The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) are set to collaborate to protect Ghana’s petroleum revenue from embezzlement.
The two entities further strengthened their collaboration by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on the back of reports that receipts from upstream petroleum activities in the country are projected at GHc5.4 billion in 2019.
Executive Director of EOCO, ACP (Rtd) K.K. Amoah, welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with PIAC to protect the country’s oil revenue.
“This is going to be a very good document for us in the sense that it is going to open up our scope of investigations. Per our law, EOCO is mandated to investigate matters, financial matters affecting the state,” Mr. Amoah said.
Fight for accountability
PIAC previously indicated it has plans to partner with the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate non-existent oil-funded projects in the country which budgets were approved for.
PIAC published a list of 61 projects purportedly constructed in various parts of the country, but are non-existent.
The government in 2017 allocated GH¢2.2 million on physical infrastructure in the education sector, but not a single project was constructed, PIAC noted in 2018.
Dr. Steve Manteaw, the Chairman of PIAC has warned that the vision of moving Ghana beyond aid will not be achieved if funds allocated for development projects are not used appropriately.
PIAC has also warned that the first Oil and Gas Licensing Round will not achieve its objectives if the government fails to properly account for the revenues accrued from the sector.
President Nana Akufo-Addo on officially opened the first oil exploration licensing round offering six offshore blocks to permit the allocation of new petroleum rights in the country in 2018.
Nine oil blocks have so far been mapped out but only three will be allocated through the open competitive tender process.