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I’ll tackle opacity in oil cash utilisation – Napo assures

Energy Minister-designate Dr Mathew Opoku Premeph has said that one of the things he will do at the ministry if approved, will be to ensure adequate transparency in the utilization of oil revenue.

He told the Appointments Committee of Parliament during his vetting on Friday February 12, that reports of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) have over the years raised issues about the lack of openness in the utilisation of oil cash.

He said he will look into this matter and address it appropriately.

Asked by Tamale South lawmaker Haruna Iddrisu to explain how he will deal with the concerns raised by PIAC, regarding the opacity in oil cash disbursements, he said “[I] will ensure Transparency in the utilisation of oil revenue.

“We need to ensure more transparency in the utilisation of oil revenue.”

It is recalled that former Chair if PIAC Dr. Steve Manteaw raised concerns that the government was unable to account for oil revenue totaling GH¢2,132,188,611.01.

He said in a Facebook post in August 2020 that under the NPP government since it assumed power in 2017, GH¢400,914,441 is missing.

In 2018, GH¢251,377,870.01, 2019, GH¢1,479,896,300.00, have not been accounted for and the total amount of the oil money is GH¢2,132,188,611.0, Dr. Steve Manteaw said.

He further noted when the government introduced the Agyapa Royalties agreement that if the government has still not been able to account for GH¢1.5 billion of the country’s oil funds, then it cannot be trusted to monetise Ghana’s mineral royalties

He said the government has promised on several occasions to account for it but has not done so.

“The last time I enquired from some colleagues of PIAC about the money, I was told by them that the government has promised to account for it in the 2021 budget”, he said.

Dr. Manteaw, however, added: “I don’t believe the money is still there”.

 

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