Depositing petroleum funds in an offshore account is prohibited – PIAC

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According to the Minority’s petition for censure, the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has verified the government’s alleged illicit payment of $100 million in oil money into an offshore account.

The funds were deposited in the account of Jubilee Oil Holding Limited, which is registered outside of Ghana, and are a portion of the revenues from crude oil export in the first half of this year.

Vice President of PIAC Nasir Alfa Mohammed claimed the sum was part of the nation’s petroleum earnings and belonged to the state when speaking during the censure motion hearings on Thursday.

“The PRMA is the primary law that governs the utilization and management of the petroleum revenue and it says that any revenue accruing to the state, whether directly or indirectly should be paid into the Petroleum Holding Fund,” he said.

According to the legislation, before any distribution to any other account is made, the money should have first been deposited in the Petroleum Holding Fund, according to Mr. Nasir Alfa Mohammed.

“it was contrary to law for that money to have been deposited in another account.”

“Those revenues ought to have formed part of the petroleum revenues of Ghana and ought to have been deposited first in the Petroleum Holding Fund and not any other account,” he added.

When it was his turn to speak before the Committee, Joseph Dadzie, the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Commerce, Strategy, and Business Strategy at GNPC, refuted PIAC’s claim.

He said that depositing the revenue in an account other than the Petroleum Holding Fund did not violate any laws.

In response to inquiries from Dr. Dominic Ayine, the co-chair of the committee, Mr. Dadzie made this statement.

He clarified that “JOHL is a 100 per cent subsidiary of GNPC, we believe it is a company registered under the Companies Act and obviously the terms and conditions, the constitution of JHOL is governed by the Companies Act and for that reason 100 percent of the revenue cannot be put into the Petroleum Holding Fund.”

The Deputy CEO of GNPC stated that the Minority cannot hold the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, accountable for this transaction.

“As far as JHOL is concerned, the revenues are not the Finance Minister’s responsibility…

“I don’t think the Finance Minister has any control as far as the revenue is concerned,” he remarked.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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