ACEP advocates use of oil resources to benefit all

Alhassan Iddrisu, Head of Programme at ACEP

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) is urging government to use the extractive oil resources efficiently to benefit all and also enhance socio economic activities in the country.

This, ACEP said, would help to ensure that all projects that were benefiting from oil funds are executed efficiently and on time as well as ensure value for money. Also, the best way to efficiently use the extractive resource is to ensure that investment is made in pro-poor sectors of the economy like education, agriculture and health.

“Over the years, we have been advocating for government to invest oil resources judiciously by promoting agriculture, education and health because these areas would boost the human capital and the future of every country depends on its human capital,” Alhassan Iddrisu, Head of Programme at ACEP said.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in the Yendi Municipality of the Northern Region, Mr. Iddrisu noted that a study of the trend of government funding in those areas have been very low and therefore the need to channel more resources into the areas to achieve the set goals.

The meeting was organised by ACEP with funding from OXFAM under the ACEP ‘G Face Election Campaign’ project aimed at tracking government’s funding for the various projects allocated across the country with the use of oil resources. It brought together representatives of various political parties, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and chiefs to share findings of a study on government’s expenditure and allocation of oil revenues to the education and agriculture sectors for the past years.

The study, which analysed government’s real expenditure from 2005 to 2018, assessed the contribution of petroleum revenues to Ghana’s agriculture and education sectors and also trends in real government expenditure sectors.

Mr. Iddrisu added that it was about time the country moved from always conducting postmortem on projects to being proactive to help ensure efficient utilization of all funds, adding that the former had over the years wasted a lot of revenues which could have been avoided if the projects were effectively monitored.

Sylvana Zuanah, a Policy Analyst at ACEP, noted that Ghana had not been able to meet its agriculture expenditure targets as outlined by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) in the Maputo Declaration by Africa Union (AU) in 2003.

She indicated that amidst the persistent challenges, the education sector has met the minimum education expenditure benchmark of 15 percent of total government expenditure, noting that the sector had received much attention for Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) allocation than the agriculture sector.

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