Dr. Steve Manteaw, Chairman, PIAC
The various assemblies across the country, must as a matter of concern, disclose projects being funded with petroleum resources, the Public Interest and Accountability Committee, (PIAC) has urged.
That PIAC explained would enhance transparency and accountability on how the country’s oil funds have been utilised.
“Where petroleum revenues are the only source of funding, the projects should be branded as oil projects,” said Mr Denis Gyeyir, technical officer of the committee.
He maintained that projects, under the Annual Budget Fund Amount (ABFA) should be more inclusive by informing and involving stakeholders and beneficiaries in the project selection and implementation process “in line with best practices”.
Presenting a paper on ‘PIAC’s Project Inspection’ at a media engagement in Ho on Sunday, he said that PIAC was concerned about the paltry sums allocated to certain key projects which did not contribute significantly to the total cost of the projects, making impact evaluation problematic.
Worse, the lack of involvement of local authorities and beneficiaries in the project selection and implementation made tracking and the demand for accountability difficult, Mr Gyeyir revealed.
For instance, he cited the Apedwa Primary School project and said that the assembly was unaware of the existence of the project until the PIAC team arrived.
In another instance, the PIAC technical officer stated that the Atorkor-Dzita-Anyanui sea defence works project to protect fisher folks and fishing communities benefitted from GH¢23,612,710 from the ABFA in 2014 which was inadequate to cover the entire stretch of the shore.
He said that quantity of rocks provided were also not enough to stop the destructive effects of the waves.
Meanwhile, Mr Gyeyir moaned that the delay in the execution of some projects, particularly roads, had resulted in substantial cost variation running into millions of Ghana cedis with associated effect on value for money.
A case in point, he revealed, is the Anyinasu-Sekyeredumase road which was started on June 15, 2010 with original contract sum of GH¢8,957,051.94 and intended initial completion on June 13, 2013 had reached GH¢ 17,833.095.34 by December, 2014 and GH¢813, 918, 65 by December, 2016.
To reverse that ugly trend, Mr Gyeyir insisted that suspected cases of abuse of project execution should be investigated promptly and sanctions applied while stringent measures should be taken immediately to minimise delays in the execution of projects, particular roads, as that had a major impact on project costs.
“Authorities at the district/municipal assemblies should be informed and empowered to monitor progress of work and advise the implementation agencies accordingly”, the PIC technical officer added.
About 40 journalists and editors attended the three-day engagement.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO
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