PIAC questions quality of work funded with oil revenue

The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has expressed disappointment over the poor execution of some projects funded with petroleum revenue in the Ashanti Region.

Vice Chairman, Kwame Jantuah, has questioned, in particular, the quality of work on an ongoing 3-unit classroom block at Akpenkro, as well as construction of the Bremang UGC road, which has developed potholes just two years after tarring.

This came to light during a 4-day verification tour of ABFA sponsored projects in the Ashanti Region by members of PIAC and Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ).

PIAC is a statutory institution with the mandate to ensuring efficient, transparent and accountable in management of Ghana’s petroleum revenues and investments.

The exercise is to enable the committee trace and ascertain the current state of projects funded with the country’s oil revenue.

The team first visited Sepe Dote and Adukrom roads in the Asokore Mampong municipality, which have been upgraded, to asphalt.

The team was satisfied with the quality of work and current state of the roads.

At the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the construction of a teaching hospital has halted for the past two years, though about 1.3 million Ghana cedis of oil revenue has been pumped in the project.

The director of works at the university, Kwadwo Kyeremeh told the team the project cost has been reviewed from the initial 6 million to GHC21 million due to structural changes and inflation.

The project, which is 44 per cent complete, will increase the intake of medical students to reduce the 1 doctor to 1,000 patients ratio in the country.

But the team was not satisfied with the quality of work at the Bremang UGC road project in Kumasi and an uncompleted 3-unit classroom block at Akpenkro in the Atwima Mponua district.

The Bremang UGC road was tarred in 2015 but has already developed serious potholes. Users of the road blamed the contractor for doing a shoddy job.

A 3-unit classroom block at Akpenkro too has been left uncompleted despite allocation of 58,000 Ghana cedis oil revenue to assist in the completion of the project.

Vice chairman of PIAC, Kwame Jantuah was not enthused with the development.

“The question is quality of work on some of the projects is very challenging and it should not be encouraged. If oil money is invested in a project, we must get value for our money. The quality of work on both the Akpenkro school block and the Bremang UGC road is very poor” he said.

PIAC lacks the mandate to prosecute people who misappropriate Ghana’s oil revenue allocations.

But Mr. Jantuah wants parliament to give PIAC the power to prosecute.

“PIAC should have some kind of prosecutorial powers to bring to book persons or institutions who misapproripate oil money allocate for specific projects”.

Meanwhile, at a public meeting on management of Ghana’s petroleum revenue at Atwima Mponua, participants lauded the work of PIAC called on the government to further empower the committee to fully fulfill its mandate of ensuring the efficient management of oil revenue.

Mr Jantuah reiterated the committee’s commitment to exhibiting high integrity and remaining independent of governmental dictatorship on the oil revenue management.

He reaffirmed PIAC’s determination to partner with the media to keep track of oil revenue disbursement as means of promoting social auditing and Accountability.

By Ibrahim Abubakar||Ghana

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