There is the need for more judicious use of revenue generated from Ghana’s petroleum sector for accelerated economic growth, Dr. Stephen Manteaw, Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), has said.
“It is important that we set our priorities right in order to fully harness potentials in the sector,” he said.
The PIAC Chairman cited the persistent interference in the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s (GNPC) affairs and the tendency to use it in financing quasi-fiscal expenditure.
Dr. Manteaw, who was launching the 2018 PIAC Annual Report in Kumasi, cautioned that this development, if not checked by Parliament, would undermine the operational efficiency and sustainability of the Corporation.
According to PIAC, the statutory body mandated to monitor and ensure efficient management of petroleum revenues, cumulative revenue of US$4.97 billion was realized from the country’s annual petroleum receipts within the period of 2011-2018.
The priority areas selected for development from these receipts included agriculture and industry, science, technology, healthcare, and public security.
The rest are environmental protection, rural development, social welfare, provision of potable water, strengthening of institutions and infrastructure development.
Dr. Manteaw argued that the country could not make significant headway in poverty reduction if policy-makers failed to invest in the railway sector.
“The surest way to facilitate economic activities to create wealth, thereby improving the living conditions of the people is to build a good railway system.”
“This is because the cost of road construction and maintenance is too high,” the PIAC Chairman stated.
Professor Seth Asiamah, a technocrat and Chairman for the occasion, said the nation must work assiduously to harness potentials in the petroleum sector.
This was critical to improving the living conditions of the people.
Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, gave the assurance that the government was committed to bringing development to the people through vibrant policies in the petroleum sector.