The minority spokesperson on finance and Member of Parliament for Ajumako/Enyan/Essian, Cassiel Ato Forson in a breakfast meeting has stated that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is borrowing outside of its core mandate, constituting flouting of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act.
Presenting his statement on the outlook of the mid-year fiscal review prepared by the minority in Parliament, he indicated that Section 15 of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act, Act 919, 2016, stipulates any borrowing exceeding the cedi equivalent of US$30 million for the purpose of exploration, development and production, shall be approved by Parliament and shall be in consonance with the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, Act 815, 2011.
Mr Ato Forson pointed out that GNPC intends to borrow an amount of US$564.81 million to fund its operations including US$100 million for the construction of Agriculture Roads, US$20 million for the construction of its corporate Head Office, US$10million for the construction of it operating office in Takoradi, US$13.4 million to refurbish its Petroleum House and US$2 million to build a transit quarters for staff.
Mr Ato Forson further revealed that the public debt has ballooned to GH¢ 154 billion, excluding the Energy Bond of GHC 4.7 Billion as of May, 2018 from GH¢ 122 billion in January, 2017.
He projected that the public debt is expected to increase further by GH¢3.8 billion should the financing plan of selling state assets, prepayment of license fees, and monetisation of mineral royalties fail to materialise.
Addressing stakeholders at the meeting, Mr Ato Forson reiterated that the Government has issued a Bond of GH¢2.2 billion to GCB Bank in respect of its assumption of the collapse of UT and Capital Banks.
“Based on the foregoing, we project that in the year 2018 alone the government will be adding about GH¢25 billion to the Public Debt stock. This will add to the total borrowing for 2017 of some GH¢ 26 billion. The Public Debt therefore, can be projected at about GH¢173 billion by end of December 2018, which will take our debt to GDP ratio well beyond the 70 percent HIPC threshold”, he disclosed.
Story: Samuel Ayisi Saint