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An audit conducted by the Auditor-General on the management of the country’s Petroleum Holding Fund shows that an amount of $310.34 million was yet to be paid into the Fund as at December 31, 2018.
Of the total amount, $308.77 million represented an amount due from the Ghana National Gas Company Limited for gas sold to them by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and $1.57 million as surface rental fees unpaid by various entities.
The report however did not identify any incidence of fraud during the auditing proceedings.
The report’s estimated amount of penalties of defaulters based on Section 3(4) of Act 815 is $10.79 billion.
The Act 815 requires that petroleum revenue assessed as due in each month shall be paid by direct transfer into the Petroleum Holding Fund by the fifteenth day of the ensuing month by the entities obliged to make such payments.
The report signed by Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo, Auditor-General, said there was a loss of income which would have been earned if the funds had been paid on time and re-invested.
The Report recommended that monies assessed as due to the Petroleum Funds should be promptly collected and any late payments should attract interest as stipulated by Section 3(4) of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act.
It said that management of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) responded that, UB Resources Ltd and UB Group paid a total of $37,799.42 into the Petroleum Holding Fund in February 2019 to settle their assessment.
On Sahara Fields Energy Limited, Britannia-U Ghana Limited and Swiss African Oil Company Limited, their management said, these three companies have failed to honour their payment obligations despite intense efforts to get them to do so.
It said the GRA is collaborating with the Petroleum Commission to ensure they comply or face the necessary sanctions.
On distributions to GNPC, Clause 6 of Act 893 required the Minister of Finance to ensure that the Bank of Ghana transfers to GNPC the relevant portion of the petroleum revenue not later than three working days after receipt of petroleum revenue into the Petroleum Holding Fund.
The report noted that distributions of the relevant portions of petroleum revenue to GNPC for the 41st to 46th Jubilee liftings and the 5th to 9th TEN liftings and the 1st Sankofa liftings were made more than three working days after receipt of the petroleum revenue into the Petroleum Holding Fund.
The Report however said the Bank of Ghana did not comply with the requirements of Act 893, and therefore recommended that, the distributions of petroleum revenue should be made in accordance with the provisions contained in Act 893.