Alex Mould: Government must publish ESLA statement

A former Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC), Alex Mould has called on the government to publish the statement on the proceeds and expenses of the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA).

This, he believes, is prudent financial management and would ensure transparency in the handling of funds from ESLA.

In an interview with Francis Abban on Star FM’s the Morning Star show monitored by Awake News, Mr. Mould sought answers to why Ghanaians have been kept in the dark on ESLA after the successful bond issuance.

He said, the first of the ESLA bonds were issued in 2016 and in the handing over notes, it was suggested that the next government must continue to do same.

The former GNPC Boss explained that the bonds were necessary because though the proceeds of the ESLA were to cater for the energy sector debt, it was not enough to pay off both the principal and interests on the debts.

This, according to him meant the country would have been paying ESLA for a long time so far as the interest kept accruing.

He said however that issuing the bonds either in tranches or in one bulk was the tactical imperative of the Minister.

“Let me make it very clear, these are Ghana government bonds and although they are issued by an SPV, it is part of Ghana’s debt and should be part of Ghana’s debt.” He added “My understanding is we haven’t seen a statement yet from ESLA as to how much money has been received and I think transparency is very important in this area. Because we are the stakeholders, you and I who is paying the price of fuel; ESLA is ours. We have entrusted the government and the ESLA board to ensure that this money is used for it,” he said.

Mr Mould added, “I remember you just mentioned that we are still paying the TOR recovery levy and I am sure you are quizzed as to how come you don’t know how much has been collected and how much has been paid. That is one of the challenges I think we need reforms in this country about ensuring people are aware of things and we should be able to go to a website which tells us in 2016, we received “x” amount and this was the uses of funds; this is prudent financial management and for stakeholders like us, the responsibility is for whoever is responsible for the accounts to make sure that it is transparent and we receive this information in a timely manner.”