Gov’t maintains ABFA allocation priority areas for 2023-2025


Government will continue its investment in the four previously selected priority areas for allocations under the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) for the next three years, 2023-2025, the Budget Statement and Economic Policy for 2023 has revealed.

This is in line with provisions of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) 2011 (Act 815) as amended, which enjoin the finance minister to select no more than four areas of the 12 specified priority areas when submitting a programme of activities for use of petroleum revenue.

The priority areas are to be reviewed every three years after the initial prioritisation, with the approval of parliament.

In conformity with this, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in his presentation of the 2023 budget to Parliament re-proposed the priority areas, having exhausted the three years implemented for the 2020-2022 period.

He said in cognisance of factors such as the president’s Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2024), government priorities and recent developments in the world economy, the proposed areas of consideration for the 2023-2025 period are as follows: Agriculture including Fisheries; Physical Infrastructure and Service Delivery in Education and Health; Roads, Rail and Other Critical Infrastructure; and Industrialisation.

“This is in line with repeated recommendations by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) for the ABFA to be invested in legacy projects, and avoid the practice of thinly-spreading petroleum revenue investments across several projects,” said the Technical Manager of PIAC, Mark Obeng-Adu Agyemang.

The allocation of 2023-2025 ABFA resources is therefore guided by the principle of implementing few but impactful projects, it was added.

To this end, projects such as the Accra-Tema Motorway Extension and Pwalugu multi-purpose dam will be supported with ABFA resources.

It also emerged that US$380million has been set aside for Equity and Viability Gap Funding under ABFA Funding, for disbursement to the Ghana Infrastructure and Investment Fund (GIIF)-Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). This is meant to de-risk the Accra-Tema Motorway Extension PPP Project and make it attractive to lenders and equity investors.

However, the ‘CSO Budget Forum’, among other recommendations for the oil and gas sector, wanted the 2023 budget to consider prioritising investment in clean and renewable energy as part of selecting new priority areas for ABFA spending.

It said, given the dynamics of transitioning to clean energy globally, government must begin to diversify into clean energy by investing in renewable energy development.

The renewable energy development, according to the Forum, is meant to ensure a robust post-oil energy supply to the economy.

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