The Ministry of Finance (MoF) reported that it utilised an amount of GHC827.60 million of the unspent Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) to partially meet the shortfall in ABFA receipts caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated effects on crude oil prices globally, the 2020 annual report issued by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has announced.
This is at variance with the provisions of the Act which established the Ghana Stabilisation Fund to cushion the impact on or sustain public expenditure capacity during periods of unanticipated petroleum revenue shortfalls, the report added.
It further stated that the Government may have been forced to take this action because the Stabilisation Fund did not have the needed balance to perform its statutory mandate as a result of capping.
The Annual Budget Funding Account (ABFA) is the account set up by government that receives allocation from oil and gas revenue in support of Government budgets
“An amount of GHC1, 291,227,014.86 was allocated to the ABFA from the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF), representing an increase of 1.60 per cent over the allocation to the ABFA from the PHF in 2019.
“The 2020 – 2022 new priority areas selected for ABFA disbursement were not presented to parliament for approval in the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, as required by the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA).
“Contrary to the PRMA, an unutilised amount of GHC827.60 million form 2017 – 2019 was spent to partially meet the shortfall in ABFA receipts caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated effects on crude oil prices globally,” the report said.