The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) is urging government to diversify the investment portfolio of petroleum funds invested in the US financial markets.

The call follows a decline in net return of the funds in the first half of 2022 due to some external factors.

According to the 2022 Semi-Annual Report of PIAC, Ghana recorded a decline in return on investments from the Heritage and Stabilisation funds.

The net return on investment of the Ghana Petroleum Funds of $7.13 million represents 18.42%  reduction from that of half-year 2021 ($8.74 million).

The year-to-date (YTD) yield of the Ghana Stabilisation Fund (GSF) returned 0.43%, as compared to 0.33% (half-year 2021). Likewise, the Ghana Heritage Fund (GHF) witnessed a decrease in the overall return for the period by 7.45% as of the end of half-year 2022.

PIAC makes strong case for investments in oil funds to be diversified

This decrease was due to an elevated uncertainty in the direction of interest rates which resulted in the global increase in demand for short-term investments, relative to long-term during the review period.

This had a pronounced negative effect on the yield of the GHF investments, which are long-term in nature.

PIAC believes, efforts must be made to collaborate with the Investment Advisory Board to find an alternative markets.

“We have observed that the investment portfolio keeps declining and should not be limited to the US markets. Other markets must be considered too via the advice from the Investment Advisory Committee because the return on investments under the petroleum funds continue to reduce”, Chairman of PIAC, Professor Kwame Adom-Frimpong said.

“We are not here to advice, but as Ghanaians and concerned citizens, we want whoever is in charge to seek advice from the Investment Advisory Committee and see other sources of investments that can be made. We don’t have to put all our eggs in one basket” he charged.

The Ghana Petroleum Funds received an amount of $390 million in the first-half of 2022, which is 91.43%  higher than the budgeted allocation of $203.75 million.

This is due to the high price of crude oil presently hovering around $85 per barrel.

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