Decline in returns of Ghana Petroleum Funds’ worrying – Auditor General’s Report

The 2021 Auditor General’s Report has expressed worry about the general decline in the returns of the Ghana Petroleum Funds’ investments from about $17.5 million in 2020 to about $14.19 million in 2021.

“The total returns of $14.19 million on the Funds invested represent a 19.15% reduction from that of 2020 ($17.55 million) even though the Funds invested continue to increase over the years. There is a risk that a continuous decline in the returns on the investment will affect the future value of the Funds”.

It therefore recommended that the investment mix for both Ghana Stabilisation Fund and Ghana Heritage Fund should be reviewed for possible maximisation of the return for these investments.

It also recorded an improvement in operational efficiency.

Again, the report noted that a total amount of $2.57 million was still outstanding from surface rentals as of 31st December 2021.

“We noted that a total amount of $2.57 million (2020: $2.11 million) was still outstanding from surface rentals as of 31 December, 2021”.

Eight companies including Swiss African Oil Company, Britannia –U and GOSCO Limited are indebted to the state.

The non-payment of these amounts, the report said, has reduced funds available in the Petroleum Funds.

The Auditor General therefore recommended an increased effort to recover these outstanding debts from the defaulting companies to make funds available for the Petroleum Fund.

Government urged to pay shortfalls in petroleum revenue

On gas production, surface rentals due from 11 out of the 17 operating companies increased from the 2020 indebtedness of $2.11 million to $2.60 million as of December 31, 2021.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Auditor General’s Report has directed the government to take steps to pay the shortfalls in petroleum revenue to the Petroleum Holding Fund and also take a decision on the recoverability or otherwise on the outstanding balance due from Ghana Gas Company Limited.