President Akufo- Addo has charged the Ministry of Finance and the Public Interest and Accountability Committee, PIAC, to revive their quarterly meetings which have been on hold for some time now and dialogue for better management of the nation’s petroleum resources and revenues.
According to him, the proceeds, if not well handled, will turn out to affect Ghanaians negatively through unfair distribution of benefits and the attendant social and environmental problems.
Speaking at the tenth-anniversary celebrations of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee, President Akufo-Addo stated that his Government is fully committed to all PIAC activities.
“As long as I remain president, support to PIAC will be forthcoming and on time. I urge the Ministry of Finance and PIAC to rekindle the holding of their quarterly meetings to ensure that issues of mutual interest and concerns are addressed through dialogue. I also appeal to PIAC in its publications to help provide the general public with a better understanding of how petroleum revenue resources are managed and clarify swiftly its position on matters should they be misconstrued in the media space.
“As we celebrate 10 years of PIAC, I encourage the committee now more than ever to continue to engage government and relevant stakeholders and help work towards the economic transformation of Ghana through the efficient use of our hydrocarbon resources. Government is committed to its continued solidarity with PIAC and assures it of Government’s considerable interest in all of its activities,” he said.
Chairman of PIAC, Professor Kwame Adom-Frimpong urged government to be timely in disbursing funds to aid in the quick implementation of the committee’s activities.
“In addition in 2019, President Nana Akufo Addo directed that a percentage of 2019 allocation be made to acquire permanent office space and now I can tell you that we have our own secretariat for our operations. Gratefully, PIAC now receives regular budget fund allocations from the government and we pray that the timeliness of the release of the funds will not be a challenge to affect the implementation of the committee’s activities now and I will say and forever,” he stated.
Ghana discovered oil in commercial quantities in 2007 and began actual production in 2011. But the news was received with a mix of hope and anxiety.
For some, there were good reasons to be hopeful as the discovery will unleash massive financial resources needed to address the huge infrastructure gap that thwarts the country’s efforts at improving the quality of life of Ghanaians, while for others, the corrosive effect of oil wealth on the democratic development of neighbouring oil-rich African states was enough reason to be worried.
Being mindful of the country’s mismanagement of its mineral revenues over the years, managers of the economy with the help of its development partners, quickly convened a national dialogue on how revenues generated from the oil and gas sector would be better managed.
This led to the formulation of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) 2011 (Act 815) which seeks to guide the spending of the petroleum revenues.
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) was also established under Section 51 of the PRMA, to among others, monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act. The Committee was inaugurated and commenced work on 15th September 2011.