Date: July 13, 2011, 4:18 pm
USE OIL AND GAS AS CATALYST FOR DEVELOPMENT - BISHOP AKOLGO
Mr Bishop Akolgo, Executive Director of ISODEC, has asked the government to use the oil and gas find as a means of achieving a national development model that would benefit all.
He said the country would only end up depleting its natural resources if it did not manage them efficiently.
Mr Akolgo was facilitating the plenary session on Lands and Natural Resources (including Oil and Gas) at the on-going National Constitutional Review Commission Conference in Accra on Friday. The session is one of four thematic group discussions on the matrix on Land and Natural Resources developed by the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) based on submissions received.
Participants discussed compensation for those affected directly or indirectly and how to manage the revenue that would accrue from Oil and Gas efficiently to benefit the entire country.
Other thematic areas discussed on the fourth day of the five-day conference included Human Rights, Civil Justice, Social Justice Children and Aged, National Security and Freedom of the Information Bill. The National Constitution Review Conference is on the theme: "The Constitution: Our Identity".
The conference would articulate concerns of the citizenry as regards the amendments required for a comprehensive review and make recommendations to the Government for consideration and provide a draft bill for possible amendments to the 1992 Constitution.
The Commission was set up by President John Evans Atta Mills to ascertain from Ghanaians their views on the operation of the Fourth Republican Constitution promulgated in 1992 and in particular, its strengths and weaknesses.
Nana Oti Boateng, Omanhene of New Juabeng Traditional Area, suggested that the Ministry of Finance should be tasked to develop a module to maximise oil revenue to the benefit of all. He said such module should include re-investing revenue from oil and gas in higher yielding portfolios and infrastructural and human resource development projects.
There was a general consensus that those who would be affected by the oil and gas find, especially fisher folks, should be compensated adequately to avoid acts that might sabotage operations. They also agreed that mineral resources should remain under the control of the government but the revenue should be distributed equally.
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