Committee: Ofori Not Required to Answer On “illegal Oil Revenue Transfer”, “Conflict of Interest”
The committee probing the Minority Caucus in Parliament’s allegations against Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta says he will not be required to tender any evidence with regard to the alleged illegal transfer of the country’s oil revenue and conflict of interest.
This comes after the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) appeared before the committee.
The minority in a press release in September broke the news about the government’s inability to account for more than $100 million accrued from Ghana’s Petroleum lifting in the first quarter of 2022.
It explained that 944,164 barrels of crude lifting in the Jubilee and TEN fields were transferred to a company established outside Ghana without Parliamentary approval.
Appearing before the Committee on November 17, Vice President of PIAC, Nasir Alfa Mohammed noted that per the PRMA law that governs the utilisation and management of the petroleum revenue, proceeds should be paid into the Petroleum Holding Fund first, however, that was not done with the amount in question.
He noted that “it was contrary to law for that money to have been deposited in another account.”
He however added, “the GNPC referred us to an advice from the Attorney-General Department to okay such a transaction in the nature and manner that they dealt with this issue.”
A letter dated November 17 addressed to the Minister said the Committee is satisfied with the evidence submitted by the GNPC and PIAC and therefore had no need for any evidence from the Minister on those allegations.
“The Committee found the evidence from the two institutions satisfactory and accordingly the Hon Minister is not required to lead the evidence in respect of the said Ground.”
The Finance Minister will respond to the rest of the allegations thrown against him before the Committee today.
The Minority on October 24 filed a motion to censure the Finance Minister citing conflict of interest in the conduct of his mandate; unconstitutional withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund; illegal payment of oil revenue into offshore accounts; deliberate and dishonest misreporting of economic data to Parliament; fiscal recklessness; incompetence; and gross mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy.
The motion was immediately admitted by the Speaker.
On October 10, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin set up an ad hoc committee to probe the allegations against the minister and to give the Finance Minister an opportunity to respond to the allegations levelled against him in accordance with Article 82 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The 8-member committee co-chaired by K.T. Hammond and Dominic Ayine comprises Patrick Yaw Boamah, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, Andrew Agyapa Mercer, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings and Bernard Ahiafor.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini