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General News of Thursday, 20 February 2020

Source: peacefmonline.com

Spending oil money on Free SHS not bad - Alex Mould


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A former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Alex Mould, has challenged the government to come clear on the usage of the country’s oil revenue.

He said although the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) stated that 70 per cent of oil revenue should be injected into infrastructure, the government was doing otherwise.

Interacting with journalists on the sideline of the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting in Accra on Tuesday, he said if the government wanted to use the revenues for the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme, as it was currently doing, it should amend the PRMA to reflect as such.

“They [government] need to be very clear where they are spending the money, if they want to spend 70 per cent of the money on free SHS then they need to change the PRMA for it to reflect so.

“Spending money on free SHS is not a bad thing but we have to follow the rules of the game. We are supposed to spend 70 per cent of the oil revenue on infrastructure. The question is; have we done that?”

The breakfast meeting which was on the theme “Breathing new lease of life into the economy - Fixing the revenue and expenditure conundrum", was attended by a cross-section of the business community.

Mr Mould was reacting to an assertion made by the Vice President of Policy Thinktank, IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil that the country had performed poorly in the management of oil revenue despite laws made to streamline it.

Touching on the decision by Tullow Plc to lay off almost 30 per cent of the workforce, he asked the government through the Petroleum Commission to engage with the oil company over the matter.

He said Tullow needed to explain why it was cutting down cost in it only revenue generation fields in Ghana and transferring most of its support services to the UK, contrary to the norm in business.

“That means that they are employing foreigners in the UK to do work that Ghanaians should be doing here, I charge PC to look at this very critically with Tullow,” he said.

He said moving core jobs including for drivers from Ghana to the UK, would affect the revenue that the country should be making given that it would reduce the taxes they paid.

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