The Ministry of Finance has still not repaid a US$50 million loan it took from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) in 2013 for the construction of the Western corridor roads.
The money, which was originally expected to be repaid in three months, had still not been paid as at December 2020, according to the Public Interest and Accountability Committee’s (PIAC) 2020 annual report.
The oil revenue watchdog said in December 2018, the Ministry directed GNPC to expunge the amount from its books on the grounds that per the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Act 2017 (Act 947), the Minister for Finance is empowered to cap the total allocation to all earmarked funds at 25 percent of tax revenues.
The committee said the ministry indicated that it had not retained GNPC’s flows since the law was passed with the view to offsetting the US$50 million loan.
“However, according to the Corporation, its Level A allocations are a pass-through intended to meet equity-finance obligations in the producing fields, while the 30 percent share of the net proceeds (Level B) is consistent with the PRMA Act 815 as amended, and has been below the amounts allocated to GNPC in the national budget of 2018,” PIAC said.
PIAC added that GNPC plans to engage its sector ministry, the Ministry of Finance, and Parliament to discuss the issue further.
The Technical Director of PIAC, Mark Agyemang, told Business24 in an earlier interview that in order to prevent government from interfering in the affairs of GNPC, the Corporation should be listed on the stock exchange (GSE) to cede control and ownership of the national oil company to Ghanaians.
The move, according to him, will stop government interference in the affairs of the national oil company.
“The government’s consistent control of the corporation and, for that matter, its use of the corporation to finance quasi-fiscal expenditures is a worry,” Mr. Agyemang said.