A member of the Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC), Eric Defor, has urged the district assemblies to be effectively involved in the selection of government projects earmarked to be executed in their districts.
According to Mr. Defor, such involvement would ensure that projects were tailored to the needs and aspirations of the people in the communities.
He made the remarks at the stakeholder’s forum on Petroleum Revenue Management and Implications of Energy Transition on Extractive Communities in Takoradi.
The forum was aimed at empowering stakeholders to have in-depth knowledge on how revenues generated from the petroleum sector are utilized, as well as generate ideas to support Ghana’s Energy Transition Plan.
It is also to ultimately empower stakeholders to be able to monitor how mineral revenues are used at sub-national level and use results to influence government spending priorities on public services (education, health, social protection and agriculture and rural development) as well make credible inputs for Ghana’s Energy Transition Plan.
The programme was organized by Friends of the Nation with support from Oxfam.
Mr. Defor, noted that the Petroleum Revenue Management ACT (PRMA), section 52 gives PIAC the mandate to do three things which include the monitoring of the petroleum revenue (how it was used and whether it was in line with the investment aspirations of the citizens of Ghana), to create a platform to communicate with citizens of Ghana on the findings of PIAC and take feedback from them as to what their investment priorities are and to undertake independent assessment of the management in use of the petroleum revenues.
According to him, after exercising their mandate, they generate two reports; semi-annual report which are for the operations from January to June and the annual report at the end of the year.
He added that, they work within a timeline that enforces the duty bearers and stakeholders to send their report to PIAC for the projects they have been executing in their respective sectors.
He noted that the reports are well interrogated to make sure that the information contain in the report are accurate and representing what has been captured.
Mr. Defor, continued that PIAC analyze the reports and embark on random inspections, especially areas where the projects are supposed to be built, whether it is built, well executed and that the citizens are receiving value for their money as well as the needs of the people are met.
The Queen mother of Nyankrom, Nana Akosua Gyamfiaba II, in a presentation recommended for a broader stakeholder consultation including involvement of local assemblies in the implementation of projects, and called for a special funds to be set aside for communities where oil is extracted.
She also advocated that GPS address to be generated and provided for all the projects build by oil money for easily identification by the people.
She therefore indicated that there is evidence that districts and municipalities are benefited from revenues from the petroleum sectors.
Furthermore, she however, said that the management and disbursement of the funds should be participatory at the local level to allow for the most pressing needs of the people to be met and the funds to be judiciously utilized.
Source: Ghananest.com/Matthew O. A. Dadzie