Review Petroleum Revenue Management Act

Major Daniel Ablorh Quarcoo, Chairman of the Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC), has called for a review of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) to ensure efficient and judicious management of the oil and gas resources. Speaking in an interview with the media at the National Multi-Stakeholder Conference on PIAC organized in Accra to discuss ways of improving PRMA, he said, “It will help all of us if some of the areas in the Act that has grey areas and are not very compact can be clarified.” He said, “It is imperative for government to fast-track the usage of its recommendations to make the petroleum industry more robust.” Ablorh Quarcoo said there are more sections in the reports that could feed into the national discourse regarding the management of Ghana’s petroleum resources. He expressed unhappiness with the manner in which Parliament is handling the reports it churns out, stating that “even though some aspects of the recommendations has been looked at more needs to be done.” “We are hoping that Parliament will come out and assign a particular committee in parliament with the responsibility of taking the Public Interest and Accountability Report and lay it before the house for debate,” Ablorh Quarcoo said. He was of the opinion that oil revenues were being used well, saying “So far so good. We have no reason to believe that the wrong things are being done yet. We have not actually had big volumes of money but I think slowly as we build up capacity and as more wells are being found we could be earning a billion dollars from oil extraction sooner or later just like cocoa.” He said PIAC will release its 2013 report in July, adding that “PIAC is not a fault finding committee but the institution is just there to ensure that what government set out to achieve it does so in the interest of the entire country and also in a very transparent manner.” Ablorh Quarcoo said PIAC was under resourced and therefore called on government to invest a percentage of the oil fund for its work. He said since the inception of the Public Interest Accountability Committee two years ago, government has not disbursed funds for its work. The Committee, he noted, has already released two reports on its findings in the petroleum sector. “We are just 13 and it is not a big secretariat; for instance our budget for the whole of last year was GHC 1 million and 53,000 and out of that government was only able to provide GHc150,000 and it really crippled us but for the assistance of all those international organizations, we could not have worked,” Major Ablorh Quarcoo noted. The establishment of the committee is a requirement under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act. It has the responsibility to monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act by government and other relevant institutions in the management and use of petroleum revenues and investments. The Public Interest and Accountability Committee has 30 representatives from 13 selected organizations including the Ghana Bar Association, the Clergy, the Institute of Chartered Accounts, the traditional authority, the Trades Union Congress and the Ghana Journalists Association.