Oil contributes more than 70% to Nigeria's government revenues

This follows a tour by PIAC members and a team of journalists from the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) to the three regions in the north to obtain first-hand information on projects purported to be funded by proceeds from the country’s oil revenue.

Oil contributes more than 70% to Nigeria's government revenuesPIAC in its 2014 report on the management of petroleum revenue reported that government allocated an amount of GH¢ 52,000 towards the rehabilitation of the Duuri Irrigation Dam located in Jirapa-Duuri in the Upper West Region.

Similarly, the civil society group captured in its report for year 2015 that the government made payment to the sum of GH¢ 15,970 to cover the rehabilitation of the Irrigation Dam at Nakori in the Wa Municipality.

A visit by the team to the two dam sites on Thursday indicated no work has been done regarding the rehabilitation of the dam to serve the people.

Acting Reagent and former Assemblyman for Jirapa-Duuri, Mr. Timothy Dombo narrated how the dam came about and expressed his disappointment about its current state.

“This dam was an old dam constructed in 1963 but was later washed off. The whole project was started in 1996 through a grant of 78,000 dollars from the Japan Embassy.

The dam was to be used for dry season gardening and for the animals to get water to drink. As we speak right now, there are no pipelines for the irrigation. My brother, we are here and have not seen any contractor come to this community to rehabilitate the Duuri dam for us. It has been like this since time immemorial.”

He commended PIAC and the team of journalists for embarking on the fact finding mission to know the true state of affairs.

“In fact, I don’t know what to say, I am excited, this is how you people should work; see things for yourself so that you can report correctly because the propaganda is too much, Mr. Dombo said.

Prof. Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassuah, Chairman for PIAC remarked, “In our report, oil money has been given to Duuri Irrigation Dam so when we were at the end of a radio presentation at GBC in Wa, somebody called in to say that he has not seen much work so we should come and verify and that’s the sole reason why we are at the dam site. But it looks as if it’s not much convincing. The thing doesn’t look like a professional dam”

At Nakori near Wa, Karim, a native and unit committee member who spoke to the team said, “No work has been done on this dam since 2006/2007 after the water was blocked. We were promised of a fence wall to the dam so that we will be able to undertake our agricultural activities but nothing of that sort has been done.

No pipelines have been laid to ensure we get water to irrigate our farmlands. We have not seen anything by way of development since this country began commercial production of oil.”

“Having been to the site, it is obvious we don’t know what the GH¢15,000 has been used for. This area is a big potential area for farming meaning that if this project is taken seriously, it can help the community people,” the PIAC Chairman emphasized.

Ghana commenced commercial production of oil in November 2010 and has realized a total amount of 3.208 billion dollars.

Out of this amount, a total of 1,428.76 million dollars representing 44 percent has been transferred to the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA), 968.81 million dollars representing 30 percent has been given to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

Also, a total of 604.32 million dollars representing 18 percent has been transferred to the Ghana Stabilization Fund (GSF) while the Ghana Heritage Fund (GHF) has received 249.92 million dollars representing 18 percent.

PIAC is established under Section 51 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA), 2011 Act 815 to, provide an independent oversight over the collection, allocation and utilization of Ghana’s petroleum revenues.

PIAC as an accountability institution has the following objectives as outlined under the PRMA including to monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act by government and relevant institutions in the management and use of petroleum revenue and investments.

The rest are to provide space and platform for the public to debate on whether spending prospects and management and use of revenues conform to development priorities as provided under section 21 and also to provide an independent assessment on the management and use of petroleum revenues to assist Parliament and the Executive in the oversight and performance of related functions. Enditem.

Source: Francis Tandoh, Upper West Region/NewsGhana.com.gh

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