The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) says the current method of allocating petroleum funds under the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) is inefficient.
The method, according to the IEA, diminishes the impact of the petroleum revenues on development in the country.
In view of that, the IEA advocated inclusive decisions on projects to be funded.
Professor John Asafu Adjaye, Senior Visiting Fellow of IEA made this known at the launch of the 2015 IEA Petroleum Transparency and Accountability (P-TRAC) Index report in Accra.
He said in the absence of a long-term development plan for Ghana, expenditure in the priority areas are currently at the discretion of the Minister for Finance, Seth Terkper which does not auger.
Prof. Asafu Adjaye therefore called for the formation of a committee made up of stakeholders to advise the Finance Minister on how to use the funds effectively.
He said currently neither Parliament nor the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) plays any major role in the allocation of the funds or selection of projects to be funded.
Prof. Asafu Adjaye also raised concerns about the significant funding allocated to projects outside the four priority areas.
He called for the formation of a committee with representation from all major stakeholders to advise the Minister on the expenditure programme pending the passage of the long-term plan.
Prof. Asafu Adjaye said although some progress has been made in the management of Ghana’s petroleum revenues, there is still the need for the speedy passage of the Right to Information Bill and the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill during the next session of parliament.
“We advocate that work be fast-tracked on the following draft bills: the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Bill and the Marine Pollution Bill. Passage of these bills will improve governance not only in the petroleum sector but also in the other resource industries.
The (P-TRAC) Index
The 2015 Petroleum Transparency and Accountability (P-TRAC) Index, which began in 2011 reports progress made to date in enhancing transparency and accountability in the governance of Ghana’s petroleum resources.
The P-TRAC Index is based on tracking performance across four components of the management of the petroleum resources, namely Revenue Transparency, Expenditure Transparency, Contract Transparency and Transparency in the management of the Ghana Petroleum Funds.
The overall goals of the P-TRAC project are to promote transparency and accountability in the management of Ghana’s petroleum resources and to enhance the level of responsibility on the part of the policy makers and implementers.
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