" Ghana has an annual infrastructure deficit of $1.2 billion. We are talking about major deficits in transportation, health care, education. Look at the school feeding program, our public school systems, the children suffering.
Parliament and Civil Society have been keen on the allocation, expenditure and accounting of monies accruing from Ghana's petroleum reserves.
For proper policing of these funds, parliament enacted the Petroleum Management Act 2011, which clearly spells out how the monies should be used. Since 2011, the petroleum revenues have been allocated to the Annual Budget Funding Support, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, the Stabilisation Fund, and the Heritage Fund.
The chart above shows that since 2011, about 243 million dollars have been allocated to the heritage fund, which is essentially, sitting in an account for the next generation.
Economist at the Department of Economics of the University of Ghana, Dr. Adu Sakordie does not see the sense in that. According to him, it is nonsense to have money sitting down for the next generation, when we have serious infrastructural deficits.
Speaking on Radio Univers' Business Trendz, Dr. Sakodie argued that " Ghana has an annual infrastructure deficit of $1.2 billion. We are talking about major deficits in transportation, health care, education. Look at the school feeding program, our public school systems, the children suffering. Why keep so much money outside the shores of the country in a certain heritage fund, when people are suffering", he asked.
The economist urged government to use the money for economically viable infrastructure development that will transcend all generations. He was reacting to the Bank of Ghana's Mid-annual report on petroleum revenues for 2015.
" I will advocate that the resources should be used for two or three specific infrastructure projects. You don't literally have to set money aside for the next generation, that is nonsense. You can allocate the money to the construction of roads for example, that will serve the needs of this generation and the next. Do you know when the High Street and other key streets in the capital were constructed? Are they not serving our purposes today?
When asked whether the monies do not risk being mismanaged by government if it should be made available to them, the economist said " Who will you trust then? The current generation, or the next one. They are all the same. Don't we have SRC executives embezzling funds? Its the same with all the generations, so that's not the point."
The Bank of Ghana;s mid-annual report for 2015 revealed investment returns many have described as an satisfactory, on the stabilisation and heritage funds. The heritage fund actually made a loss of -0.54 per cent for the first half of the year 2015.