Fifty per cent of petroleum funded projects non-existent – PIAC

Accra- The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), has revealed in its 2017 Projects inspection report, that 50 per cent of projects claimed to have been funded with petroleum revenues are non-existent.

The report was launched on Tuesday by Dr Steve Manteaw, the Chairman of PIAC, at a news conference in Accra.

The PIAC is an independent statutory body mandated to promote transparency and accountability in the management of petroleum revenues in Ghana.

Giving an overview of the report, Dr Manteaw said, their interactions with citizens during district engagements in over 60 constituencies in 2016 raised concerns as to whether PIAC verified projects, which have been reported to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to have been undertaken with petroleum revenue.

He said in 2017, 40 Annual Budgeting Funding Amount (ABFA) funded projects were inspected in four regions, namely Ashanti, Eastern, Greater Accra and Volta Regions; while six projects were inspected in 2016 in the Northern, Upper East and West Regions.

He said the committee was deeply concerned about the paltry sums allocated to some key projects which did not contribute significantly to the total cost of these projects.

Dr Manteaw revealed that GH15,323.00 was allocated for the surfacing of the Fomena town roads; similarly, an amount of GH15,970.00 was allocated for the rehabilitation of the Nakori Dam in the Wa municipality in the Upper West Region visited in 2016.

It is not surprising that work has not been done at the Nakori Dam site. The Assemblyman of the area indeed revealed that no contractor had been to the dam site since 2007, he stated.

He said PIAC was however, not oblivious of the fact that most of these meagre amounts were intended to be counterpart funding, but this does not in any way minimise the committee’s concerns that impact evaluation becomes difficult with such allocations.

On delays in the execution of some projects, he noted, particularly roads had resulted in substantial cost variations running into millions of cedis with associated effects on value for money.

He said this was a clear indication of little coordination between the implementing Ministries/ Agencies and beneficiary MMDAs in the selection, award, execution and monitoring of projects.

He said consequently, the implemented projects in the beneficiary communities were usually not aligned with the priority projects in their medium term development plan.

He, therefore, urged that the selection of projects to be executed in the districts should be aligned with the Assemblies medium term development plan which incorporates the development needs of the communities.

Dr Manteaw again advised that project selection should be based on the sufficiency and availability of ABFA funds to ensure easy tracking of funds and reporting.

Source: Ghana News Agency