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50% of Oil Funded Projects Don’t Exist – PIAC

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The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has disclosed that about 50 percent of the oil funded projects touted by the Mahama led administration do not exist.

This was discovered by the Committee in 2016, after a visit to six selected Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) projects in three regions, to monitor their existence, progress of work and state of completion.

Briefing the media yesterday at the Press Centre in Accra, Steve Manteaw, Chairman of PIAC, said “In 2016 we inspected six projects in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern region. The findings and observations were overwhelming with fifty percent of the projects being nonexistent.”

The previous government, according to a 2013 PIAC report, spent an amount of GH¢372.07 million out of GH¢543.78 million of the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) representing 68.42 per cent on Roads and other Infrastructure.

The remaining GH¢287.20, representing 35 per cent of the ABFA allocation, according to the report, was spent on infrastructural projects in several sectors, including energy, education, water, housing, security and health.

According to Dr. Steve Manteaw, Ministers of Finance over the years failed to provide updates on the status of implementation of ABFA funded projects.

Lack of Consultation of Beneficiaries

According to the report, interactions with beneficiaries and local authorities revealed that there was no involvement of communities and beneficiary institutions in the project selection and implementation.

This made it difficult for the committee to track projects and demand for accountability.

“For example at Apedwa SDA Primary school in the East Akim Municipality of the Eastern Region, the assembly was unaware of the existence of an ABFA funded project until the PIAC team arrived. Same can be said about the Agogo Saviour D/A Primary School in the Asante Akim North Municipality of the Ashanti region,” according to the report.

Shoddy Works

The report also indicated that some contractors performed shoddy works due to lack of supervision.

This has caused 50% of school projects deteriorate in less than three years after completion.

“A 6- unit classroom block at Apedwa SDA Primary School in the East Akim District of the Eastern region had begun to sink due to poor siting and shoddy work according to the authorities of the school and Municipal Assembly”

According to Dr. Steve Manteaw, several attempts by the committee to obtain further details of the project from the Ministry of Education has proven futile.

Recommendations

The Public Initiative Accountability Committee has therefore urged government and Agencies of ABFA funded projects, to mount sign posts at project sites.

According to PIAC, this will enable concerned citizens demand accountability.

They also asked that the project selection should be based on the sufficiency and availability of ABFA funds.

“Selected projects should be fully funded with petroleum revenue to completion to ensure easy tracking of funds and reporting.

Relevant MMDA’s, stakeholders and beneficiary communities should be actively involved in the selection, award, execution and monitoring of projects in their jurisdictions to promote inclusiveness and ownership.”

By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum/ thePublisher

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