Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Deputy Minority Leader, has called for an urgent review of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (Act 815) to ensure that oil revenues are used for specific national infrastructure projects.
Mr Buah, who is also a former Energy Minister, made the call at a press conference at Parliament House in Accra.
He said the provisions in the Act provided for the establishment of the Heritage Fund, because it was envisaged that this finite resource was not only for the living but for those yet unborn.
He said it also established the Stabilisation Fund to provide support for the budget in times of shocks to the economy.
He said in that provision in the Act, by and large, the whole period of oil production and revenue reporting, it was the Minister of Finance that had been given the guidelines implementing how those revenues were applied.
He reiterated the need for oil revenues to be used in executing major national projects across the country.
“But frankly if I ask you today, after all these years of oil production exactly where have we used the oil money for? I am sure everybody will start thinking, we are not sure; I think it is important that we revisit that issue and make sure that in the next 10 years, we amend the Petroleum Revenue Management Act to focus revenue for the annual budget funding amount solely on development of big time projects,” he said.
“We can pick two items and say that in the next 10 years, we are going to focus on railway development, the whole Ghana will know that (within) 10 years, this is what the oil money had been used for. We can also focus on the Ghana super highway, we will dedicate it to developing a high from Half Assini to Bawku, all the way to Accra,” he said.
He noted that the history showed that in Ghana almost every road was constructed because there was a community there.
Mr Buah reiterated the need for the construction of super highways across the length and breadth of the country in order to facilitate fast movement of people, goods and services.
“We need to create highways across our country, so that when you want to travel around our country within two days, you can do those things without any interruptions.”
He called for fair distribution of petroleum revenues, to ensure that regions contributing to the extraction of resources were given their fair share.
“I call for fairness in the distribution of the oil revenues to where the oil resources come from,” Mr Buah stated.
“It is only fair because when you develop the Western Region, you are developing Ghana, and you are really developing where most of the resources come from.”