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Invest the oil revenue -Eastern Regional participants

Participants at a consultative forum in Koforidua on how to manage the expected petroleum wealth of the country, had suggested that the wealth be invested in projects that would bring high returns to the nation as a whole.

They urged that the oil wealth be used to develop better structures for environmental protection and the development of other sectors of the economy like farming and the iron and steel industry.

Mr Yaw Boateng, Headmaster of the New Juaben Senior High School, said the oil industry required some technical skills and if only people around the Western Region were employed, there was the possibility of not getting those with the required qualifications for employment.

Mr Boateng said before the discovery of the oil, some other communities were producing cocoa, timber and gold, but the money realized was used to develop the whole country and no special funds were set up for the areas where the wealth were created.

Mr Richard Kingston of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors suggested the playing down of the idea that the oil revenue should be shared or that the wealth from that sector would solve all the challenges facing the country.

He explained that the development of the oil would require the construction of better infrastructure like roads, hospitals and others, and that would also require that the citizens pay high maintenance fees to continue to enjoy those facilities at least for some time.

Mrs Cedonia Dere of the Community Based Rural Development Project of the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council (ERCC), called for a substantial part of the petroleum wealth to be used to promote youth development and employment, to help stop the rural/urban migration.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, called for more efforts at training the human resource base for the oil and gas industry, so that Ghanaians could take commanding heights in the industry.

He called for more effective laws to protect some aspects of the industry for Ghanaians.

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