The Private Enterprise Foundation is pressing for government to proactively take steps that would encourage Ghanaian individuals and entities to own stakes in the country’s oil fields.
According to PEF, it is high time, local participation and ownership was taken beyond government’s participating and carried interest in the oil fields to make the country’s local content agenda complete.
Director General of PEF, Nana Osei-Bonsu explains to JOY-BUSINESS, government only needs to bring its clout to bear if the country is to maximize its benefits from the oil sector.
“Nobody has the resources to go and buy a portion of the oil industry. The government however has the authority to engage the owners and buy a percentage for our locals by arranging to pay for it as and when they pay their royalties and taxes when due. This is because unless we own a percentage of that oil no matter how high the price goes, the country would still not be deriving its due maximum benefit from the resource” he said.
He advanced the foundation’s position with an emphasis on its potential to also boost activity on the capital market.
“We don’t need to have ready cash to buy stakes in the resource. What we’re talking about is increased activity by attracting industries like oil into the capital market to encourage people in participating in stock market activity. Once the government takes that percentage,it can in turn offload part periodically on the stock market for indigenous people. And then government takes the money from the private sector and pay off the owners” he noted.