The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Effiduase-Asokore constituency, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie, has described as unfortunate the position by the minority to kick against the use of Ghana’s Heritage Fund to help in the fight of the deadly Coronavirus.
He lamented that the situation will get worse if some drastic measures are not taken by government to fight the pandemic which has killed thousands worldwide.
“When do Ghanaians matter?” he questioned in an interview with NEAT FM’s morning show ‘Ghana Montie’.
Adding that “we cannot let our old folks die when there is money there”.
His comment follows the minority side in parliament's rejection for government to use part of the Heritage Fund to finance the fight against the coronavirus disease in the country.
The Minority insists that it is not yet time for the government to touch the Fund.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta had on Monday, March 30, 2020, proposed the amendment of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act to allow the government to utilize portions of the Heritage Fund.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in his last address to the nation on the spread of coronavirus in Ghana on Friday, March 27, 2020, said that he has instructed the Finance Minister to make available GHS1 billion in a move to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on businesses and households and to ensure that job losses are minimized.
But the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu argued that the government’s financial programmes must directly affect the ordinary Ghanaian.
“There is no difficulty in giving him [the Finance Minister] approval to use the Stabilization Fund but what we are saying is that the Heritage Fund was set out for a purpose and we are not there yet. So make use of the stabilization reserve to support your activities and not the Heritage Fund,” Haruna Iddrisu insisted.
About the Heritage Fund
The Heritage Fund is a creation of section 10 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 815 enacted in 2011.
The purpose of the establishment of this fund is to provide an endowment to support the development of future generations when the petroleum reserves have depleted, according to Act 815 (2011) and amended Act 893 (2015).
The fund receives a percentage of oil revenue accrued to the Petroleum Holding Fund.
In view of this Parliament of Ghana pegged this figure at 9%. This means that out of the total oil revenue received into the Petroleum Holding Fund, the Heritage Fund receives only 9%.