Ofori-Atta committee: $100m oil money not paid into PHF contrary to law – PIAC

The Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC) has maintained that an amount of $100 million of Ghana’s petroleum revenue not paid into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF) flouted the laws of Ghana.

Appearing before the parliamentary committee probing allegations against the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, Vice Chair of PIAC, Abdul Nasir Alfa Mohammed said: “We explored all the laws, in our opinion, that border around this issue, and we still came to an independent opinion, which we stand by on any day, that those revenues ought to have formed part of the petroleum revenues of Ghana and ought to have been deposited in the petroleum holding fund and not in any other account.

“So, for us, it was contrary to the law for that money to have been deposited in any accounts, if at all.”

The Minority in September this year revealed that the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia-led government had failed to to account for over $100 million of oil funds that accrued to the state for petroleum lifting in the first quarter of 2022.

A statement by NDC MP for Yapei-Kusawgu, John Jinapor, said: “The decision by the current NPP government to transfer revenues accruing from about 944,164 bbls of crude lifting in the Jubilee and TEN fields to a company established in a safe haven (outside Ghana) without parliamentary approval, amounts to a gross violation of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815) and Public Financial Management Act (Act 921)”.

“We have become aware that following the acquisition of a 7-per cent interest in the Occidental (Oxy) transaction in respect of the Jubilee and TEN fields by the government, ostensibly for GNPC in 2021, the Minister of Finance has clandestinely ceded the shares to an offshore company known as JOHL (a company set-up in the Cayman Islands) in a very surreptitious and opaque manner”, the statement added.

The Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF) was established under Section 2 of the PRMA, as the designated public fund at the Bank of Ghana to receive and disburse petroleum revenue due the Republic of Ghana.

The PHF is held offshore at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as the Bank of Ghana Petroleum Holding Fund Account.