THE NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament says it has noted with serious concern the inability or refusal of the government to account for over $100 million accruing from Ghana’s petroleum lifting in the first quarter of 2022.
The NDC’s concerns follow a report by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) which reported on the issue a few days ago in their semi-annual report.
According to the Minority, the decision by the NPP Government to transfer revenues accruing from about 944,164bbls of crude lifting in the Jubilee and TEN fields to a company established in a haven (outside Ghana) without Parliamentary approval, amounts to a gross violation of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815) and Public Financial Management Act (Act 921).
A statement issued by John Abdulai Jinapor, Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, said “The Minority is very much alarmed that contrary to requirements of the PRMA, revenues accruing from the nation’s oil fields are not being paid into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF), which has been confirmed in the 2022 semi-annual report on petroleum receipts by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC).”
“We have become aware that following the acquisition of a Seven percent (7%) interest in the Occidental (Oxy) transaction in respect of the Jubilee and TEN Fields by the Government ostensibly for GNPC in 2021, the Minister of Finance has clandestinely ceded the shares to an offshore company known as JOHL (a company set-up in the Cayman Islands) in a very surreptitious and opaque manner.
“The Minority is very much alarmed that contrary to requirements of the PRMA, revenues accruing from the nation’s oil fields are not being paid into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF), which has been confirmed in the 2022 semi-annual report on petroleum receipts by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC).
“As if this is not enough, the report further reveals that Capital Gains Tax was not assessed and collected by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the sale of the 7% interest by Anadarko in the Jubilee and TEN Fields in 2021,” the Minority said.
Not long ago, the PIAC, under the chairmanship of Dr. Steve Manteaw, accused government over their inability to account for about GH?2 billion of Ghana’s oil cash for 2017, 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, it mentioned, adding that “This is surely another “Agyapa” deal in the making and we, as a Minority, will not sit aloof for this Government to raid the national purse.”
Furthermore, it said, “We demand that the Minister of Finance and for that matter Government, must with immediate effect repatriate all such illegal transfer payments back into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF).
“Failure to comply with our ultimatum will compel the Minority to use the necessary parliamentary processes to haul the Minister of Finance to Parliament for possible censure.”
BY Daniel Bampoe