The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) is proposing being given more biting capacity to be able to prosecute individuals and state agencies who misuse oil revenues.
The Committee, which is an offshoot of Parliament, is mandated to track, evaluate and monitor proceeds from Ghana’s oil fields and its proper utilization, making sure costs and wastes are cut and ensuring value for money.
As it stands, PIAC only monitors and reports to Parliament but it has no mandated capacity to take offenders on by prosecuting them for misappropriating the oil revenues.
Speaking on Akoma FM‘s current affairs and political show GhanAkoma on Friday, May 28, Coordinator for PIAC Issac Dwamena told host Aduanaba Kofi Asante Ennin that “there must be a new reformed PIAC which will not only monitor and report but will also have the ability and capacity to prosecute those who embezzle oil revenues”.
He added that “the public must get involved with a united front especially during PIAC public forums to solicit ideas to sharpen PIAC’s biting teeth for a sustainable management and efficient of proceeds from oil production”.
Established in 2011 under section 51 of Act 815, PIAC has three main objectives which are to monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act by government and relevant institutions, providing space and platform for public debate on management and use of oil proceeds and lastly to provide independent assessment on the management of petroleum revenue as it assists parliament and the Executive in their oversight functions.
Mr Dwamena explained that “PIAC as mandated to be custodians of Ghana’s oil revenues is in line to be upgraded with prosecutorial powers to flush out perpetrators of financial malfeasance of oil proceeds and I believe this is the wish of many Ghanaians”.
He, however, urged the public to be citizen vigilantes to trace and protect facilities built with oil proceeds for sustainable development.
PIAC is celebrating its 10th year anniversary with the theme ‘Strengthening Citizens’ Ownership and Understanding of PIAC and Its Oversight of Petroleum Revenue Management’.
The Committee, since its inception, has engaged 123 districts across the country with over 120 Annual Budget Funded Amount (ABFA)-funded projects across all 16 regions.
By Nana Asenso Mensah|Akoma FM|3news.com|Ghana