The 2014 Report of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) on the management of Ghana’s Petroleum Revenue in 2013 has made interesting revelations on how a whopping GH¢133 million earmarked for capacity building between 2011 and 2013 in oil and gas was spent by the government.
The bulk of the money for capacity building was spent in the 2012 election year on relief items procured by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and on loans given out by Microfinance and Small Loans Scheme (MASLOC).
MASLOC was given GH¢35 million while NADMO got GH¢10 million to purchase relief items in that same election period.
Interestingly, the report indicated that not a ‘single’ cedi was given to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) for its Development Programme in Oil and Gas, which had featured prominently under the government’s Capacity Building Interventions within the same period.
HIV/AIDS and Conflict Prevention and Peace Building, which is closely related to the oil industry and captured under the capacity building programme of the government, were also not assigned any money to carry out their activities.
Under the capacity building again in 2012, the government doled out GH¢10 million for the training of 5000 persons with disabilities in ICT, mobile phone and computer repairs and assembling, but there was no breakdown of such activities by the Ministry of Finance as presented to PIAC.
GH¢5 million was given to Venture Capital as support and GH¢8.1 million given to the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) for distribution to the underprivileged in society in the same election year.
A member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Atwima Mponua, Isaac Asiamah, described the PIAC report and the manner in which the present government has been spending the nation’s oil money as mind-boggling.
“This is purely criminal because I cannot imagine how precious revenue from our oil resources which should be used to benefit the nation as a whole is being misapplied and mismanaged,” he said, adding that the NDC is just creating an avenue under the so-called capacity-building to loot the nation’s oil revenue.
“People in this government do not care about the welfare of the majority of Ghanaians and that is because they did not suffer to find the oil resources of this country. They are ‘chopping’ the money by heart,” the Atwima Mponua MP fumed.
The Mines and Energy Committee, and for that matter Parliament, is yet to consider the report.