By Cecil Mensah
The Government has spent 1.3 billion of the oil revenue on road infrastructure across the country.
The Government says it has invested in 118 road projects in the year 2013 to open up infrastructure in the major cities across the country.
The amount blown on the road infrastructure was contained in the national budget
21 out of 118 roads are yet to be completed and a whopping 554 million Ghana Cedis has been expended on the yet to be completed roads as of the end of the second quarter of the year.
This was contained in the Petroleum Revenue Management report released by the government for the year ending 2013.
This came to the fore when Imani Ghana organized a stakeholder’s forum sponsored by OXFAM on the topic: Accountability of Extractive Revenues in the National Budget”
Mr Kofi Boahen, a Research Officer Imani Ghana questioned this expenditure on the part of government in a paper he delivered on the oil revenue.
He said the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 (Act 815) allows seventy percent of capital investment in long term development in four areas.
He mentioned the areas as education, health, road infrastructure and agriculture even that the government was selective in investing these area and the government end up allocating over one billion Cedis into education, one billion Cedis into health and 29 million Cedis into agriculture.
He said money’s that could have been channeled into pro- poor programmes to benefit the poor and the vulnerable was channeled into government business.
According to him, over 140 million Cedis of the oil money was committed this sector, when these revenue could be channeled sectors that are pivotal in the pursuit of economic growth and development.
On his part, the Chairman of the occasion Dr Steve Manteaw of the Integrated Social Development Programme (ISODEP) said government’s use of the petroleum revenue is questionable.
He said the moneys were released under the cloak of capacity building to the Musician Union of Ghana.
He appealed to other Civil Society Organizations to join hands with Imani to build capacity to demand accountability in the sector.
He questioned the rationale behind the decision to invest the heritage and stabilization funds in a foreign account when the money could be kept here and injected into the economy when there are shocks.