The Government of Ghana has described as misleading claims by the immediate past chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and Executive Director for ISODEC Dr. Steve Manteaw that huge oil monies have not been accounted for.
According to the government, claims by Dr. Manteaw that GHc2,132,188,611.01 of oil money was missing not factual but a calculated attempt to smear the government for it to look bad in the eyes of Ghanaians.
Dr. Manteaw, in a Facebook post on Friday, alleged that GHc2, 132,188,611.01 oil cash was missing under the Akufo-Addo-led government.
He explained that in 2017, an amount of GHc400,914,441 was unaccounted for while in 2018 GHc253, 377,870.01 was also unaccounted for with that of 2019 being GHc1,479,870.01 bringing the total to GHc2,132,188,611.01.
He, therefore, asked Ghanaian voters, who will be voting in the general elections on Monday, December 7, 2020, why they would vote for a government that cannot fully account for the oil revenues.
However, in a statement, responding to the claims, the Finance Ministry noted that the monies Dr Manteaw claimed were missing were transferred to the Road Fund Secretariat, under the Ministry of Roads and Highways and utilised in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Revenue Management (PRM) Act, 2011 (Act 815), as amended, to reduce the Fund’s indebtedness to road contractors and creditors.
“We have noted that Dr. Manteaw erroneously presents the cumulative unutilised ABFA balances for 2017/18/19 of GH¢1,479.90 million as the closing balance for 2019 alone, then adds the 2017/18 closing balances of GH¢400.91 and GH¢251.38, thus, inflating the cumulative ABFA closing balances by an additional GH¢652.29 million, bringing his cumulative closing balance to GH¢2,132.19 million as reported in his Facebook post.”
The statement said records at the Ministry of Finance, consistent with the Annual Reports on the performance of the Petroleum Funds for 2017, 2018 and 2019 published by the Ministry of Finance on its website, and the PIAC Report on the Management of the Petroleum Revenues for 2019, showed that the unutilised ABFA balances at the end of 2019 were as follows in 2017 (GHC 400,914,441.00), 2018 (GHC 251,377,870.01) and 2019 (GHC 827,603,988.8) totaling GHC 1,479,896,299.87
“From the explanation provided above, which was hitherto conveyed unambiguously in our letter No. ESRD/EPU/30/06/20 to PIAC (copy attached), and also at the meeting of the Finance Committee of Parliament on the 2019 PIAC report, it is misleading to suggest that an amount of GH¢2,132,188,611.01 of oil revenues is missing from the books.
“Indeed, Ghana’s PRMA touted as one of the best petroleum management laws in the world, provides the requisite controls in addition to our PFM laws and regulations to ensure that our oil resources are properly and efficiently utilised and accounted for,” the statement concluded.