Media practitioners call for swift implementation of PIAC’s recommendations

Emerita Professor Elizabeth Schandorf, the Chairperson of Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has indicated that their findings in the 2023 annual report on the management and use of Petroleum Revenue reported a decline for the fourth consecutive year.

She said production of the commodity dropped from 71.44 million barrels in 2019 to 48.25 million barrels in 2023 representing an annual average decline of 9.2 percent.

The total proceeds from the JOHL lifting received in 2023 amounting to 70, 456.93 dollars were not paid into the Heritage Fund for the second consecutive year while, Surface Rentals owed by International Oil Companies remained high at 2,738,365.29 at the end of 2023.

Emerita Professor Schandorf made this known at a media engagement for journalists drawn from the Western and Central regions in Takoradi.

On allocations and utilisation of Petroleum Revenues, PIAC observed that since 2011, the annual budget funding had been guided by a medium-term plan as against a long-term natio
nal development plan.

The 2023 report said, the retention of the current cap of 100 dollars on the Ghana Stabilisation Fund for the year 2023 did not follow the stipulated formula in the Legislative Instrument 2381 since a proper application should have returned a cap of 581.05 dollars instead.

The PIAC report, indicated the need for the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Petroleum Commission to intensify audit of development and production costs in the TEN and other producing fields.

Meanwhile, Media practitioners from the Western and Central Regions queried PIAC on the implementation status of recommendations made since its inception.

The journalists also wondered how the Committee still lacked the power to bite ‘offending’ entities, individuals, and Assemblies in the management of allotted Petroleum revenues for projects.

Mrs Mildred Siabi-Mensah, a journalist with Ghana News Agency called for stronger alliance between PIAC and the state investigative bodies like Office of the Special Prosecutor, CHRAJ a
nd Economic and Organised Crime Office to have PIAC’s recommendations duly investigated, and actions taken.

According to her, though 62 recommendations had been projected since PIAC’s inception, only 37 had been implemented by relevant agencies.

Other journalists expressed concern about how the Committee’s mandate could be reviewed to make them more biting, the factors militating against the smooth decommissioning of the Saltpond oil fields and how the Ministry of Finance seemed to be a problem child of the state as most of the recommendations captured one infraction or another against it.

The PIAC entreated the media, which is part of the committee to ensure exert its role to ensure that duty bearers were accountable to the people Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency