Mr. Azaanab Waksman, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director, Centre for National Culture (CNC), on Friday appealed to the government to set aside at least five percent of the oil revenue to develop the country’s culture.
He said cultural development had been neglected by successive governments for a long time and now that Ghana had discovered oil in large quantities there was the need for the government to use part of its revenue for the sector’s development.
Mr. Waksman made the appeal when he addressed more than 500 students drawn from selected Senior High Schools in the region at the opening of a three-day jubilee oil exhibition in Sunyani.
The regional director expressed regret that majority of uncompleted cultural edifices put up in the various regions by Ghana’s first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah including the Sunyani CNC auditorium had been abandoned.
Mr. Waksman observed that because of inadequate funding, the CNC had lagged behind in the promotion of the country’s abundant cultural heritage including horticulture.
He said if properly harnessed, Ghana’s rich culture could be highlighted in the international community to earn a lot of foreign exchange for development.
Mr. Waksman said the discovery of the oil had come at an opportune time for some major rehabilitation works to be done at the various cultural centres in the country.
Mr. Gayheart Mensah, communication manager of Tullow Oil, unit operators of the jubilee field said Brong-Ahafo was the third after exhibitions in Western and Northern regions.
He said the exhibition was designed by Tullow and the jubilee partners to explain to Ghanaians the three main processes involved in oil production, exploration, development and production.
Mr. Mensah said transparency and accountability played a very crucial role in the oil industry and expressed the hope that the oil revenue would benefit all Ghanaians.
The communication manager expressed concern about the high level of expectations among Ghanaians, stressing that the oil revenue could not dramatically transform Ghana in all sectors of the economy.
Mr. Mensah said Ghana’s oil industry could only produce 120,000 barrels a day citing that Nigeria, which produced in excess of two billion barrels a day, had not been able to meet all its development needs.
He said as a new industry it was confronted with a number of problems including lack of expertise and advised students in tertiary institutions to take advantage of the discovery and undertake courses in the oil and gas industry.