NDC blows GH¢317m oil cash

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– Money meant for capacity-building was spent on social interventions
-Sector still faces acute skills shortage

WHILE lack of expertise continue to hinder Ghanaian companies from exploring opportunities in the oil and gas sector, government splasheda whopping GH¢317million (GH¢317,109,617) on capacity-building between 2011 and 2016.

Despite this colossal amount, Ghana continues to grapple with skilled technical labour – giving room for expatriates to snap lucrative jobs in the sector.
Capacity-buildingis one of the four priority areas that benefit from the yearly allocation of oil revenues, which are to be directed at initiatives to enhance the skills of Ghanaians to be able to manage the oil and gas sector.
However, after more than seven years of oil exploitation, it is difficult, if not impossible, to mention how these allocations have helped sharpen the skills of Ghanaians to take advantage of technical employment opportunities in the sector.
It is estimated that out of the GH¢317m allocation made for capacity-building,about 70% was used to fund various social interventions in the education sectorwhile part was given as support to state-controlled financial institutions.
The little part of the money that went into capacity was also used to mostly sponsor Ghanaians to travel outside for Masters programmes in oil and gas.
Sadly, most of the beneficiaries return to Ghana only to remain jobless because the industry is not in need of their services since they did more of academic work.
Institutions such as Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), National Youth Authority (NYA)which have been rocked by corruption scandals have all received substantial amounts of the capacity-building money.
2011 – GH¢750,000allocated for capacity building
In 2011, government allocated GH¢750,000 which was used to build laboratories at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to train students studying petrochemical engineering.
2012-GH¢111.6m allocated for capacity building
For 2012, over GH¢111.6million (GH¢111,656,738) was allocated for capacity-building.
GH¢35m for MASLOC(2012)
The Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) receivedGH¢35million of the capacity-building money to give out as loans.
Even though this money has not been returned to state purse, MASLOC is broke as monies disbursed to people have not been paid back.
Over GH¢100 million being loans given to beneficiaries have still not been recovered by Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC)
GH¢15.9m for NYEP(2012)
The National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) was given GH¢15.9million(GH¢15,907,952).
GH¢10m for NADMO(2012)
An amount of GH¢10million was provided to theNational Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO)to purchase relief items.
GH¢11.9m to purchase of goods and services for MoFA (2012)
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) was allocated GH¢11.9million (GH¢11,984,020) for the purchase of goods and services.
GH¢10m for ICT training for persons with disability(2012)
An amount of GH¢10million was earmarked for the training of 5,000 persons with disability in Information Communication Technology ((ICT).
GH¢8.1m for LEAP(2012)
The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) received GH¢8.1million to disburse to beneficiaries.
GH¢5m for Venture Capital Trust Fund (2012)
A total of GH¢5million was given to financialsupport to Venture Capital Trust Fund.
GH¢4m for skills training in road maintenance (2012)
The government also gave GH¢4million (GH¢4,092,048) for skills training in road maintenance.
GH¢5.3m for Ghana Living Standards Survey (2012)
An amount of GH¢5.3million (GH¢5,373,418) was used to fund Ghana Living Standards Survey.
GH¢2m for MUISGA (2012)
The Musician Union of Ghana (MUISGA) received GH¢2million as support to the creative industry.
GH¢2m for Exim Guarantee Company (2012)
Exim Guarantee Company Ghana Limited rebranded into Exim Bank received GH¢2million as recapitalisation.
GH¢1.7m for Lands Ministry (2012)
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources was given GH¢1.7million (GH¢1,790,000)
GH¢445,300 for NYA (2012)
The National Youth Authority (NYA) also received GH¢445,300.
2013 – GH¢20.1m
In the year 2013, government allocatedGH¢20.1million (GH¢20,183,359) for capacity-building.
GH¢10m for Venture Capital Trust Fund (2013)
The Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) again received GH¢10million as financial support.
An alleged corrupt scandal at the VCTFhas caused the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) to open investigations.
According to the Daily Guide newspaper, the Development Assistance Fund (DAF) and the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) created under the VCTF to give funding access to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) were allegedly used as an avenue to steal state funds.
Currently, only about 7% of a whopping GH¢18.26 million invested by the government between 2010 and 2015 has been recovered and GH¢32 million is still outstanding.
GH¢2m for Exim Guarantee Fund (2013)
Exim Guarantee Fund was also allocated GH¢2million in 2013.
GH¢8.1m for Petroleum Commission (2013)
The Petroleum Commission received GH¢8.1million (GH¢8,183,359) to support its operations.
2015 – GH¢101.4m allocated for capacity-building
For the year 2015, an amount of GH¢101.4million (GH¢101,482,290)was disbursed for capacity-building.
GH¢34.5m for SHS subsidy(2015)
Out of this amount, GH¢34.5million (GH¢34,557,175) was allocated for the payment of Senior High School (SHS) subsidy and implementation of progressively Free SHS.
GH¢23.5m for School feeding(2015)
Also, GH¢23.5million (GH¢23,531,764) was used to pay for school feeding.
GH¢16.6m for capitation grant(2015)
In addition, government also used GH¢16.6million (GH¢16,647,366) to pay for capitation grant.
GH¢15.5 for BECE (2015)
An amount ofGH¢15.5million (GH¢15,543,500) was also used as subsidy for Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
GH¢4.5m for SHS, Primary school capacity-building(2015)
An amount of GH¢4.5million (GH¢4,510,904) went into the payments to improve capacity at Primary and Secondary Schools.
GH¢3.8m for school uniforms (2015)
Payment for the supply of school uniforms in four regions accounted for GH¢3.8million (GH¢3,898,647).
GH¢2.2m for HR Audit (2015)
Government also allocated GH¢2.2million (GH¢2,236,276) as the payment for Human Resources audit activities.
GH¢556, 655 for stationery (2015)
An amount of GH¢556,655 went into the printing and transportation of stationery to seven regions.
2016 – GH¢83m allocated for capacity building
Last year, an amount of GH¢83million(GH¢83,037,284), which was set aside for capacity-building, was given to Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).

By Elvis DARKO, Accra

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

[email protected]

A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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