Mr Speaker, I would like to support the Motion on the floor. In doing so, I would like to draw the attention of the House to a very important issue that has been raised in the Report.
Mr Speaker, on the surface, they may look like ordinary incidents but if one sat before the auditees and listen to the kind of explanation coming up, one gets the impression that the kind of robustness required to manage our oil income does not exist. One gets the impression that people almost treat these things in a very haphazard manner.
Mr Speaker, sometimes, the officials are keener in finding explanations than in finding solutions to the problems. Looking at the Observations and Recommen- dations, paragraph 6, at one point, key documents covering the lifting of crude from the Jubilee Fields, correspondence from GNPC's equity financing cost and invoices from other incomes, were not available.
It appeared that nobody was responsible for ensuring that our oil income was managed in a very robust manner, including the keeping of documents to aid the Audit Service in doing its work.
Mr Speaker, I would dwell on just two of the issues. The first has to do with other incomes not captured under any account. We are talking of a total of about
US$678,998.00, which were never captured under any of the petroleum accounts.
When one listens to the responses given, sometimes they say it is because the accounts have not been opened and it took some time before we could open an account.
Sometimes, Mr Speaker, one would wonder why the Bank of Ghana, whose core duty is to open accounts and operate accounts on our behalf, would wait for six to seven months before opening an account, when we know very well that we are inspecting receipts of income into those accounts.
Even on personal basis, if I know that I am going to receive a cheque today, it is possible to open an account today, deposit that cheque and clear the money today. Yet officials would sit by for months, and the only explanation they give is that, we had not opened the account. And so, it becomes difficult to even trace the movement of the funds since they were not in any recognised account.
Mr Speaker, in my opinion, as Parliament, we should be very serious about these things and make proper recommendations, so that these things are not taken for granted.
Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about investment of the funds. Again, one would see lack of seriousness in how our Heritage and Stabilisation Funds are invested. In one case, we had about 69 million invested and the investment income was just about US$5,000.00. And again, the reason they gave was that at the time, for almost eleven months, they had not opened an account and so, they could not invest the moneys in the necessary areas to generate income.
Mr Speaker, the overall picture is that those who should take care of our funds, invest our funds and manage our funds