The former Minister for Energy and the Member of Parliament (MP) Afigya Sekyere West in the Ashanti Region, Mr Kan- Dapaah, has called for the immediate withdrawal of subsidies on fuel to save the financial burden being imposed on the country.
According to him, the billions of Ghana Cedis hanging on the neck of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) was nothing, but the cost of subsidies on our petroleum products.
Speaking at a retreat organised by the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), and sponsored by Tullow oil on the theme, “Strategy Overview of Global Oil and Gas Sector” for editors at Koforidua, over the weekend, the former Energy Minister did not understand why the government should continue to subsidies fuel for affluent to buy into their cars, which they drive on our streets at the expense o f the poor.
He noted that over 70% of cars and vehicles roaming the streets of were privately owned, and that it was wrong for the poor, who also pay taxes, to continue to subsidies fuel for those who could afford realistic prices. The former Energy Minister’s call comes four months after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had made a similar appeal to the government, when its representatives called on the late President Mills at the castle, Osu.
Mr Dapaah, who is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, noted that the time had come for Ghanaians to divorce politics form petroleum products and called on the media to be at the forefront in the fight against the ills in society and the government.
He noted that whilst a politician was not afraid of his fellow politician, he or she would not be happy if issues concerning his outfit were always in the public domain, he noted that whilst it was globally acknowledged that Ghana’s economy grew by 14% in 2011, which is one of the highest in the world, it did not trickle down for the ordinary man to feel.
He warned that if care was not taken, a time would come when the youth would rise up against politicians in the country, just as was happening in the other parts of the African continent, and called on the media to play the role expected of them, to avoid some of these happenings.
Mr Gayheart Edem Mensah. A journalist and head of communications at Tullow Oil, who spoke on “Strategic Overview of Global Oil and Gas,” hinted that his outfit had so far made scholarships available to 74 Ghanaians to pursue oil and gas related courses in the United Kingdom.
According to him, 24 of the beneficiaries were already in the UK pursuing the courses, whilst the remaining 50 were being processed by the British Council, which would also place the beneficiaries in various universities in the UK.
He, however, noted that not all the beneficiaries would automatically be employed by Tullow upon the completion of the course. Gayheart Edem Mensah explained that the aim of Tullow was building the capacity of Ghanaians to feed the emerging oil and gas industry.
On Tullow’s social responsibility and commitment to the catchment communities in which they operate, the communications head said last year, the company made available $7 million to execute various projects that would be beneficial to the people. This year, the budget has been increased to $ 9million. “Our social commitment is incomparable in Ghana,” he boasted.
Meanwhile, The Chronicle has gathered sources that the fabrication of metals for the building of the second Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) would be done in Ghana, and later exported to Singapore.
The Chronicle gathered that the decision was part of the local content of the oil contracts being made available to Ghanaians. Available information indicates that the decision by the government to buy back the Tema shipyard, which was being mismanaged by its former Malaysians owners, was motivated by the desire to fabricate the metals for the second FPSO at the place.