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24 February 2017

Kweku Kwarteng accuses NDC of diverting Energy Sector Levies

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Obuasi West Member of Parliament is accusing the John Mahama government of diverting monies accrued to the Energy Sector Levy account.

According to Kweku Kwarteng a whooping 189 million cedis was taken from the Energy Sector Levy Account and given to BOST to buy crude oil, an action he described as illegal.

The Energy Sector Levy was instituted in 2015 to raise money through taxes on petroleum products to pay for the rising debt in the energy sector.

According to Ghana’s new president Nana Akufo-Addo, the energy sector is suffocating under a $2.4 billion debt.

He made the revelations Tuesday, when he was reading his first state of the nation address.

Debating the details of the State of the Nation address on the floor of Parliament, Thursday, Kweku Kwarteng said under the Energy Sector levy Act, it was illegal for the NDC government to divert the monies accrued under the Energy Sector Levy Account.

He said monies accrued in that account is for price stabilisation in the petroleum sector and also to pay for the stifling debts in the Energy sector.

He did not understand why government would take 189 million cedis from that account and give it to BOST ostensibly to buy crude oil when indeed BOST is itself a direct beneficiary of price margins on petroleum products.

He explained that BOST has a margin in the price build up and anytime the price of the commodity went up BOST benefitted.

“What happened to crude oil,” he asked and said that amount cannot be taken from the energy sector levy and given to BOST when  Tema Oil Refinery and the GNPC are both reeling in debt.

He said the new government will audit the figures properly and make sure such practices are stopped with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has accused the president of being dishonest in the figures and facts he provided during his presentation of the state of the nation address.

The president made reference to a new agric policy which had received a 122 million Canadian dollar support but the minority said the president should at least have given credit to the NDC for negotiating that grant.

The minority said that grant was signed on 25th February 2016 when the Canadian officials paid a visit to the then Agric minister Alhaji limuna. The grant was to be disbursed early this year, the minority stated.

They did not understand why the president failed to acknowledge the previous government during his presentation.

 

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