Ken Ofori-Atta – Finance Minister

Parliament has urged the Minister of Finance to seek approval from the House to enable the Finance Ministry disburse the unutilized Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) of GH¢403.74 million.

According to the legislators, the amount, which was unused had been sitting in the Ghana’s Treasury Single Account and was brought forward in 2018.

Mr Anthony Effah, a member of the Finance Committee, who presented the Committee’s report stated that the amount was realized from the various sources that constituted the petroleum revenue.

The House on Thursday approved the 2018 Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) Semi-Annual Report on the management of petroleum revenues for the period January to June 2018.

The approval is in accordance with the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act815) and the Standing Orders of the House.

PIAC, established under Section 51 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act815), is required to prepare and publish two reports-semi and annual reports- each year detailing how much petroleum revenue had been collected during the period under review and how the amount so collected had been utilized.

The report among others, is to provide oversight and monitoring of the management of petroleum revenues. The reports are also expected to capture the performance of the Ghana Petroleum Funds (GPFs) and the feedback received from the citizenry during the PIAC public consultations.

Mr Effah also stated that Ghana raked in a total of $463,569,064 being petroleum revenues paid into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF) for the first half of 2018.

He explained that the amount was realized from the various sources which constitute the petroleum revenues.

Mr Effah also indicated that an amount of $475.86 million have been distributed from the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF) for the first half of 2018.

He said out of this amount, the Ghana Stabilization Fund (GSF) received the largest share of 32 percent, followed by GNPC with 30 percent, ABFA with 25 percent and the Ghana Heritage Fund (GHF) with 13 percent.

He noted that the amounts far exceeded what was distributed in the first half of 2017.

Mr Effah also announced that a total of 28,982,050 barrels of oil was produced from Ghana’s three offshore producing fields between January and June, 2018.

He explained that a total of 11,932,286 barrels was produced from the Jubilee field, 11,772,267 barrels from TEN and 5,286,497 barrels from SGN. This represents a 19.04 percent increase over the first half of 2017 production.

He said the increased half-year production was as a result of improved production from the TEN and SGN fields.

Mr Effah also indicated that the total volume of raw gas produced for the first half of 2018 amounted to 44,797.21 MMScf compared to 31,673.96 MMScf for the same period in 2017.

He said a total of 14,694.27 MMScf of raw gas was expected to the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant (AGPP) in the first half of 2018.

Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, the Ranking Member on Finance in his comments expressed concern that the amount of money allocated to GNPC was far more than what was apportioned to the budget for capital expenditure.

He said the legislature should be interested in the exercise of its oversight over GNPC and its operations.

He urged the Minister of Finance to ensure that the unutilized ABFA of GH¢403.74 million is captured in the mid-year budget review for disbursement.

Mr Kobina Tahiru Hammond, MP for Adansi Asokwa in his comments opposed the idea to set up the Heritage Fund, which he said was not yielding much for the country in terms of investment.

He argued that Ghana had a lot development challenges and cannot afford put an amount of $344,792,666 million into a fund when it could use the money for major infrastructural projects in the country.

Source: GNA