President Akufo-Addo has reiterated his full commitment to support the activities and operations of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC).
PIAC was establishes by the then Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration under Section 51 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA), 2011 (Act 815) in September 2011, four years after Ghana discovered oil in commercial quantities, to among others, monitor and evaluate compliance in the management and use of petroleum revenues and investment.
PIAC is also set up to provide independent assessment on the management and use of petroleum revenues to assist Parliament and the executive in the oversight and performance of related functions.
Speaking at the launch of the 10th anniversary celebration of PIAC in Accra yesterday, he acknowledged the seeming delay in transmission of information between PIAC and the Ministry of Finance, emanating from the distortions in the deadline schedules of the reporting obligations of both institutions.
That, he said, needed to be addressed since “this has sometimes stoked controversy which, in my view, has not been helpful.”
He is therefore pushing for an amendment of the relevant provisions in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act to help resolve the situation.
That notwithstanding, he noted with emphasis “let me reiterate the fact that government is fully committed to supporting PIAC, and will help it ensure that petroleum revenues are well managed for the benefit of all Ghanaians.”
The President, however, noted that since taking over the administration of the country in 2017, government had ensured that, unlike in the past, the budgetary allocations of PIAC had been released to enable it undertake its activities.
In 2020, for example, he revealed that “an amount of GH¢3.1 million was given to PIAC, with GH¢2.35 million set to be released for this year, in spite of the pandemic. Indeed, the committee utilised a part of its 2018 budgetary allocation to procure its current office building at East Legon, in Accra, which brought an end to the era of evictions and threats of eviction by landlords. For as long as I remain President, support to PIAC will be forthcoming and on time.”
He has therefore urged the Ministry of Finance and PIAC to rekindle the holding of their quarterly meetings to ensure that issues of mutual interest and concern are addressed through dialogue.
“I also appeal to PIAC, in its publications, to help provide the general public with a better understanding of how petroleum resources are managed, and clarify swiftly its position on matters should it be misconstrued in the media space,” he noted.
“As we celebrate 10 years of PIAC, I encourage the committee, now more than ever, to continue to engage government and relevant stakeholders, and help work towards the economic transformation of Ghana through the efficient use of our hydrocarbon resources,” he insisted.
That, he said, was because “government is committed to its continued solidarity with PIAC, and assures it of government’s considerable interest in all of its activities,” with the hope that “the co-operation between government and PIAC will be deepened even further in the coming years for the goal of a united, progressive and prosperous Ghana.”
On his part, the Chairman of PIAC, Professor Kwame Adom-Frimpong, asked government to ensure timely release budgetary allocation to PIAC.
He assured that PIAC would continue to provide all the needed guidance and support to government to guarantee the efficient use of the country’s petroleum resources to improve the living standards of the Ghanaian people.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent