PIAC questions Ghana Gas over missing $46.7 million

A report by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has questioned the whereabout of more than $40 million which was not accounted for by the Ghana Gas Company Limited.

The Company in 2016 paid only $9.3 million out of receivables of $56 million from the sale of raw gas to the state. The outstanding $46.7 million was not accounted for.

Technical Manager of PIAC, Mark Agyemang, has asked Parliament to demand from management of the Company how the money could be traced.

The PIAC report also raised issues about why the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) was made to fund the Western Corridor roads among others.

“The 2016 allocation and utilisation shows GNPC was given GHC88.5 million which represents 38.64% for the total petroleum revenue for the year 2016. In actual fact, this is the lowest that GNPC has received since 2011 and it was able to cover only 95% of their cash requirement,” he observed.

He explained that this development necessitated GNPC relying on its cash reserves to finance the additional 3% of its cash requirement.

“Notwithstanding this, there was 38% year-on-year in the staff course of GNPC from $10.2 million in 2015 to %16.4 million in 2016. An amount of $12.64 million was used in refurbishing GNPC’s landed properties in Accra, Takoradi and Tema.

“An additional amount of $7.58 million was also spent on the Western Corridor roads project and here PIAC has queried GNPC regarding the last item,” he said.

According to Chairman of (PIAC), Joseph Winful, all the organisations involved; Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Volta River Authority (VRA) and Ghana Gas Company are owned by the state and the authority that directs the funds has nothing to do with management.

“So if we are looking at the way we should be managing our state organisations to make them efficient then we should be looking at the management.

“I was not worried about the receivables, my worry was how much we have gotten from the oil and how we spent the money,” he bemoaned.

He suggested that government should examine the type of capacity GNPC has to buy compared to other players in the oil and gas industry to ensure there is value for money.

Contributing to the discussion, Executive Director of African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Benjamin Boakye recommended that parliament becomes more efficient to forestall such development.

“The product of PIAC is going to feed into the work of parliament and parliament is supposed to extract that accountability from people who are not performing their roles.

“This will ensure that the resources are managed more prudently and efficiently,” he said.

He bemoaned the cycle of general mismanagement as government companies are dealing with themselves and there are debts that are not settled between the entities.

“If the government wants to do business, it must do business with any other entity which is responsible for its liabilities and pay or move away from doing business,” he maintained.

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