GH¢217m Oil Cash Blown On Capacity Building

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Adansi/Asokwa, K.T. Hammond, has expressed shock at how Ghana’s oil revenue is being expended on capacity building.

According to him, the 2016 budget has revealed that a whopping GH¢217 million of the country’s oil money was used for capacity building out of which GH¢136 million was used to train teachers, for capitation and feeding grants to second-cycle institutions as well as the procurement of teaching and learning materials for basic schools.

Contributing to the 2016 debate in parliament yesterday, the Adansi/Asokwa MP, who is also the ranking member on Mines and Energy, wondered which teachers’ capacity was built and how common teaching and learning material like chalk, could not be provided by the government.

“I am wondering who and whose capacity was built and why teachers in basic schools could not have simple chalk to teach,” he underscored.

He also charged government to pay particular attention to the rot at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) because through the mess there, Ghana could soon suffer the curse of oil production.

The MP for Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem (KEEA), Dr Nana Ato Arthur, said the theme of the budget ‘Changing Progress Towards a Brighter Medium Term,’ was completely misplaced because currently many industries in the country are either folding up or relocated to neighbouring countries because of the unprecedented power crisis in the country.

According to him, the dumsor problem could not be solved by the government anytime soon since the problem is as a result of the serious financial crisis facing the government.

“There is no money to buy fuel to power our thermal plants while the government is indebted to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to the tune of $518 million,” he noted, stressing that very soon full cost of electricity would be passed on to the poor consumers.

The Minister of Petroleum, Emmanuel Kofi Armah Buah, admitted that the dumsor posed a serious challenge to the economy but the government was endeavouring to resolve the problem.

He disclosed that the government had finished with a gas master plan to help resolve the power crisis, saying that was why it (government) had set up the Ghana Gas Infrastructure Project.

He said the government had also put before parliament the Exploration Production Bill to ensure that there is total transparency in the oil industry.

“For the first time, we have given an assurance that we as a government are going to be prudent in our finances next year, even though it is an election year,” he said.