Koforidua, March 3, GNA – Mr. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Eastern Regional Minister, has advocated the formulation of good policies and enactment of effective laws to protect the country’s oil find.
He also called for the training of Ghanaians in technical skills to enable them to take up jobs in the oil and gas industry. Mr. Ofusu Ampofo was speaking at a consultative forum on management of expected petroleum wealth of the country, organized for residents of Koforidua and its environs, on Tuesday.
Participants suggested that such wealth should be invested in projects that would bring high returns to the nation.
They were of the view that oil revenue should be used for the building of better facilities for environmental protection and the development of agriculture and iron and steel industry and other sectors of the economy. Mr. Yaw Boateng, Headmaster of New Juaben Senior High School, noted that if the expectation of people living in oil-discovered areas was not realized that could create problems.
He said oil exploitation required high technology, which the people in oil communities might not necessarily possess.
Mr. Boateng reminded Ghanaians that revenue obtained from cocoa, timber, gold and other resources was used for the development of the entire country without the creation of a special fund for the benefit of people in communities where those products were acquired. Mr. Richard Kingston of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, advised Ghanaians to disabuse their minds that the oil find was a panacea to Ghana’s economic problems.
He explained that oil revenue could be used for the building of roads, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure but people would have to work hard to enable them to pay taxes for the maintenance of those facilities. Mrs. Cedonia Dere of the Community Based Rural Development Project of the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council, appealed to government to invest a substantial amount of oil revenue in youth development and viable economic ventures to create more jobs for the people.