Oil Discovery: Will Ghana Be Another Nigeria?
The recent oil discovery and building of the first platforms offshore. The oil found at the Ghanaian coast contains more billions of barrels. The oilfield is situated offshore around Cape Three point and in December 2009 the exploration and building of the first oil platforms started. The oil production has taken off and it is in progress. Many Ghanaian people are concerns about the possible negative effects of the oil found. The people in the Western Region of Ghana have criticised the Mills government, they are saying out of the 10 regions of Ghana, Western region provides more than half of the gross income of whole Ghana. But this region is the least developed of all. High unemployment rates and too less money for development in our region. They are lacking behind, if you look at the infrastructure, development and also the share on Universities who come from Western Region for example. They expect the government to heavily support employment, scholarships and invest more in the people of the region by setting up a development fund. Besides, when the people of Western Region take a close look at the newly developed growing tourism industry with all the new lodges around Cape Three Point for example, they get a shock and become afraid of pollution. The recent oil discovery can be a curse or a blessing. The Westerners opine, in the near future their nature will be polluted by the oil winning. They therefore want the government and companies to put things in place in a way the environment will be as most protected as possible. Better to prevent hazards and pollution than to deal with it as a surprise. The most solutions and measures already identified but the implementation will be a problem. This makes them highly concerned about the risks of the environmental hazards and pollution. They are also afraid of corruption if a development fund is established and the fund will be managed by the people of this region it will be all right, but if it should be managed by the government, than there will be corruption problems. The Western Region people are said to be working hand in hand, are very sober and soft but that doesn't mean we will sit down and let people walk over them. This is where most of them are afraid of Ghana being another Nigeria The biggest question left to the people of Western Region is, if the oil companies really need the people from the western region? Even though the people deserve a higher priority and involvement in the production of the oil. It is no privilege but their right. They have many specialized people in this country to be employed by the companies. With more investment in education the Ghanaian people will be useful to the companies. The governments should not allow so many foreign workers in our country as happened in Angola and Nigeria. We have the people and the service companies. They will surely not sit and let it happen that foreign workers will be employed and there is no benefit for their own people. The people of Western Region fully concerned about the situation in Nigeria they facetiously ask themselves, could this happen here too in Ghana? The Chiefs of Western Region advise investors in the region to be very careful and be respectful. If they don't respect the rules and chiefs and make them slaves on our own land again, there will be war. If care is not taken, the same thing as in Nigeria will happen. All what Ghanaian people have to do is to learn from the mistakes made in Nigeria after the found of oil. We can be fortunate that the Nigerians made mistakes we can learn from. This should be a clear message to the government of Ghana that first no corruption and without investment in development, education and employment, the youth will start to get against the investors in Western Region.
Source: FRANCIS TAWIAH (Duisburg – Germany)
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