Parliament proposes amendments to PRMA
| Updated Dec 12, 2017 at 6:28am
Parliament has proposed new amendments to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) to enable government focus on four priority areas instead of placing oil revenue into the Annual Budget Funding Amount.
According to them, the current arrangements in the PRMA where oil revenue for the country have been spread thinly on projects have not made the desired impact on the people.
Chairman of the Committee on Mines and Energy, Emmanuel Kwesi Gyamfi, made the statement during an interview with the media in Parliament.
He said according to the PRMA the Minister of Finance is to report to Parliament annually the amount of oil revenue that has accrued into the Petroleum Fund.
He said since the inception of the Act 815 in 2011 there is no detailed list of the projects that has been financed from the oil revenue which has been submitted to the House.
Mr. Kwesi Gyamfi also explained that by the law government is expected to channel 30 percent of the oil revenue into an Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) which is to be used to support the budget and account to Parliament by the Minister of Finance.
He said in the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) report some of the projects which has been cited and monies spent on them cannot be located when one visit the sites.
He therefore called for the full lists of all projects being financed from the petroleum revenue to be brought to the House.
Mr. Kwesi Gyamfi also stated that relevant agencies like the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Ministry of Finance among others mentioned in the PIAC report must take note of the various suggestions made on the floor of the House.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, suggested that government instead of putting the oil revenue into the Annual Budget Funding Amount should prioritise one project, say railways and invest the money in that, so that at the end of three years, the Accra-Kumasi-Takoradi railway golden triangle could be completed.
He expressed his glee that members of the minority support his proposal for the Petroleum Revenue Management Act to be amended to enable government focus and prioritised projects to invest the oil money in.
He however, expressed concern over the VRA indebtedness to the Ghana Gas Company, which he said is as result of the high cost of gas being supplied by Ghana Gas to VRA.
He said the gas being supplied from Nigeria’s Delta State despite the distance is still cheaper than the gas being produced locally from Atuabo.