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Hon.Boakye Agyarko,Minister for Energy
Hon.Boakye Agyarko, Minister for Energy

Ghanaians demand labeling of oil-funded projects

Beneficiaries of projects executed with proceeds from Ghana’s Oil resources have recommended the need for government to consider labeling such projects for easy identification.

Like it was done to most of the HIPC projects in the past, they believe that labeling all oil-funded projects would make Ghanaians understand and feel the impact of how the petroleum revenues are being used.

At various project visits and public meetings sanctioned by the Public Interest an Accountability Committee (PIAC) in collaboration with IFEJ in some districts across the country, there were concerns that beneficiaries of such projects as well as the district planning officers are not involved in the project inception and implementation.

This, for them, is not participatory enough and government must consider involving beneficiaries and other stakeholders in subsequent projects.

At public forum held at Ledzokuku Krowor Municipal Assembly (LEKMA) in Accra last week, participant expressed discontentment about the lack of involvement of local people in the planning and implementation of projects being funded with oil revenue.

In   Particular, they indicated  that  they  were not  aware  of  the rehabilitations of  the 10thAvenue  Extension and  the  Nii  Adai Ayiku Road  at Nungua, which is within  the  jurisdiction  of  the Municipal Assembly  was   partly financed  with oil  money.  A total of   GHC 1,777,121 of the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) was sunk into the project.

Making a contribution at the forum, the Municipal Planning Officer at LEKMA, Mr Taylor Appiah said, “a lot of projects are being executed in our district but we are not aware of it.”

He opined it was time for the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies as well as community members to be brought on board as stakeholders in the execution of such projects.

Similar sentiments were expressed by the Head Mistress of the Odorgonnor Senior High school,  Dr  Mrs Shines Ofori whose outfit was a beneficiary of a two- storey dormitory block partly funded  with  an  GHc 111,9689  from the ABFA.

According to Dr Ofori, the input of the school Authority was not sought during the implementation of the project and such after the completion of the dormitory it was realized  the dormitory block had so many defects. “The school was not involved in the decisions as much. It was in the letter sent by PIAC that I got to know that some petroleum funds were used. We tried to make inputs earlier in the construction but they were not taken because they were not part of the project.”  She added.

Dr Ofori mentioned that the toilet facility that was constructed as part of  the project  has currently been closed down because the  septic tank  that  accompanied  the toilet was  not  deep enough to  contain the sewage; therefore  it gets full at the  least opportunity.

In its 2016 Annual Report, PIAC recommend to government to use proceeds from the sale of the country’s petroleum revenues to fund ‘legacy projects.’

Such projects, according to the committee, will give better value to the country and have more impact than the current trend of spreading the revenue thinly across so many projects.

By Mohammed Suleman

 

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