Government misusing oil cash – Ato Forson
The government of Ghana is veering off the status quo as far as the spending of oil revenue is concerned, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, Member of Parliament for Ejumako Enyan Essiam, has said.
According to him, oil revenues are expected to be used for investments that are self-sustaining, however, the Akufo-Addo administration, he said, is investing the money into projects that do not generate income to finance themselves.
Speaking on the floor of parliament on Wednesday, 26 June 2019, Mr Ato Forson, who is also a former Deputy Finance Minister during the Mahama administration, said: “Mr Speaker, it is not for nothing that the oil revenue is heavily regulated. Apart from the extraction industry that we regulate revenues and expenditure that are approved, tax revenue is oftentimes not regulated in terms of its expenditure.
“Because this kind of revenue depletes over a period of time, it is important for us to regulate and that is why all over the world, countries are moving for the regulation of the use of oil revenue.
“Clearly, we are seeing a system where we are using our oil revenue for consumption and for that reason, we have often said that there is the need for us to reverse to the status quo”, the opposition MP stated.
He added: “The status quo has always been that we use a chunk of the oil revenue for the purposes of investment that can pay for itself but unfortunately where we are using it for consumption.”
Meanwhile, a member of the Minority on the Finance Committee of Parliament, Mr Benjamin Kpodo has kicked against the free-for-all free senior high school being funded with oil money.
He said: “Free SHS should be discriminatory so that those of us who can pay should be made to pay. We are not opposed to free senior high school education but we are saying that the rich who can pay should be made to pay.”
He stressed: “We are solidly in favour of it but we want it to be discriminatory so that those of us who can pay should pay. The programme should target the very poor so that there will be equality.”