Graphic Business News

Consistent thin spread of oil revenues worrying - PIAC Chairman

By: Ama Amankwah Baafi, Berekum
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Part of the Brekum-Sampa road project that has stalled
Part of the Brekum-Sampa road project that has stalled

The Chairman of the Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC), Dr Steve Manteaw, has advised against the piecemeal allocation of oil revenue for projects.

Rationally, he said, there should be an assessment of the total amount required to complete any particular project before allocating funds.

"If we do it piecemeal, we may do so for about 100 years and Ghana will not see any progress in terms of the impact of oil," he stated.

He was speaking in an interview with the Graphic Business at Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region, during the monitoring of the reconstruction of the Berekum-Sampa road by some members of the PIAC and the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), with support from the GIZ.

It emerged that works on the road had stalled due to lack of funds.

A paltry sum of GHC3 million of oil money was thrown in for the project estimated initially at GHC41 million and revised to GHC46 million.

"It is one of the unwise use of oil money. Clearly, it will not complete the project," Dr Manteaw stated.

He indicated that the money was allocated for the project in 2016 which was an election year.

Likewise, he said, in 2012,  almost all expenditures were also influenced by the elections.

"It is something that is beginning to show up. It is an unwise way to use oil money," he said.

Remedy
He said it would be prudent for government to do an assessment if it wanted to put in money for projects.

"If we do then we can at least put in the full amount to complete projects. Then we can put a signage to tell the people that the project was supported with oil money," he said.

Dr Manteaw added that people would then begin to appreciate that they were also beneficiaries of oil money.

The project
The 56 kilometre Brekum-Sampa road was awarded in May 2007 and completion date was extended to November 2012 due to delay in payment.

However, it had been stalled five years down the line, indicating a higher risk of deterioration.

The acting Director at the Regional Highway, Ing  Frederick Adu Aggyei, said the initial bail of quantity of the project was about 74 per cent completed.

"In terms of physical progress, he has done all earth works; all concrete work; sub-base; the base; prima seal 95 per cent; and he has done first seal 50 per cent," he stated.

According to him, prima seal should not exceed six months, but it had stalled for five years,and so it would require some repairs before work could continue and which would result in overruns.