Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader had indicated to me earlier that he wanted to go somewhere, so he would start the debate.
In contributing to the Motion, I would only dwell on two items. Yesterday, I indicated that the time had come for us to be interested in what the GNPC actually spent the oil revenue on. If we look at Table 4 of the Report that is before us, we would notice that for the half year, from January to June, 2018, GNPC spent an amount of US$140.57 million. Out of this amount, for the first six months, the staff cost for GNPC alone was
Mr Speaker, Administration and Capital Expenditure amounted to US$6,171,771.68; Capital Project, US$7,466,187.78; and then General Operations Expenditure, US$13, 028,450.33. If we are to add this to the Head Office cost, for the first half of the year, it is almost US$40 million. My concern is that we, as a country, very much exercise a lot of oversight on the oil revenue that goes into the Budget Statement through the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).
I doubt that we do the same to the expenditure which GNPC uses the oil revenue actually on. My worry is that the amount of money we spend on GNPC is far more than what goes into the Budget Statement. In some cases, it is almost twice the amount; but we fail to exercise a lot of oversight on
Mr Speaker, I call on this Honourable House, once again, to be interested in these headline numbers of GNPC expenditure. A staff cost of US$10,614,048.26 and Capital Project of US$7,466,187.78 for the first six months of the year. Administration and Capital Expenditure is nothing, but buying computers and furniture for administrative purposes, an amount of US$6,171,771.68 was spent on that for the first six months of the year. The General Operations Expenditure cost was US$13,028,450.33, almost totalling US$40 million for the first half of the year. I strongly believe that we should exercise a bit more oversight on this matter.
Mr Speaker, my second point relates to paragraph 7.1, which is on the need to urgently seek parliamentary approval to disburse the unutilised ABFA of GH¢403.74 million. If we are to look at the narrative, it is said in the Report that:
“The Committee was informed that the amount of GH¢403.74 million is sitting in the Treasury Single Account and was brought forward in 2018.”
I beg to say that we do not have a single account called the Treasury Single Account. The Treasury Single Account is only a system that aggregates all Government of Ghana accounts for the purposes of payment. So, the Bank of Ghana assesses the Government's position using the Treasury Single Account system. It is not an account. So I thought that for the purposes of accountability, the Ministry of Finance should have, at least, indicated to us the very account in which this amount sits.
My other point is that it is true that they would need parliamentary approval in the form of appropriation. I would suggest that in the Mid-Year Budget Review coming before us in July, they should capture this amount. This would not change the overall Government position because it is revenue. It would not necessarily bloat the fiscal deficit.
The Ministry of Roads and Highways needs money, and contractors are complaining; yet, this money is sitting down. We could spend this money for the purposes of fixing our roads. Unfortunately, the