Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), on Friday said it was important that the citizenry participated in discussions on the management of revenue from the oil and gas sector for the country to derive maximum benefits from the resources.
He said the citizenry would be shirking their responsibilities if they sat back for their elected representatives to decide how oil and gas revenue must be managed and used.
Dr. Adam, a former Northern Regional Minister, was speaking at a public discussion on “The extractive sector governance and accountability: The role of the Student,” organized by the Youth For Action Ghana (YFAG), in conjunction with the Liberal Studies Department of the Takoradi Polytechnic in Takoradi.
His topic was: “Ghana Petroleum Revenues –Issues of Accountability, Efficiency of Utilization and National Development”.
Dr. Adam said, “The people must participate in discussions in order to influence decisions at all levels of governance of oil and gas and for revenue from the sector to be used for social infrastructure”.
The people must speak up and demand development projects so that oil and gas does not become “Resource curse” and to prevent violent conflicts, he said.
Mrs. Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, Associate Executive Director of the Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM), said the country must implement international protocols on mining to ensure sustainability in that sector.
She expressed concern that most water bodies in mining communities had been polluted, and people who used polluted water contracted all sorts of diseases.
Mrs. Owusu-Koranteng spoke against mining in protected forest which could endanger animal life and degrade the environment.
Nana Kobina Nketsia the Fifth, Omanhene of the Essikado Traditional Area, who presided, said the country’s culture encouraged the participation of the people in development programmes.