Mr Speaker, I cannot bring myself to appreciate the points that are being made by both the Hon Chairman of the Committee and the Hon Deputy Finance Minister.
Mr Speaker, the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 provided that 30 per cent of revenue should go to the two Funds and beyond that, if there is any excess, that should go to the Funds, not ABFA, but the Heritage Fund. It seems to me that there is an over-emphasis on Section 11, and with your kind permission, I beg to quote:
“The Ghana Petroleum Fund shall both receive from the Petroleum Holding Fund, petroleum revenue in excess of the Annual Budget Funding Amount”
Mr Speaker, that is what is being addressed now. But, it is not the only source. The principal source is, whatever revenue ensues. That is why I am unconvinced by the argument that, in a particular year, we can have a situation where nothing may go to the Fund. Where is it?
Mr Speaker, Section 10 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 provides, and with your kind permission I beg to quote:
“1) A Ghana Heritage Fund is hereby established.
3) The Ghana Heritage Fund shall receive from the Petroleum Holding Fund a percentage of petroleum revenue which shall be determined by Parliament as savings for the purpose of this Act.”
Mr Speaker, that is the 30 per cent and so whatever revenue, both Funds should receive 30 per cent. That is whether or not it is below the Benchmark. That is the understanding of Section 10 (3). It is not only over and above the benchmark. So what understanding is coming into this?
Mr Speaker, the other dangerous component which, perhaps, consciously or unconsciously they want to introduce, and we have really fought it is that, whatever revenue that comes to the country is State Funds, which should necessarily go into the Consolidated Fund and thereafter, to have an arrangement if anything should go to support the National Oil Company, to do so.
What has been crafted by this is to the effect that, before the money hits the Holding Fund, the Oil Company should
take their own money away. That should not be tolerated. That is the issue we raised that it was wrong,however,it got into the Act. This is because, we debated it on the floor and by this construction now, when we say that it is the net that should go—I beg to read:
“actual petroleum receipt net of the national oil company's share”
Mr Speaker, we are further streng- thening the argument for them that they should take their money before, but that is wrong. It should go into the Consolidated Fund, which is what the National Oil Company is doing and we should resist it because the Hon Minister for Finance should have control. He should be able to tell. It should not be that because that is the conduit, they take their money and the net comes to the Consolidated Fund. It is wrong.