Media reports suggested on Tuesday that about GH˘90 million of Ghana’s oil revenue may be dozing in someone’s account, possibly accruing interest for the person, or irretrievably lost.
The report, based on a report of the Public Interest Accountability Committee that monitors Ghana’s oil revenue and utilisation, alleged that the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning had transferred it out of the 2013 oil revenues.
However, the supposed recipient of the colossal sum – The Ghana National Gas Company – has denied ever setting eyes on any such amount from the Ministry of Finance.
“PIAC had specifically said it had found out that a total of GH˘137.92 million was reportedly disbursed to the GNGC, as part of the expenditure and amortisation of loans for oil and gas ….
“The PIAC report … released recently, stated that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning had indicated that it disbursed the amount to the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), but the gas company denied receipt of such funds
“When the committee reverted to the ministry to clarify Ghana Gas’ denial, the Seth Terkper-led outfit admitted that the disbursement did not go to the GNGC as earlier stated, but could not also tell where the cash had gone to.”
Now, The Chronicle finds the above shocking, and grossly so, to say the least. The implications are mind boggling.
Naked, bare-faced lying and obfuscation at ministerial levels, and possibly above? If such lies are told at the Ministry of Finance, then such immorality may well be the norm in every other ministry of state.
So, if the money, indeed, did not go to the GNGC, where did it go?
For how long did it stay there?
How much interest accrued on it?
And where is the capital and interest at this very moment in time?
But, did this really happen under Seth Terkper’s watch?
The Chronicle has always had a soft spot for Seth Terkper. He has shown a certain grit and tenacity these past two years in the centre of a burning inferno that would have consumed most people.
To be hit at one go with an unbudgeted expenditure of GH˘8.7 billion (at the time US$5.6 billion), a sudden and massive drop in world cocoa and gold prices, and a ran away public sector wage bill, exacerbated by a four-year lump sum payment of Article 71 arrears and all their cumulative effect and survive with head unbowed, is something.
It is for this reason that The Chronicle reserves further comment for now, and awaits Mr. Seth Terkper’s response to the PIAC accusations against him.
We do hope he would treat the situation with the urgency it demands.
Source: The Chronicle
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