Home » New PIAC Members Sworn In to Oversee Ghana’s Oil Revenue

New PIAC Members Sworn In to Oversee Ghana’s Oil Revenue

by Victor Adetimilehin

Accra, Ghana – A new team of eight members has been sworn in to serve on the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), the independent body that monitors and reports on the management of Ghana’s petroleum revenue. The members, who represent various stakeholder groups, took the oath of office and of secrecy at a ceremony in Accra on October 20, officiated by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance, Eva Mends.

Mends, who represented the Minister of Finance, charged the new members to ensure prudent and transparent use of the nation’s oil wealth, and to work together as a team to promote the work of the committee. She also assured them of the ministry’s support and interest in their work, as it aligns with the government’s commitment to ensure fiscal responsibility and accountability.

The new members will serve either a two-year renewable term or a three-year non-renewable term, in line with the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815), which established PIAC.

They replaced their predecessors who had completed their terms on the committee. The new members are Sena Dake (Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana), Nana Kwaku Dei (Ghana Journalists Association), Richard Ellimah (civil society and community-based organisations), Edward Yaw Afriyie (Association of Ghana Industries and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Dr Noble Ibrahim Adjin Lartey (Muslim Groups), Constantine Kudzedzi (Christian Groups), Christopher Opoku Nyarko (Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative), and Odeefuo Amoakwa Buadu VII (National House of Chiefs).

Odeefuo Buadu, who is the only member retained from the previous committee, expressed gratitude to the nominating institutions for entrusting them with the responsibility to serve on PIAC. He also expressed the readiness of the new team to give their best for the betterment of the country, and to work together to enhance the visibility and impact of PIAC.

He further paid tribute to the outgoing members for their dedication and contribution to the work of the committee. PIAC was established in 2011 as part of Ghana’s efforts to ensure good governance and accountability in the management of its petroleum resources, following the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in 2007.

The committee is mandated to monitor and evaluate compliance with the Petroleum Revenue Management Act by government and other relevant institutions, provide an independent assessment of petroleum revenue management, and provide a platform for public debate on spending prospects and management of petroleum revenues.

Since its inception, PIAC has published 23 reports on various aspects of petroleum revenue management, covering production volumes, revenues received, allocations made, expenditures incurred, projects funded, challenges encountered, and recommendations made.

The committee has also engaged in public education and sensitization activities across the country, to inform citizens about how oil revenues are being managed and used, and to solicit their feedback and suggestions.

However, PIAC has also faced some challenges in fulfilling its mandate, such as inadequate funding, limited access to information, lack of enforcement powers, and low implementation rate of its recommendations by the government.

These challenges have hampered the effectiveness and credibility of the committee, and have raised concerns about its independence and sustainability.

Some civil society groups and experts have called for a review of the legal framework governing PIAC, to address these gaps and strengthen its capacity and mandate. They have also urged the government to demonstrate more political will and commitment to support PIAC’s work, and to implement its recommendations in a timely manner.

Ghana is one of the leading oil producers in Africa, with an estimated production capacity of 200,000 barrels per day. The country has three offshore oil fields: Jubilee, TEN, and Sankofa Gye Nyame.

According to PIAC’s latest report for 2020, Ghana earned a total petroleum revenue of $666.4 million last year, a 31% decline from 2019 due to the impact of COVID-19 on global oil prices and demand.

The report also revealed that Ghana spent $169.51 million of its oil revenue on projects in various sectors last year, but only 40% of these projects were physically verified by PIAC due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The report further noted that some oil-funded projects were poorly executed or abandoned, while others were not aligned with national priorities or local needs. PIAC recommended that the government should ensure value for money in oil-funded projects, and prioritize projects that have direct impact on the lives of citizens, especially in oil-producing areas.

As Ghana strives to maximize its benefits from its oil resources amid global uncertainties and volatility, the role of PIAC becomes even more crucial and relevant. The new members have a huge task ahead of them to uphold the integrity and credibility of the committee, and to ensure that Ghana’s oil wealth is managed and used for the benefit of current and future generations.

Source: [Graphic Online]

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