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PIAC urges EOCO to crack whip on assemblies

The Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC) Secretariat has requested the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) to provide it with information on all physical infrastructural projects it intends to fund with petroleum revenue in the country this year.

This, according to the PIAC, an independent statutory body mandated to promote transparency and accountability in the management of the nation’s petroleum revenue, would enable it track and monitor such projects to avoid the misappropriation of petroleum revenue.

Dr Steve Manteaw, a Policy Analyst and Chair of PIAC, disclosing this, said the committee had upped measures to ensure that the Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies in the country utilise petroleum revenues for their intended purposes.

He said PIAC had finalised the processes and would soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to be able to facilitate the prosecution of assemblies which would misappropriate the petroleum revenue.

Dr Manteaw, who is also the Co-Chair of the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), a local chapter of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), was speaking at a regional stakeholders’ engagement and dissemination workshop on the 2016 GHEITI reports on oil and gas, and mining sector, held at Abesim, near Sunyani.

EITI is an international body that sets global standards for transparency in oil, gas and mining,

The MoFEP, with support from the Ghana Oil and Gas Inclusive Growth (GOGIG), organised the workshop which was attended by Municipal and District chief executives, financial officers and coordinating directors drawn from the Municipal and District assemblies in the region.

Dr Manteaw regretted that though budgets were approved, studies conducted by the PIAC showed there were several non-existent oil-funded projects in the country.

He explained that under the MoU, the Committee would refer all cases of non-existent oil-funded projects to the EOCO to investigate for prosecution.

Mrs Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, Associate Director of WACAM, a civil society organisation, noted that corruption, particularly, in the extractive sector, retarded national progress, saying posterity would not spare Ghanaians if increased efforts were not made to control the menace.

Source: GNA

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