The boom, the bust, and the dynamics of oil resource management in Ghana
Oil resources are neither a curse nor a blessing. The sound management of these resources can make them beneficial or otherwise. In order to translate Ghana’s oil resources into inclusive development amid high expectations, several laws and regulations have been passed and new institutions created.
Despite the presence of the new institutions, laws, and regulations, spending from petroleum revenues appears to be rather thinly spread and not efficient. This defeats the purpose of diversification and leads to high debt and cost overruns.
On a positive note, the Minister for Finance, the Public Interest and Accountability Committee, and Bank of Ghana have been complying with most of the transparency requirements specified in the laws. It is essential that spending from petroleum revenues is guided by a medium- to long-term inclusive development strategy that is based on proper needs assessment, global trends, feasibility studies, and possible growth dynamics of the country.
In addition, expenditure of the annual budget funding amount needs to be rationalized and investment guidelines developed and implemented to focus within-priority expenditures to not more than three project/expenditure categories.