PIAC urges Parliament to restrict GNPC’s spending on CSR

The Public Interest Accountability Committee, PIAC, has reiterated its call on Parliament to put some restrictions on the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s budget allocated to Corporate Social Investments.

At the launch of the 2019 annual PIAC report, Chairman of PIAC, Nobel Wadzah, among other things said GNPC has for the past ten years not raked in substantive profits to afford it the luxury of embarking on many CSR projects.

The Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) made available for GNPC in 2019 was pegged at GHC2.7 billion, out of which only GHC1.2 billion was utilized, leaving a balance of GHC1.5 billion unutilized.

According to PIAC’s report, for the third consecutive year, not only has a substantial proportion of the ABFA not been fully utilized, but GNPC has been unable to account for it.

By some of its actions, PIAC says GNPC is in violation of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, and the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund Act among others.

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“In 2019, 45.14 percent of the actual ABFA was spent on recurrent expenditure, with 54.86 percent on capital expenditure. This is in violation of Section 8(4)(a) of Act 893 which requires that a minimum of 70 percent be spent on public investment expenditure.”

For the second consecutive year, there was no allocation from the ABFA to the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF), contrary to the provisions of the PRMA and GIIF Act 877,” said Mr. Wadzah.

PIAC has thus recommended that Parliament puts a cap on the budget allocations for the institution’s Cooperate Social Investments.

“The Committee reiterates its earlier call to Parliament to consider placing some restrictions on the proportion of GNPC’s budget on CSI and guarantees to state institutions, particularly in the light of the Corporation’s inability to respond to some of its cash calls.”

“PIAC urges Parliament to bring its oversight mandate to bear on the Ministry of Finance’s impunity and failure in not accounting for unutilized ABFA. For the third consecutive year, the actual ABFA has not been fully utilised and accounted for, bringing the total unutilised and unaccounted ABFA to GH¢1.5 billion at the end of 2019,” he added.

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In previous reports, PIAC recommended a well-coordinated framework for routine shutdown and maintenance, to minimize disruption to production and gas exports.

PIAC says this has improved coordination and synchronization of shutdowns and maintenance, which has in turn contributed to reducing disruptions, with positive outcomes on production.

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