The continued massive budget cut to the Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC) is said to be having a toll on activities of the committee.
As at 27 February, 2015, PIAC had only 1,000 cedis in its coffers to run its activities, an amount officials say is woefully inadequate.
The Chairman of the Communications Committee of PIAC, Yaw Owusu Addo who disclosed this at a two day workshop for members of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) at Dodowa in the Greater Accra region said the lack of funds has placed huge limitation for the committee to do its work.
He said even though PIAC had a core mandate to monitor and evaluate compliance of the petroleum revenue management law and ensure prudent use of petroleum revenues, funds to the committee is not forth coming from government.
Mr Owusu Addo said PIAC was destined to die from birth because the lawmakers unfortunately structured the law on PIAC without outlining how it should be funded.
This, he said was because parliament and the executive were not in support of the establishment of PIAC, hence its decision to financially starve the committee from birth.
“The people who are representing us were not in favour of an accountability committee which will monitor them. The government did not want it because you are coming to monitor them.
Mr Owusu Addo said last year, PIAC presented a budget of 500,000 Ghana cedis but received a paltry 12.5 percent of that amount for the whole year.
This he noted was woefully inadequate for PIAC. He said but for the benevolence of the Germany Development Cooperation (GIZ) and other nongovernmental organization they would not have been able to execute their mandate.
“Government has never given us even a pen, or paper to work” he lamented.
On spending of the oil revenue Mr Owusu Addo called for proper investment of the revenue.
He said there is the need for a long term development plan to ensure the resources are put to good use.
Mr Owusu Addo questioned why the country spent about 20 million dollars on 118 roads, complete none when it could have used that amount on two or three roads and turn them into a first class roads for the world to see what government is using the oil money for.
He cited Botswana where projects undertaken with funds from the diamond are identifiable.
“Let’s use the oil money in such a way that we can tell Ghanaians this is what we used the oil money for”
Mr Owusu Addo also lamented the funds said to have been allocated for capacity building.