Minister for Finance under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, Seth Terkper, has chided the incumbent Government for failing woefully in building up buffers for times of crisis.
According to the lead partner of tax firm, PFM Tax Africa, the incumbent Government despite being the beneficiary of three oil fields – Jubilee, TEN and Sankofa – raking in an estimated oil revenues of about $214 million in just three and half years, has failed to strengthen the nation’s buffers for usage in time of “busts.”
Mr Terkper speaking to norvanreports on Friday, November 20, noted former president Mahama despite being a beneficiary of a single oil field – Jubilee field – with an estimated $115 million oil revenue, strengthened the nation’s buffers far more than the current administration has done.
Share of petroleum revenues from 2011
He posited that, the Mahama-led administration after going through oil price shocks, the Ebola scare, damage to the WA Gas pipeline and disruption in Nigeria gas , coupled with the power crisis, rigourously followed the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) and started building budget buffers, stabilizers as well as savings and investment strategies.
The decision by the Mahama administration to build buffers for the nation resulted in the creation of statutory funds such as the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF), the Sinking Fund as well as the Ghana Stabilization Fund (GSF) from which the incumbent Government in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, did a drawdown of some $250 million.
“Since 2017, I can assure you that no oil revenue has gone to the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF), spending made from GIIF is from the Ghs 250 million Mr Mahama put in there as seed capital for the Fund,” Mr Terkper averred to emphasize the poor attitude of the incumbent Government towards creating buffers for the country.
Speaking further, Mr Terkper described the constant claims by the incumbent Government that the Mahama-led administration bequethed to it a bad economy as untrue, stating that one of Mr Mahama’s biggest legacies was the handing over of the TEN and Sankofa additional petroleum fields that started to generate revenues at the start of President Akufo-Addo’s administration in 2017.
This, is in addition to being the major beneficiary of statutory funds like the GSF, Sinking Fund and GIIF.