for all citizens.
“If we are a serious nation, why don’t we stop the new voter register & use the money to fix our problems due to COVID-19? We are never serious at all”, Dr Manteaw fumed during a radio discussion in Accra.
“We have lots of money in this country that is why GHC650 million has gone missing without any uproar”, he intimated.
“We have already mismanaged about GHC650 million of the Oil Revenue. Do we want to mismanage another US$500 million is the Heritage Fund so far meant for future Generations? No way!
Meanwhile, what government is asking for has its own creation already, which are the Stabilization & Contingency Funds.
The Heritage Fund was created out of the Petroleum Holding Fund for a purpose. It is being saved to be used later when Ghana has stopped producing oil. Per the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, the government is allowed to use 91% of our Oil Revenue today and save only 9% for Future Generations.
The energy and tax expert wondered why has the finished all 91% & now wants to jump into the little 9%? What kind of irresponsibility is that?
“The Heritage Fund not a contingency Fund so why call for it to be used today? It is for the future & Generations unborn
“It is a fallacy to say future Generations are children born today. They are those ones who would come after our oil is finished.
“Those calling for the use of the Heritage Fund today are vision-less & short-sightedness”,