Business News of Thursday, 17 May 2012
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee has given indications that government was over ambitious and overestimated its revenue expectations from the nation’s petroleum revenue for 2011.
This was contained in its first annual report on how Ghana’s revenue was managed in the year 2011. The report also cited some loopholes in collection of the Revenue Fund where it indicated that “in terms of loyalty, carried interest, corporate tax and surface rentals among others, not all payments expected from the oil wealth went into the Revenue Fund.”
These were revealed at the presentation of the official report of the management of the nation’s Petroleum Revenue for the year 2011. The Committee which was established in April 2011 under the Petroleum Management Act 815 in its report highlighted some thematic areas including the Annual Budget, Stabilization and the Heritage Fund.
According to the report findings, Ghana lifted a total quantity of three million, nine hundred and thirty point one eighty nine (3,931.89) barrels which represented 16 percent instead of the projected 18 percent.
Additionally, the report discovered that government estimated one billion two hundred and fifty million Ghana cedis (1,250,000) for the year 2011 but the actual turnout was six hundred and sixty six point two million cedis.
It also indicated that there were inconsistencies within the law which led to the implementation of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011, (Act 815).
Major Retired Daniel Abloh Quacoo, Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee presented the report at a news conference in Accra.
As part of its recommendations, the committee admonished the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to go by the methodology spelt out in the bench marks as required by Petroleum Revenue Management Act 815.
It also impressed upon government to expedite action on the processes needed for the development of a nationally owned long-term development plan in line with the provision of Act 815.
The report further asked the Ghana National Petroleum Authority to release its interim report on what happened to the 47 percent of the oil revenue it received. Copies of the report were made available to representatives of the Presidency and the Parliament of Ghana.
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee has 30 representatives from 13 selected organizations including the Ghana Bar Association, the Clergy, the Institute of Chartered Accounts, the traditional authority, the Trades Union Congress and the Ghana Journalists Association.**