Emerita Professor Elizabeth Ardayfio-Schandorf (left), Chairperson, PIAC, assisted by Prof. Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassauah, Professor of Physics, UCC, to launch the 2023 PIAC Annual Report
Emerita Professor Elizabeth Ardayfio-Schandorf (left), Chairperson, PIAC, assisted by Prof. Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassauah, Professor of Physics, UCC, to launch the 2023 PIAC Annual Report
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Invested petroleum funds appreciate to $1.24bn — PIAC report

Invested funds under the country’s upstream petroleum sector increased to $1.24 billion last year from $1.06 billion in 2022.

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This was the result of a 13.96 per cent increment in the Ghana Heritage Fund (GHF), an investment stream for future generations, while the Ghana Stabilisation Fund (GSF) went up by 32.52 per cent, despite withdrawals.

The combined effect on the GPFs was a 16.47 per cent increase last year over the previous year. This was contained in the 2023 Report of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) launched at the University of Ghana (UG), Great Hall, in Accra yesterday.

The 2023 edition was the 13th annual report and the 25th PIAC statutory report. It is based on the collection, collation, reconciliation and analysis of production and revenue data from PIAC’s relevant stakeholder institutions.

The launch, which also served as the first PIAC student outreach at the university, was attended by members of the committee, including Dr Ibrahim Lartey; Nana Kwaku Dei, Richard Ellimah; Yorm Ama Abledu; and past members of the committee as well as some faculty members and students of the university.

It was chaired by Professor Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassauah, a Professor of Physics at the University of Cape Coast (UCC).

Total reserves

The chairperson of PIAC, Emerita Professor Elizabeth Ardayfio-Schandorf, presenting the findings of the report, explained that the $1.24 billion total reserves at the end of 2023 was made up of $1.05 billion in the GHF and $190.38 million in the GSF, compared with their corresponding figures of $918.22 million and $143.66 million respectively in 2022.

Prof. Ardayfio-Schandorf said production from the three producing fields amounted to 48.25 million barrels (bbls) for last year, lower than the 51.76 million bbls recorded in 2022, about seven per cent lower.

She said the 2023 actual output represented about 92 per cent of the 2023 benchmark crude oil output of 52.61 million barrels. The relatively lower production volume for last year was due to reduced production on all the three producing fields.

Revenue drop

The chairperson stated that $1.06 billion accrued to the Petroleum Holding Funds (PHF), amounts due the country from all oil and gas related payments, such as royalties, carried and participating interest (CAPI), corporate income taxes (CIT), surface rentals, and interest earned on the PHF.

The inflows from the oil and gas sector represented a 25.65 per cent decrease over the previous year’s figure of $1.43 billion. Prof. Ardayfio-Schandorf said the budgeted petroleum revenue for 2023 in the government’s Budget Statement and Economic Policy was $1.48 billion to be realised from lifting proceeds of $939.82 million and other receipts of $544.65 million.

PIAC attributed the decline in revenues to the interplay of lower production volumes and relatively lower international crude oil prices.

Budget allocation

“The budgeted petroleum revenue was allocated as required by the Petroleum Revenue Management (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act 893) and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) was projected to receive $368.83 million for the year,” she said.

The remaining amount of $1.12 billion, which constitutes the benchmark revenue, was allocated, with the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) set to receive $780.95 million, representing 70 per cent of the benchmark revenue, and the GPFs getting $334.69 million, representing 30 per cent, in compliance with the PRMA as amended.

The Principal of the UG, City Campus, Prof. Joseph Yaro, who delivered the opening remarks, said Africa needed a committee such as PIAC to help reverse the resource curse. “The students are very excited about the presence of PIAC on campus today because of the over seven topics being taught on the resource curse that Africa is experiencing since colonial days.

“Therefore, a committee of this nature is needed on the African continent to ensure that the trends are totally reversed,” Prof. Yaro said. The Head of the Geography and Resource Development of the university, Prof. Charlotte Wringgley-Asante, said the report was an important tool for the department as it taught and conducted research in the area of natural resource management.

She said courses offered at the department such as resource analysis, extractive industry and development, and resource management and environment provided students with the needed opportunity to broaden their knowledge on resource use and how to ensure environmental stewardship at both individual and societal levels.

“The department is privileged to collaborate with PIAC to engage the university community as the committee launches its annual report on the management and use of petroleum revenue in the country,” she said.

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